World Series Recap
It is finally happening. We have all seen the countless memes and useless facts about how the world has changed since this last happened, but we are all finally here. The Chicago Cubs will be hosting a World Series game at Wrigley Field. This is not a drill.
The North Side of Chicago will be the site of a World Series game for the first time in 71 years, or 25,951 days. There will be a ton of emotion, excitement, and elation in the air at Wrigley, but also a whole lot of tension. After the novelty of finally playing a game at Wrigley wears off, there is a very important game to be played. The Cubs and Cleveland Indians will play a pivotal World Series game three which can shift the series in a huge way.
The 2016 World Series started off in Cleveland, where Corey Kluber shined on the big stage. The Cubs couldn’t touch the 2014 Cy Young winner, as the Indians pulled off the shutout in the 6-0 victory at Progressive Field. Kluber struck out nine Cubbies, walked none, and only gave up four hits in his six innings of play. Jon Lester looked uncomfortable on the hill for the Cubs, as eight Cubs came up the plate in the first inning, allowing two runs, two hits, one stolen base, two walks, and one hit batter. The Indians would go on to strike out 15 Cubs, with Andrew Miller adding three in his two innings of work and Cody Allen striking out three in the ninth to nail down the shutout.
In game two, a Cy Young award winner would again step up on the huge stage, as Jake Arrieta put together his best performance of his 2016 postseason. Arrieta threw 5 ⅓ of no-hit ball, while Kyle Schwarber laid the foundation for becoming a World Series legend, knocking in two RBIs in the Cubs 5-1 victory. Schwarber played in only two games this season and was assumed to be out for the entire season, including the playoffs. Schwarber got the green light to hit but not field, as he now serves as the designated hitter in Cleveland and Joe Maddon’s pinch hitting weapon off the bench in Chicago.
Maddon will now be without Schwarber in Wrigley Field, where this series will play its next three games. The Cubs will send the 2016 Major League ERA leader in Kyle Hendricks to the mound against the Indians’ Josh Tomlin. Hendricks has been absolutely incredible at Wrigley this season, going 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 games. These will be the final three games at Wrigley this season no matter what, setting up the possibility that this is the last time Cubs fans get to see Aroldis Chapman in person.
It’s hard to call the third game of a tied series a must-win, but with Corey Kluber lined up for game four, the Cubs really need to win this game. All sports fans can appreciate how much of a special moment it will be at Wrigley Field in game three. With Hendricks on the mound, the Cubs fans have to feel good about this game, even though Schwarber will not be in the middle of the lineup. At this point, Schwarber has to be looked at as a luxury, as no one could have predicted he would be available for these games. The Cubs have won 59 games at Wrigley this season without Schwarber, so this is nothing new.