Chicago grabbed an early 1-0 lead on an Anthony Rizzo single. But it was all downhill from here for the Cubs, as Cleveland scored the next seven runs to walk away with the game.
First baseman Carlos Santana opened the scoring with a second-inning homer. Pitcher Corey Kluber put Cleveland in the lead for good with a single that sent Lonnie Chrisenhall home.
Second baseman Jason Kipnis put the game away when he hit a line-drive, 3-run homer that gave Cleveland a six-run lead. Chicago’s Dexter Fowler would hit a home run in the eighth inning to stop the bleeding, but it was too little too late.
Aside from providing offense for his own cause, Kluber pitched an excellent game, allowing just 1 run in 6 innings. The bullpen did the rest as Cleveland wrapped up their second straight game in Chicago.
Let’s continue discussing the series by looking at tonight’s Game 5 line, along with some analysis on what to expect.
GTBets Game 5 Line on Indians vs Cubs (8:05pm EST on Oct. 30)
Cleveland Indians +1.5 (-115), moneyline +200 (T. Bauer)
Chicago Cubs -1.5 (-105), moneyline -230 (J. Lester)
World Series Game 5 Preview
For the Indians, tonight’s game is a matter of doing the same things that they’ve been doing. And this means that Cleveland manager Terry Francona will use normal game preparation that doesn’t include any big speeches.
“No, it might make them nervous,” said Francona. “They’re OK. They know how to play the game. In our game, you can’t meet every night. It’s not like football. If they don’t understand by now, they’re probably not going to. And I think they’re doing just fine.”
Kluber, who was the big winner yesterday, echoed this sentiment by saying that Game 5 will be “business as usual.”
Kipnis is taking a different approach, focusing on the importance of this game and how tough it will be to defeat Chicago three straight times at home.
“It’s not an ending yet,” Kipnis told the Chicago Tribune. “We’ve got one more to get. It’s probably going to be the hardest victory of the year. This is a special night for me and the team to take the first two here. Now we have a couple of tries to win one more. But we’re ready to get it. This is the fun one.”
Trevor Bauer will take the mound for Cleveland tonight. He’s the only pitcher to lose to the Cubs in the World Series. But Santana definitely isn’t worried about how Bauer will perform tonight.
“We’re confident, especially how we won in this very tough game,” said Santana. “Lester, he’s throwing very good baseball. He has experience in the World Series. But we’re fine. We’ll worry about tomorrow and try to win the game.”
The Cubs will trot out lefty Jon Lester, who’s hoping to end Chicago’s two-game slide and extend the World Series. Lester’s start in Game 1 was okay – 3 runs on six hits in 5.2 innings – but it still resulted in a 6-0 loss for Chicago.
This was markedly different from his first three postseason starts against San Francisco and LA, where he allowed just 2 runs in 21 innings while recording 14 strikeouts. There’s certainly reason to think that Lester can regain his touch in tonight’s matchup.
Another thing that Chicago needs to do better is get runs early in the game, before they fall behind and lose momentum. This is especially important when considering how well Cleveland’s bullpen has performed.
“We’ve just got to grab a lead,” said Chicago manager Joe Maddon. “We’ve got to grab a lead [before] the latter part of the game and avoid those [bullpen] guys with either being tied or them having a lead. That’s what we have to do.”
Chicago has only managed three runs, four walks, and a .292 on-based percentage through the first four innings of the World Series. The fifth inning and beyond has been even worse, with a .259 on-base percentage, so early runs are crucial.
One Team Will Make History
The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 108 years, while Cleveland hasn’t won in 68 years. For the Indians, they have the added history of trying to bring both a baseball and basketball championship home in the same year.
One of these teams is going to break their winless streak and make history. Before this series, most thought it would be Chicago, given that they won 103 games – 9 more than Cleveland.
But down 3-1 in the series, the Cubs would need a Cleveland Cavaliers-type turnaround to come back and win. Only five of 44 MLB teams have pulled off this feat. Can Chicago become the sixth?
Prediction on World Series Game 5: Cubs Win 4-2
We see Cleveland closing this series out eventually, but it’s hard to see Chicago losing three straight at home, especially with their ace pitching tonight.