The Cleveland Indians take their shutout win and a 1-0 lead in the World Series over the Chicago Cubs into game 2, hoping that Trevor Bauer has stopped bleeding from his finger, that Jake Arrieta isn’t suddenly going to start playing well again, and that the Cubs big bats of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will continue to struggle against a terrific pitching staff.
Previous Game: The Indians won 6-0, taking the 1-0 lead. Corey Kluber pitched well for 6 innings, followed by Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Most of the offense came from Roberto Perez, hitting two home runs, including a 3-run homer in the 8th inning to cap the win. The Cubs had Jon Lester on the mound to start, giving up 3 runs in 5.2 innings. They did manage 7 hits overall, but did poorly whenever they had a player in scoring position, overall leaving 9 men on base.
Starting pitchers: The Cubs turn to Jake Arrieta, hoping that the one from the first half of the season shows up. Arrieta has played in two games this postseason, both road losses to the Giants and Dodgers. In a total of 11 innings he’s given up 6 runs and two homers, and has a 4.91 ERA so far, really struggling to get any ground balls in his last outing 8 days ago. The 30-year old hasn’t faced current Indians players a whole lot, but he has given up home runs to Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana in the past, and Indians players have an overall. 734 OPS against him.
For the Indians, it’ll be Trevor Bauer, he of the drones and the mangled finger. The 25-year old managed only two outs while walking two before his finger started bleeding in a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays before he was taken out, which means he hasn’t been too busy in this postseason, and if the finger doesn’t give him a problem, he’s good to go for at least 6-7 innings. Bauer didn’t look good in a 5-4 win over the Red Sox in the ALDS, but the Indians are hoping his low pitch count and only 5.1 innings of work so far will work in their favor. He has very little past experience against anyone on the Cubs, who overall batted .172 against him.
Basically, this is a game with two starting pitchers who could get lit up. The Cubs need offense from their big bats: Bryant, Rizzo, Russell, Fowler. Without them, getting on base simply isn’t enough. Things are a lot more flexible and fluid for the Indians in terms of who steps up for them offensively. This can all change if Arrieta suddenly rediscovers his mojo, but from the looks of things since the summer began (and ended), it’s not going to happen with an ace-like performance from him.