The Chicago Cubs carry all the momentum as they head into Wrigley Field for game 3 of the 2016 World Series, tied at 1-1 with the Cleveland Indians.
Previous game: The Cubs won 5-1, as they made life very difficult for Trevor Bauer right from the start, and later on the bullpen, which didn’t include Andrew Miller and Cody Allen as things didn’t go well
enough for them to play. Jake Arrieta finally put on a good show, allowing two hits and one run in 5.2 innings. Kyle Schwarber is the talk of the town with two RBI singles. Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist also got big hits to score teammates, as the Cubs looked very comfortable bouncing back from a game 1 shutout.
This game: Schwarber won’t start at right field (can only play DH right now), and will probably be used in a pinch hitting situation, as doctors don’t believe the demands of playing outfield are something his body can cope with at the moment. This also puts the Indians in an interesting situation, opting to play Carlos Santana at left field. In any case, Jason Heyward will remain benched, and Willson Contreras will keep on starting at catcher for the Cubs unless it’s Jon Lester’s turn to pitch, with David Ross being his personal catcher.
Starting pitchers: It’s time for Josh Tomlin, who is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in this postseason. He’s done well in two starts, giving up 3 runs in 10.2 innings of work while striking out 10 batters. He hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks, and the Indians haven’t left him for a complete six innings yet in this postseason. He has faced only 3 batters the Cubs have, and has had some success facing Ben Zobrist over the years.
Kyle Hendricks, the NL ERA champion will be on the mound for the Cubs, making his 4th appearance of the postseason. He is 1-1 with a 1.63 ERA, looking terrific a week ago as he held the Dodgers to just two hits and 0 runs in 7.1 innings, and overall played very well in the NLCS, unlike his one forgettable appearance in the NLDS against the Giants. He has close to 0 past experience against current Indians hitters.
Joe Maddon seems to be very confident in Hendricks (and why wouldn’t he), saying he’s pitching like he’s very close to the plate right now, which is more or less a different way of saying that he’s in the zone. The Cubs seem to be more confident about what their offense can produce, especially at home, while the Indians are not quite certain about their left field situation. After platooning Brandon Guyer and Coco Crisp, they probably will take a chance on Santana, who is just too much offense to leave on the bench.