The Chicago Cubs have another chance this morning to stay alive in the 2016 World Series when they take on the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland’s home ground Progressive Stadium.
They will have to stand tall on the broad shoulders of last year’s Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, who earned a well-deserved win in Game 2 the last time he pitched in Cleveland.
For the Indians, Josh Tomlin will start, having rested just three days after his Game 3 appearance, where Indians Manager Terry Francona limited him to 56 pitchers as a precaution against his needing to pitch again if the Series was extended.
Whichever team ultimately wins this World Series, it will end a long drought, as the Cubs last won in 1908 and the Indians in 1948.
Despite playing in the American League park and dealing with the not-so-familiar Designated Hitter rule, the Cubs have the benefit of using slugger Kyle Schwarber in that role, who can change the complexion of a game with one swing. Schwarber had two RBIs in the Chicago win in game 2, but he is not medically cleared to play in the field, so Chicago could not get him in the lineup for games 3, 4 and 5 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Game 5, won 3 – 2 by the Cubs, was a thriller that lured NFL viewers away from a Sunday evening prime time game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles, a thriller in its own right that saw the Cowboys win the game in overtime.