As we approach game three of the World Series, everyone is left to wonder who will take the series victory and who is on the verge of breaking a decades-old curse and finally earning their freedom from captivity.
The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs in a World Series – who would have thought that 2016 would be the year where history would be made? I am glad I’m around to see it in my lifetime. While I am all for history being made, I will be more satisfied if the piece of history I get to witness is the Cubs getting their hopes up, only to be put back to shame and in the chains of their 108-year curse.
The Indians have also been in a drought since 1948. Somebody has to break the curse here and I’m hoping it happens in “Believe-land.”
The Cubs have been showing tremendous effort and their hard work has clearly taken them far. It would be against my baseball morals as not only a Milwaukee native and fan, but as a baseball lover, to root for the Cubs. Despite their efforts, it wouldn’t be sensible for me to root for the Cubbies.
The Cleveland Indians played with exuberance and with heart in game 1 when they shut out the Cubs in a 6-0 victory. They kept a steady momentum and ultimately had fun in the process.
Although the Cubs came back, with Jake Arrieta carrying the team on his back for game 2, it certainly will be a thrilling ride in game 3 and the games to follow.
My guess is that the series will be taken out to game 7.
Not only do I personally not want the Chicago Cubs to win the series, but here are a few logistical reasons on why the Indians will dominate the series and take home the title.
The Cubs hot hitters aren’t so hot right now
Here are some post season batting averages: .043, .045, .111, .167, .182. These are averages of Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist, who are a combined 12-for-109 in the playoffs, a .110 batting average from five of the eight starting position players in Chicago’s lineup. If they have one thing going for themselves its defense – otherwise, I’m not too impressed by their hitting.
Indians’ stars are shining bright. Here are two.
Franciso Lindor: In game one, Lindor got three hits and a stolen base that won America free tacos. How can you not love him? He displays lots of young talent and brings great energy and enthusiasm to the game.
Roberto Perez: Perez became the hero in game 1. He had a solo homer off Lester in the fourth inning and a 3-run bomb off Hector Rondon in the 8th. He is the 53rd player to hit two home runs in a World Series game. Perez joins Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Gary Carter and Gene Tenace as the only catchers to have multi-homer games in a World Series. This man is showing talent and I expect this greatness to continue throughout the series.
Pitching is excellent on both ends, but Cleveland’s bullpen trumps Chicago’s
Lets be honest, both team’s pitching is what brought them to the series with solid performances from starters and the bullpen. While the Cubs might have better starters, the Indians have a better overall bullpen. Jake Arrieta and John Lackey haven’t been showing superstar performances, but they’ve been getting by. The Indians’ rotation is led by Corey Kluber. That guy is a monster. We have seen the damage he did in game 1 with the help of reliever Andrew Miller. Kluber had 8 strikeouts in just three innings. Then Miller came in clutch to finish off the Cubs.
One thing I will give the Cubs pitching credit on is the beast we know as former Yankee Alroldis Chapman. In game 2, thirteen of his pitches were clocked at 100mph or greater. Try to hit a 103 mph fastball coming out of this 6-foot-6 lefty’s hands. Highly unlikely.
The Indians have better base running. They are number one in the American league in stolen bases.
The Cubs usually have slow starts. They also have trouble performing when they don’t have a lead. Joe Maddon says he isn’t worried about anything, but if they want to beat a team like Cleveland, he should make sure he ups his worry meter just a little bit.
The fans… Oh the fans
I know what it’s like to be a fan of a team. I appreciate the pride and loyalty that fans give their team. But when did the Cubs fans begin to show their faces? – About two years ago? If you want to talk about sore-losers, then we can talk about Cubs fans. Who else blames a single man for a team’s lack of skill, otherwise disguised as a continued “curse”? Steve Bartman. I mean what he did in 2003 will forever go down in history and I don’t blame the fans for hating him, but lets give this excuse a break for a little while. It’s been several years. For years, anytime they beat the Milwaukee Brewers, I would get Facebook messages and calls with family from Chicago and other Chicago fans ranting and raving on the win. Boring.
(Brief insight on the Steve Bartman incident for knowledge): In the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the Florida Marlins, with Chicago ahead 3–0 and holding a three games lead in the best of seven series, several spectators attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo. One of the fans – Steve Bartman – reached for the ball, deflecting it and disrupting a potential catch by Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou. If Alou had caught the ball, it would have been the second out in the inning and the Cubs would have been just four outs away from winning their first National League pennant since 1945. Instead, the Cubs ended up surrendering eight runs in the inning and losing the game, 8–3. When they were eliminated in the seventh game the next day, the incident was seen as the “first domino” in the turning point of the series.
OUCH. I feel the pain, trust me I do, but it seems like baseball fans will never hear the end of this one. Cubs fans still blame him.
I completely understand that many fans have been patiently and eagerly waiting to see the day where their team can win the pennant again and ultimately win the series – but I have a feeling that if they lose this, we will have to deal with whining fans, and more excuses, for another 108 years.
I’ve never been a Cleveland fan, but during this series I am learning to appreciate and acknowledge the talent and energy this team brings.
For the first time since 1945, game 3 of the World Series will be played tonight at Wrigley Field. Every game counts. Everything counts. The pressure is on. Will the Cubs defy all odds and take the series, or will they fall victim to the tribe? We will find out as we enter in to the exciting game 3. I for one think history is in the making, as Cleveland will go all the way and take home the title.