The World Series – Game 1 – Cubs 0, Indians 6
WP – Corey Kluber (1-0) LP – Jon Lester (0-1) Save – None
The Cubs were shutout for the third time this postseason. The Cubs had plenty of chances in the first game of the World Series before the Indians turned a close game into a blowout in the eighth inning. The Cubs could not come up with a run scoring hit with men on base and dropped Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night in Cleveland.
The Cubs did not play as bad as the final score indicates and were actually in the game until the bottom of the eighth inning. The Cubs were 1-for-11 with eight strikeouts with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. A team simply cannot do that in the postseason and expect to win the game.
The Cubs had seven hits and walked twice. And three of the hits were doubles. The Cubs struck out 15 times, nine against Corey Kluber, and the lack of contact kept them from at least tying the game before a three-run homer by Roberto Perez in the eighth turned a 3-0 game into a lopsided win for the Indians.
Cubs’ pitching served up two home runs to the weak-hitting Roberto Perez that accounted for four of the Indians’ six runs. Perez hit three home runs during the regular season.
Ben Zobrist (3-for-4 with a double), Kyle Schwarber (1-for-3 with a double and a walk), Javier Baez (1-for-4) and David Ross (1-for-3) had good at-bats but when Kris Bryant (0-for-3 with a walk), Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4), Dexter Fowler (0-for-4) and Addison Russell (0-for-4) do not contribute and strikeout a combined seven times, the Cubs will struggle to score runs.
Jon Lester had a rough first inning and did not set the tone he wanted to start the game. Lester picked up two quick outs on five pitches. A single by Francisco Lindor and a stolen base started the rally in which the Indians scored runs on a dribbler up the third baseline and a hit by pitch.
After Lindor singled to center with two outs, he stole second with Mike Napoli at the plate. Lester issued back-to-back walks to Napoli and Carlos Santana that loaded the bases. Jose Ramirez bounced a 0-1 pitch down the third base line. The ball went about 50 feet. Bryant had no play and Lindor scored the first run of the game. Lester looked like he might get out of the bases loaded jam without allowing any more runs. Lester hit Brandon Guyer with a 0-2 pitch and forced in Napoli with the Indians’ second run.
The Indians added an insurance run in the fourth on a solo homer by Roberto Perez.
Lester gave up three runs on six hits with three walks, a HBP and seven strikeouts. Lester made 97 pitches, 57 for strikes, in 5 2/3 innings.
Pedro Strop and Travis Wood kept the Indians from tacking on. Justin Grimm started the eighth. Grimm walked Brandon Guyer and gave up a single to Lonnie Chisenhall. Maddon went to Hector Rondon and he struggled with his slider again. Roberto Perez launched a three-run homer off Rondon that removed all doubt about the outcome in The Series opener.
Corey Kluber pitched exactly the way he had to Tuesday night. Due to the issues with the Indians’ starting pitchers, Kluber has to shut the Cubs down when he starts in The Series. Kluber dominated the Cubs for six-plus innings. Kluber had a devastating two-seamer caught the Cubs looking six times in Game 1. Kluber struck out nine batters and did not issue a free pass. Kluber set both an Indians’ record for strikeouts (9) in a World Series game and he became the first pitcher to ever strikeout eight batters in the first three innings of a World Series game.
The Cubs pushed Andrew Miller and made him work. Miller allowed multiple hits and multiple walks for the first time in a single outing this season while throwing 46 pitches, his most in a single-outing since his last Major League start on Sept. 8, 2011.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs against Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller down 3-0. Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a single to left and chased Kluber from the game. Kyle Schwarber was the first up to face Miller and he worked a walk. Javier Baez singled to left and loaded the bases. Willson Contreras flied out to shallow center. The ball was not hit deep enough for Zobrist to score. Addison Russell struck out swinging and David Ross tried, but was unable to check his swing on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs had two hits and two walks against Miller while striking out three times. Miller made 46 pitches, 26 for strikes, in two innings.
Cody Allen closed out the game by striking out three more batters in the ninth.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs trail the Indians 1-0 in the World Series.
Major League Baseball moved up the start time for Game 2 on Wednesday due to heavy rain in the forecast. Game 2 will start at 6:08pm CDT, an hour earlier than scheduled. Jake Arrieta takes on Trevor Bauer in the second game of the World Series.