The World Series – Game 4 – Cubs 2, Indians 7
WP – Corey Kluber (2-0) LP – John Lackey (0-1) Save – None
Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a one-run lead in the first inning before it all went south for Joe Maddon’s team in Game 4. The Cubs continued to flail away at just about every ball thrown by an Indians’ pitcher and could not mount a comeback before the game got out of hand.
The Cubs trailed only by three runs as late as the seventh inning. But a three-run homer by Jason Kipnis off Travis Wood put Game 4 well out of reach. Dexter Fowler took Andrew Miller deep in the eighth. At that point it was a case of too little, too late as the Cubs were blown out in Game 4 of The World Series.
All of the air was let out of Wrigley Field by the second inning. After the Cubs took a 1-0 lead on a single by Anthony Rizzo that plated Dexter Fowler, John Lackey served up a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the second, Carlos Santana. Sloppy defense and two charged errors by Kris Bryant allowed the Indians to take a 2-1 lead. And Corey Kluber took over from there. Kluber just threw the ball near the plate and let the Cubs get themselves out.
The Cubs did not play a good game, let it get away early and could not get back on track before Jason Kipnis launched a three-run homer off Travis Wood in the seventh. While a three-run deficit in the seventh inning would have been a tough task against the Indians’ bullpen, Kipnis’ shot gave the Indians and insurmountable 7-1 lead.
John Lackey talked about ‘big boy’ games all season and when he was given the ball when the Cubs needed a win he did not step up and deliver. Lackey pitched a 1-2-3 first inning before serving up the homer in the second and allowing a tack on run in the third. The Cubs defense did not help in the second. He has no one to yell at but himself for Saturday’s performance. Lackey could not hold a lead and by the time he got it together, the Cubs were down 3-1.
Lackey completed five innings Saturday and allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Lackey made 84 pitches, 52 for strikes, in five innings.
The Cubs bullpen did not do its job. For one of the few times, Mike Montgomery struggled with his command. Montgomery fell behind early and gave up a lot of hard contact. Justin Grimm, a day after promising The Series would go back to Cleveland, didn’t have it either. Grimm allowed Coco Crisp and Rajai Davis to reach in the seventh before Maddon went to his pen and Wood served up the three-run homer to Kipnis.
The Cubs offense did not play their game and did not adjust to Corey Kluber and the exorbident amount of curveballs and sliders they are seeing.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a double, a HBP and a RBI) and Dexter Fowler (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two runs scored) were pretty much the Cubs’ offense. Addison Russell (1-for-4) had a ninth inning single and Jason Heyward (2-for-4) had two of the Cubs’ seven hits on the night. And for the second night in a row, the Cubs had only one walk. That’s not the Cubs team that won the NL Pennant.
The Cubs finished the game 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs trail the Indians 3-1 in The World Series.
Jon Lester gets the ball in Game 5 on Sunday night (7:08pm CDT) at Wrigley Field. It is simple for the Cubs, beat Trevor Bauer and the Indians pen or the season will come to an end.