The World Series is all even and headed to Chicago after the Cubs took Game 2, 5-1. Cleveland rode Corey Kluber until he started showing the first signs of wavering in Game 1, and tonight, a magnificent Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, then promptly got pulled after giving up a run. The bullpen locked it down, and the rain that pushed the game’s start time up an hour never materialized.
Most surprisingly of all, Kyle Schwarber led the Cubs offense, drawing a walk, singling in a pair of runs, and scoring one of his own. Schwarber taking on the DH role for the World Series was unexpected, but him emerging as one of the best offensive players for the Cubs after more than six months off is even more so. The big boy was slumming it in the Arizona Fall League a few days ago, and now he’s out here getting hits off Andrew Miller and Trevor Bauer.
Unfortunately for Joe Maddon, the Cubs won’t have the luxury of playing Schwarber at DH once they travel back to Chicago. Hitting and legging out singles doesn’t take the dexterity or lateral flexibility that playing in the outfield does, and Schwarber is still recovering from a horrific knee injury. It’s uncertain whether or not he’ll play in the field on Friday—he’ll need to be medically cleared—and even he isn’t sure whether he can go.
If he plays, he’ll be a defensive liability. But he’s also been the Cubs’ second-best bat thus far, and with Terry Francona opting for the three-man rotation (and having Andrew Miller, of course), they’ll need all the hitting they can muster. I’m not sure it’s worth it, especially since he’s just 23 years old. But I hope that he at least gets some pinch-hit at-bats in, because I like watching the big boy hit, and he seems to be enjoying himself.