The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians are heading to Game 7 tomorrow, after the Cubs walloped Indians pitching around for a 9-3 win. Bill Simmons may have predicted that the Indians’ pitching would help them to a Game 6 victory, but they were overmatched from the start. Before Jake Arrieta even took the mound, the Indians’ bullpen was already working. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin’s defense forgot how to play baseball for a play or two, but he also gave up a dinger, then loaded the bases up for Addison Russell to clear them out.
The Cubs’ offense had sputtered thus far in the World Series, particularly the heart of the lineup. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Russell came into Game 6 with 10 hits and five RBIs. They combined for nine of each tonight and all three socked a dinger. The Cubs have struggled on breaking balls, but Bryant’s big first-inning dinger came off a curve. They’ll have Corey Kluber to contend with tomorrow, who’ll present a much stiffer challenge than Tomlin and the Indians’ B-List relievers did tonight.
Arrieta pitched 5.2 strong innings, and the only trouble the Cubs got themselves into was in the seventh inning. The Cubs had two outs and two men on.Up five, Joe Maddon elected to bring Aroldis Chapman on in the highest leverage situation, and he promptly got the out, then pitched all the way into the ninth, despite Rizzo jerking an insurance dong. Maddon will have the full stock of Cubs starters available tomorrow, so Chapman won’t be as necessary as he would under less exigent circumstances, but Chapman also won’t be as fresh as he would if he didn’t throw 20 pitches tonight.
Chicago will roll with Kyle Hendricks tomorrow, and one team will end their historic drought.