Dec. 22, 2016
Game Two Preview: Fall Classic
The story of "Dronegate", as Chris Rose of Intentional Talk on MLB Network put it, will continue to unfold Wednesday night in Cleveland. Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer will toe the rubber opposite of the Chicago Cubs 2015 Cy Young Award Winner Jake Arrieta in Game Two of the World Series. Bauer injured his finger when trying to fix a drone, as he claims he is an avid fan of flying drones. In his last start, he left the field as his hand, jersey, pants, and even the pitchers mound had blood that came from the opening of the wound he sustained in the incident. However, it seems as if the wound has healed and we can play ball... without blood.
The Indians started things off in a good way on Tuesday night in the opener. The Tribe went up early on the Cubs and didn't look back. Of course they didn't have to look back thanks to their starter, Corey Kluber, who tossed six scoreless innings, while striking out nine and giving up just four hits.
Indians catcher Roberto Perez capped a great night off with a three run homer off of Cubs reliever Hector Rondon that put the Tribe ahead 6-0, which would ultimately be the final score. Perez hit a solo homer off of Cubs starter Jon Lester earlier in the game to extend their lead to 3-0.
Andrew Miller pitched two stellar innings, which comes as no surprise. Miller did, however, pitch through a bases loaded jam and battle through some adversity in his appearance. Regardless, he was able to get the job done by going two innings and giving up zero runs. Cody Allen then sealed the deal in the ninth for the Indians as they took game one.
Game two's biggest X-Factor is Jake Arrieta. The Cubs have a far better chance to stay in this series going back to Wrigley Field tied at a game apiece instead of being in an 0-2 hole. That puts all the pressure on Chicago and allows Cleveland to play far more loose. Arrieta is the X-Factor for a couple reasons. One, he's Jake Arrieta and he is a former Cy Young Award Winner. That helps this time of the year. But it is not about what he once did but rather how he's doing now. Lately Arrieta has not been himself. If he continues to pitch the way he did down the stretch in September as well as his outing in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, the Cubs are in dangerous jeopardy of going down 0-2.
The weather will be another factor in this one, as the forecast in Cleveland is calling for rain. That's the reason this game was moved up from 8:00 PM Eastern to 7:00 PM. This could leave Major League Baseball with an interesting decision to make if the conditions become too bad to bare for the players. The forecast in Cleveland also calls for rain tomorrow so it may not be easy getting this one in.
Terry Francona's experience definitely helps an Indians team, who are heavy underdogs, be able to perform at such a high level. Many baseball writers consider the Cubs to have the best roster in the league. However, the championship experience Francona brings to the table has helped the Indians role of playing spoiler all postseason. And in an impressive fashion I might add. The Indians have lost one game all postseason and remained undefeated at home with last night's win. The headline from this one will either read "Cubs bounce back in Game Two" or "Tribe go to Wrigley up 2-0". That depends on which Cubs team shows up and how dominant the Indians pitching can be.