Friday, October 28, 2016

World Series: Game Two

We covered this game in detail in the comments.  It was the sixth consecutive game for the Cubs that wasn't very close.  But it leaves the Series tied at one game apiece.  Now we play best three out of five.

Cleveland 1 - 5 Chicago

Cleveland and Chicago are tied 1-1


  1. In the top of the fourth, the Indians have singles from Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. Runners on first and second with one out. Kyle Hendricks, the starter, pitching for the Cubs.

  2. But Lonnie Chisenhall grounds into a force out, and Roberto Perez strikes out after an eight-pitch at bat.

    After 3 1/2 innings, the score is still 0-0.

  3. No score after four. Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.4 E.R.A.) has been dominant so far for Cleveland -- he's allowed only one hit in four innings.

  4. Tyler Naquin, the Tribe's number-eight hitter, cues a line drive single into left to lead off the fifth. That's Cleveland's sixth hit of the game.

  5. Pitcher Tomlin lays down a very good bunt, and Naquin moves to second. That's some high-level baseball there.

  6. Carlos Santana walks, and the Tribe have runners on first and second.

  7. Hendricks hits Jason Kipnis to load the bases with one out. That's all for Hendricks. The Cubs bring in Justin Grimm (2-1, 4.1 E.R.A.) to face Francisco Lindor, who is 2 for 2 tonight.

  8. On Grimm's sixth pitch, Lindor grounds into a 4-6-3 double play, and the Cubs have escaped! After 4 1/2, the game is still scoreless.

  9. Jorge Soler leads off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center, and moves to second on a ground out by Javier Baez. Then Addison Russell grounds out to third, leaving Soler at second. At this point, for reasons that I don't understand, Cleveland's manager decides that Josh Tomlin -- who has given up only two hits and thrown only 58 pitches -- has done enough. He is replacing Tomlin with Andrew Miller (10-1, 1.45 E.R.A. in 70 games with Cleveland and the Yankees).

  10. The Cubs counter with Miguel Montero, who will pinch hit for Grimm.

    Miller v. Montero:

    Pitch 1: Swinging strike (0-1)
    Pitch 2: Ball (1-1)
    Pitch 3: Strike (1-2)
    Pitch 4: Montero flies out to right, and the inning is over.

    After 5, we are still scoreless.

  11. Since the Cubs pinch hit for Grimm, they are bringing in Carl Edwards, Jr. (0-1, 3.75 E.R.A.) to pitch the 6th.

  12. Edwards mows down the Tribe, 1-2-3, and we're on to the bottom of the 6th.

  13. And here is where baseball's goofy post-season does pay off for those of us obsessive enough to sit through all these games. There is something very dramatic about these huge games being played in the middle of night, in the cold, before desperate, roaring crowds. Baseball is, of course, the Summer Game, and we are used to seeing it as a pastoral, and even peaceful, pastime. But baseball's roots are urban and commercial, and there is something wonderful about watching these millionaires desperately trying to play this very difficult game in the cold and the dark.

  14. On FOX, they show a big crowd sitting in Cleveland's stadium, watching the game on the big screen TV. And they show hundreds of people wearing Cubs gear and standing in the streets around Wrigley Field, hoping that a ball will come sailing their way.

    All the folks who just enjoy baseball for the pop corn and the sunshine are long gone now. From here to the end, it's just us obsessives. And I have to say, there is something special about that.

  15. Andrew Miller, who has been lights-out in the playoffs for Cleveland, STRIKES OUT THE SIDE in the bottom of the sixth.

    After six, we are still scoreless. The team that scores first will probably win.

  16. Miller struck out the top of the Cubs' order. That was impressive.

  17. Old-school NBC scoreboard:

    Top of the 7th:
    Cleveland 0 6 0
    Chicago 0 2 0

  18. Roberto Perez leads off the top of the 7th with a single. The Indians send in Michael Martinez to run for Perez.

  19. Naquin sacrifices Martinez to second. That brings up Rajai Davis, who entered the game as a defensive substitute when Miller replaced Tomlin.

    Edwards v. Davis:

    Pitch 1: Ball (1-0)
    Visit to the pitchers' mound by the pitching coach
    Pitch 2: Ball (2-0) (crowd didn't like that call)
    Pitch 3: Called strike (2-1)
    Pitch 4: Ball (3-1), wild pitch, MARTINEZ TO THIRD
    Cubs bring the infield in
    Pitch 5: Ball, Davis walks -- then the catcher guns the ball to third, but it appears that Martinez got back in time.

    That was a neat play by the Cubs. After the wild pitch, they decided to walk Davis -- but they used the pitch to see if they could get Martinez at third.

  20. And now Coco Crisp bats for Miller and LOFTS A SINGLE INTO RIGHT. Martinez scores, but Soler throws out Davis, who was trying to reach third.

    Cleveland 1, Chicago 0.

    And then the Cubs bring in Mike Montgomery, who gets Kipnis to ground out on a very close play.

    After 6 1/2, the Tribe leads 1-0.

  21. Since the Indians pinch-hit for Miller, they bring in Bryan Shaw (2-5, 3.24 E.R.A.) to pitch the seventh.

  22. Shaw retires Zobrist and Contreras with no problem, but Soler lofts a deep fly to right that is MISJUDGED by Chisenhall. Soler ends up with a two-out TRIPLE.

    Jason Heyard comes in to pinch run for Soler.

    Now it's up to Javier Baez:

    Shaw v. Baez:

    Pitch 1: Ball (1-0)
    Pitch 2: Ball (2-0)
    Pitch 3: Baez grounds out to short. Inning over.

    After 7: Cleveland 1, Chicago 0

    1. Tribe with a 76 percent chance of victory.

  23. Montgomery retires Lindor to lead off the top of the 8th, and is then replaced by Pedro Strop (2-2, 2.84 E.R.A.) Strop retires the next two batters to end the inning.

  24. Shaw retires Addison Russell and pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber, but Dexter Fowler singles to left. That's all for Shaw. The Tribe will bring in Cody Allen (3-5, 2.51 E.R.A., 32 saves), their closer, to face Kris Bryant.

  25. Allen v. Bryant:

    Pitch 1: Called strike (0-1)
    Pitch 2: Swinging strike (0-2)
    Pitch 3: Foul (0-2)
    Pitch 4: Swinging strike. Bryant is out, and so are the Cubs.

  26. Tribe now has an 84 percent chance of victory.

    The Cubs bring in Aroldis Chapman to pitch the ninth.

  27. Chapman retires the Tribe in order. Allen will face Rizzo, Zobrist, and Contreras -- the Cubs' 3, 4, and 5 hitters -- in the bottom of the 9th.

  28. Rizzo leads off the bottom of the 9th with an opposite field single to left. The Cubs send in Chris Coghlan to run for Rizzo.

  29. Zobrist strikes out. One down.

    On FOX, they just had a great shot of huge crowds of people standing all around Wrigley Field, as though it were some giant Mother-Ship.

  30. Contreras grounds out to third, with Coghlan moving to second.

    Now the Cubs are down to their last out, but their last out is Jason Heyward. Heyward doesn't start any more, because he is in a massive slump. But he pinch ran for Soler, and now the Cubs are stuck with him.

  31. Heyward is 2 for 30 in the post-season, and he appears to be overmatched. But he hits a bad-hop grounder that leads to an ERROR by first baseman Mike Napoli! Coghlan moves to third. The Cubs are still alive!

  32. And now it's up to Javier Baez, who is not in a slump. It's impossible to overstate the importance of this at-bat. This is your ball game.

    Allen v. Baez:
    Pitch 1: Foul (0-1)
    Pitch 2: Ball (1-1) (Heyward steals second with no throw, so a single could win the game)
    Pitch 3: Ball (2-1)
    Pitch 4: Swinging strike (2-2) (That was a ball)
    Pitch 5: He struck him out! Cleveland WINS Game Three, by the score of 1 to 0.

  33. Baez struck out on two pitches outside the strike zone. Great pitching by Allen. That's why he's the closer.

    That's two shutouts in three games by Indians' pitching. What a pitching staff.

  34. All of the baseball players seem better to me than when I was a boy.