After taking the early lead, the Cleveland Indians are now tied with the Chicago Cubs in the World Series at one a piece.
The Cleveland Indians looked like an unstoppable force thanks to ace Corey Kluber in game one. Supplanted by six runs, Cleveland had plenty of offensive production and took the opening lead in the World Series.
Game 2 however was a different story. The Indians were unable to get momentum on their side and for most the game was unable to even get on base! So, what stood out in tonight’s game? Here are three instant analysis takeaways from Game 2.
Chicago Reminded The Baseball World Their Pitching Is Also Very Good
As mention, the Indians were unable to do anything offensively. Kluber was dominate in Game 1 for Cleveland, but the Tribe was on the other end of the stick tonight.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta went 5 2/3 innings tonight, while giving up two hits and finishing with six strikeouts. The thing with Arrieta’s box score though is that he had a no-hit bid for 5 1/3 innings of it! Had Arrieta ended up with a no-hitter, it would have added to his list of such accomplishments.
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Even though Arrieta did not start in Game 1 versus Cleveland, he is an ace pitcher. By the time he was replaced in the game, it seemed that the damage was done and tonight simply wasn’t Cleveland’s night.
Like with Kluber yesterday followed by relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, Chicago ultimately finished with their own key reliever: Aroldis Chapman. The longer this series goes, the more likely Arrieta could be involved in more than just his scheduled starts.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon is known as the “Mad Scientist” after all, and when push comes to shove, he will be using his best pitchers.
Cleveland Needs To Have A Plan When Pitching Against Kyle Schwarber
The last two games Chicago DH Kyle Schwarber has played is his first MLB action since April. Yet, his play does not show that. Schwarber has already made an impact on this series and is going to remain a key gong forward.
Tonight, Schwarber went 2/4 with a run, an RBI, and a walk. Combining that with his 1/3 with a walk box score yesterday too is impressive, given how long the absence was. Schwarber has a ton of power and is just the kind of talented player that Cleveland cannot just assume will be an out.
At the trade deadline, the New York Yankees wanted him for Miller. Luckily, Chicago balked and Cleveland ultimately acquired him. Now, the Tribe needs to continue to dominate and do what they can do to reduced Schwarber’s impact; Regardless of whether Miller is the pitcher or not.
Yes, Chicago has other great players, but Cleveland has not let them do damage on the scoreboard. If Schwarber continues to excel at the dish, the Indian may have to evaluate all options. Understandably, Cleveland cannot strikeout everyone.
Adjustments With The Pitching Staff?
There was some uncertainty, possibly doubt by some fans with tonight starter Trevor Bauer pitching. Between his injured finger and the ability to heal from the injury could have come into play tonight.
Starting him Friday night may have been the better option, but I understand why he was still the second pitcher to pitch in a series. Luckily, his finger was not an issue tonight, but Bauer still struggled. He went 3 2/3 innings giving up two earned runs and six hits.
Pushing back his start might not have been the answer, but something was definitely off tonight. On the bright side, we saw Danny Salazar as a reliever tonight going one inning and gave up no hits. It appears that he is back, but I am sure manager Terry Francona will still bring him back slowly.
The good news with his availability now is that Cleveland has another option. I don’t expect Salazar to start any games, but we could see him instead of others going forward, as well as more frequently. With Salazar being able to be called upon now, more doors are opened, which increases the optimism in the Indians as they look to take over the 1-1 series tie.