The Giants ran away with Game 1, but pitching is the name of the game tonight.
Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister have matched zeros so far as Game 2 remains scoreless through five innings.
Bumgarner, who struggled over his first two starts this postseason, has allowed just two hits while striking out six and walking none. He has also hit a batter. The southpaw has received some help from his defense and also from Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, who made the ill-advised decision to give Prince Fielder the green light on a double by Delmon Young with nobody out in the second inning. Fielder was thrown out at the plate thanks to an excellent tag by Buster Posey.
Fister, meanwhile, has allowed just two hits while striking out three and walking one. He got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the second inning, which included a scary moment when he was hit in the head by a line drive, but he managed to stay in the game and wiggle out of the jam. He has retired the last 10 batters he has faced.
The story of the Indians postseason cannot be told without talking about injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They have forced Terry Francona to lean even harder on his bullpen than he otherwise may have and have cause the Indians to press rookie Ryan Merritt into service.
But Cleveland will be getting at least one of their starters back: Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway that Danny Salazar will be part of the World Series roster.
Salazar has not pitched since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle, but according to Callaway, Salazar is ready to throw 65-70 pitches in a game. That could mean a start, probably in Game 4 after Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Merritt was a possible Game 4 starter, but he could either pair up with Salazar in a tandem start or serve in long relief.
Cubs’ left fielder Kyle Schwarber missed virtually the entire 2016 season due to torn knee ligaments, but he has been working his way back to health more quickly than initially expected. Indeed, he has been playing for the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League, serving as a DH. Many have speculated that the Cubs will activate him for the World Series.
Today, at his World Series media session, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that reports from Arizona are good on Schwarber and that the he will fly to Cleveland to join the team after tonight’s game in Arizona. Maddon says the team will make a decision on activating him once he arrives. The Cubs have until tomorrow morning to set their World Series roster.
Our guess is that Schwarber will get the call and will serve as the DH for the Cubs in Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7 in Cleveland. If so, a lost season could very quickly turn into a storybook season for the Cubs’ young slugger.