The Game: Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians, World Series Game 6
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland
The Channel: FOX
The Starters: Jake Arrieta (Cubs) vs. Josh Tomlin (Indians)
The cliche in baseball is that you have to take things one game at a time. The reason for that is to keep one focused on the task at hand and to not get too far ahead of oneself. In this instance it’s probably good for helping the Cubs maintain their sanity too as, if they reach a Game 7, they have to face Corey Kluber which has not been fun for them thus far. While Josh Tomlin gave them nothing to work with in Game 3, he lasted fewer than five innings and has not historically been the type to string together a bunch of dominant starts. His nice outing last week notwithstanding, he’s the number 3 guy in this rotation for a reason and the Cubs have to have viewed him as a guy they can get to before the series started.
Chicago counters with Jake Arrieta, who won Game 2 last Wednesday, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning while throwing only 98 pitches. Tomlin, who pitched on Friday, is coming in on short rest. Arrieta, is on an extra rest, having enjoyed five full days off since his last start. You have to think that the Cubs have the advantage when it comes to starters in this game. That said, it’s a potential clincher for the Indians, so if they get a lead, expect Terry Francona to go to Andrew Miller as early as we’ve seen him do so and to ride him hard as he has been ridden all postseason.
In Chicago’s favor is the fact that the move back to the American League park gives the Cubs Kyle Schwarber in the lineup. In the Indians favor: home cookin’, home cheering and the knowledge that there will be champagne on the premises, waiting for them to uncork if they take care of business tonight.
The last time a team came back from being down 3-1 was in 1985, when the Royals did it. The last time a team came back from being down 3-1 to win it while having to win Games 6 and 7 on the road was 1979 when the Pirates did it. Now the Cubs, the consensus best team in baseball all season, has to do it.