So the Cubs escaped with one win during their World Series home stand on the back of a great effort by Aroldis Chapman. Yes, it was only ‘great’, not heroic or Herculean. He’s a Major League pitcher, and fatigue is usually not an issue for these guys even if they are relievers. He throws 103 MPH, so I would expect him to shut down a lineup as long as he doesn’t have to go through the order twice. But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for the reasons the Cubs could win the World Series.
That is a word I would use to describe Josh Tomlin in most scenarios. He’s a fifth starter who likely wouldn’t be starting Game 6 on any other World Series team. The Indians have the luxury of a great bullpen, so he only needs to go four innings and then get the hell off the mound. Trust me, Francona will be way more relieved in this game when he has a reason to take Tomlin out. He gave up 36 home runs this year, behind only Jared Weaver and the newest bad money player for the White Sox, James Shields. The Cubs have a tendency to hit dingers, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they jump on Tomlin early.
The Great Schwarbino
Make no mistake, there isn’t one Indians fan who wanted this series to come back to Cleveland. A big reason for that is the possibility of Schwarbombs dramatically increases when he’s actually playing. Because the National League is stupid, Schwarber hasn’t played since Game 3. Needless to say, he probably has a lot of built up caveman power ready to unleash to send titanic blasts into space. Yes, the home field atmosphere is electric at Wrigley, but the Cubs lineup is clearly better in an American League park.
Third Times the Charm
If they make it to Game 7, it will be the third time they see Kluber in one week. No matter how good a pitcher is, the more consistently you see a guy the more you can pick up on tendencies. I’m not saying Kluber doesn’t shut down the Cubs again and run away with the MVP, but Game 7 will require a ridiculous effort on his part to shut down the best lineup in the National League again. Guys like Bryant and Rizzo make their hay by adjusting to the pitcher in order to have quality at-bats, and the more times you see the same pitcher the more adjustments you can make.
And remember, when it comes down to it the Cubs’ roster is better than the Indians from top to bottom. This wouldn’t be the most improbable comeback ever.