Chicago Cubs look to even series up with Cleveland Indians

Game 3 did not go the Chicago Cubs’ way, as they lost 1-0 to the Cleveland Indians, who now hold a 2-1 series lead.  This is the second time in the series that the Cubs have been shut out.

The Chicago Cubs simply couldn’t get anything going with the bats in Game 3.  To give credit where credit is due, Josh Tomlin was spectacular, and the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen closed things down when he exited.

Hendricks was fairly sharp, striking out six in just over four innings of work without giving up a run.  The Cubs’ bullpen then combined to go 4-2/3 innings, giving up only one run.  Chicago easily pitched well enough to win, but fell short.  That’s baseball.  Chicago has been in this position before, and they know how to respond.

Taking the mound

Starting for the Chicago Cubs will be John Lackey.  In his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lackey went four innings and gave up two runs.  The key for Lackey will be to keep the ball in the yard.  If he can manage to do that, the Cubs should be set up nicely to even the series back up.

Pitching for the Indians will once again be Corey Kluber.  Kluber was absolutely lights out in Game 1.  Cubs’ hitters could hardly make contact on him in the World Series opener.  Kluber is 3-1 with a 0.74 ERA throughout this postseason.  This time around could be different for the Cubs, though.  Kluber will be pitching on somewhat short rest.  Beyond that, the Cubs at least have some idea of what to expect from Kluber.  They’ve seen him now, so they should be more prepared for what’s to come.

Whether it’s laying off certain pitches or taking hacks when the opportunity shows up, the Cubs should look better at the plate tonight.

Defense

Making his first World Series start will be Jason Heyward.  One has to believe that this move is mostly about defense.  Lackey tends to give up a lot of deep fly balls, so the Cubs want to have their best defensive outfielder out there.  Every year someone unexpected steps up and contributes in the Fall Classic.  Maybe Heyward becomes that guy tonight?

For the Indians, Mike Napoli will sit for the first time this series.  Taking his spot at first base will be Carlos Santana, who played left field the previous night.  Making his first start of the World Series for the Indians will be the 36-year-old veteran Rajai Davis in left field.

Television and lineups

The Chicago Cubs are not panicking.  Remember when they trailed the Dodgers 2-1 in the NLCS?  The odds seemed stacked against the Cubs then, but they didn’t let it phase them, and they came back to win the series.  There’s no reason they can’t do that again against the Indians.

The game will once again be broadcast nationally on FOX.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 PM CT.  Here are the full lineups for both teams: