Cubs edge In­di­ans to ex­tend World Series dream

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

With dreams of their first World Series crown since 1908 on the brink of end­ing, the Chicago Cubs avoided elim­i­na­tion Sun­day with a 3-2 vic­tory over the Cleve­land In­di­ans.

Chicago’s Kris Bryant home­red to spark a three-run out­burst in the fourth in­ning and Cuban clos­ing re­lief ace Aroldis Chap­man pitched a ca­reer-high 2 2/3 in­nings to ob­tain the fi­nal outs as the Cubs pulled within 3-2 in Ma­jor League Base­ball’s best-of-seven cham­pi­onship series.

“It didn’t feel like an elim­i­na­tion game,” Bryant said. “We had a big in­ning and Chap­man com­ing in for eight outs, that was big.”

The show­down con­tin­ues to­day in Cleve­land, where a sev­enth game would be played Wed­nes­day if needed.

The Cubs, in their first World Series since 1945, are try­ing to snap Amer­ica’s long­est sports ti­tle drought while the In­di­ans own base­ball’s sec­ond-long­est fu­til­ity streak, last tak­ing the tro­phy in 1948.

Of 46 teams that trailed 3-1 in the World Series, only six have ral­lied to win the ti­tle, the most re­cent be­ing the 1985 Kansas City Roy­als. And the Cubs have never won any play­off series af­ter trail­ing 3-1. CHAP­MAN EF­FORT ‘IM­PRES­SIVE’

Chap­man, ob­tained last July in a trade with the New York Yan­kees, struck out four while al­low­ing only one hit, an in­field sin­gle.

“Chappy came in and did some­thing he has never done be­fore,” Cubs man­ager Joe Mad­don said. “When you have a guy that can pitch that many sig­nif­i­cant outs in the lat­ter part of the game, it’s pretty cool.”

The In­di­ans had the ty­ing run in scor­ing po­si­tion in the sev­enth and eighth in­nings but Chap­man ended the threat both times and re­tired the last three bat­ters in or­der in the ninth, strik­ing out Jose Ramirez for the fi­nal out.

“Joe talked to me this af­ter­noon be­fore the game,” Chap­man said. “He asked if I could be ready pos­si­bly to come into the sev­enth in­ning and I told him, ‘I’m ready. I’m ready to go.’ And what­ever he needs me to do or how long he needs me to pitch for, I’m ready for it.”

In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona was im­pressed by what he saw from Chap­man, known for his 100-mph fast­balls. “Chap­man, that was a big ask and he answered. That was im­pres­sive,” Fran­cona said. “Some­times you’ve got to re­spect what the other team can do, too. Some­times they just beat you.”

Chicago’s Jake Ar­ri­eta, an 18-game win­ner, will take the mound against Cleve­land’s Josh Tom­lin in a matchup of right-handed pitch­ers on Tues­day.

“He’s a bull out there,” Bryant said of Ar­ri­eta, the reign­ing Cy Young Award win­ner as top pitcher. “Hope­fully he can win out there and then any­thing can hap­pen in a game seven.”

Ten­sion grows as in­nings go -

The Cubs, who led the ma­jor leagues with 103 wins this sea­son, saw the white flag with blue W sym­bolic of vic­tory raised over 102-year-old Wrigley Field for the first time since 1945.

Ramirez smashed a two-out solo homer off Cubs left­hander Jon Lester, a two-time World Series cham­pion who took the vic­tory, for a 1-0 In­di­ans lead in the sec­ond in­ning.

The Cubs, who had gone 25 in­nings with­out scor­ing, equal­ized in the fourth in­ning when Bryant, who was bat­ting 1-for-15 in the Series, smacked a solo homer over the right­field wall off In­di­ans starter and loser Trevor Bauer.

An­thony Rizzo then dou­bled to right, took third base on Ben Zo­brist’s sin­gle and scored on Ad­di­son Rus­sell’s in­field sin­gle.

“High anx­i­ety. Ev­ery pitch gets big­ger and big­ger,” Rizzo said. “It gets more in­tense as the game goes on.”

Javier Baez, who had been 1-for-14 in the Series with run­ners on base, tapped an­other in­field sin­gle down the third-base line to load the bases and David Ross, 0for-7 with run­ners on base in the play­offs, fol­lowed with a sac­ri­fice fly to score Zo­brist.

The In­di­ans pulled within the fi­nal mar­gin in the sixth in­ning when Ra­jai Davis sin­gled, stole sec­ond base, took third on an er­ror and scored on Fran­cisco Lin­dor’s sin­gle.

Davis be­came, at 36, the old­est player to ever steal three bases in a World Series game. The game’s seven to­tal stolen bases matched a World Series record set in 1907. — AFP

CHICAGO: An­thony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs hits a dou­ble in the fourth in­ning against the Cleve­land In­di­ans in Game Five of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field on Sun­day in Chicago, Illi­nois. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.