No mat­ter what, drought will end

Long-suf­fer­ing Cubs, In­di­ans both eye­ing ti­tle

Baltimore Sun - - WORLD SERIES - By An­drew Selig­man

CHICAGO — One way or an­other, there will be a cham­pi­onship cel­e­bra­tion in Cleve­land.

Still to be de­ter­mined? Whether the In­di­ans or Cubs will be pop­ping the cham­pagne.

The Cubs won a World Se­ries game at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1945 and at least de­layed the In­di­ans’ big party with a 3-2 vic­tory Sun­day night.

Aroldis Chap­man got the fi­nal eight outs in the long­est ap­pear­ance of his ca­reer, Jon Lester pitched six strong in­nings and Kris Bryant home­red as the Cubs cut the In­di­ans’ lead to 3-2.

So a World Se­ries be­tween the teams with base­ball’s long­est ti­tle droughts goes back to Cleve­land, with 2015 NL Cy Young Award win­ner Jake Ar­ri­eta set to start for the Cubs and Josh Tom­lin go­ing on short rest for the In­di­ans in Game 6 on Tues­day night.

“We’re writ­ing our own his­tory,” Cubs short­stop Ad­di­son Rus­sell said. “We’re mak­ing his­tory. Why stop?”

His team rolled through the reg­u­lar sea­son with a ma­jor league-lead­ing 103 wins, took out the play­offtested Gi­ants in the NL Divi­sion Se­ries and ral­lied to beat the Dodgers in the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries. The Cubs were so dom­i­nant at times they had their long-down­trod­den fans be­liev­ing that, af­ter decades of sup­posed curses and sin­cere heart­break, this just might be the year.

It still could be — but it would take an his­toric ef­fort. Only five teams have The In­di­ans’ Josh Tom­lin will start Tues­day’s Game 6 in Cleve­land on short rest. He threw 42⁄ in­nings in Game 3 on Fri­day. come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best- of-seven World Se­ries, most re­cently the Roy­als in 1985.

Stand­ing in the Cubs’ way is a team and a city that knows a thing or two about ti­tle droughts.

Cleve­land en­dured a 52year cham­pi­onship dry spell be­fore LeBron James brought one home with the NBA’s Cava­liers last spring. The In­di­ans last won it all in 1948, which pales in com­par­i­son to a Cubs wait that dates to 1908.

“We’re in good po­si­tion, still,” In­di­ans slug­ger Mike Napoli said. “We’re up 3-2 go­ing home. We did what we had to do here. We put our­selves in po­si­tion to try and win it in a crazy at­mos­phere. We’re happy with what we did here. We’re go­ing to get home and play in front of our fans.”

The Cubs are bank­ing on an­other big ef­fort from Ar­ri­eta and hop­ing for a bet­ter re­sult against Tom­lin.

Ar­ri­eta took a no-hit­ter into the sixth in­ning and pitched the Cubs to a 5-1 vic­tory in Game 2 at Pro- gres­sive Field. Win Tues­day and they’ll send ma­jor league ERA leader Kyle Hen­dricks to the mound in Game 7.

Of course, the In­di­ans are also feel­ing good about their chances.

Af­ter all, Tom­lin tossed 42⁄ score­less in­nings in Game 3 be­fore giv­ing way to that nasty bullpen. And if it goes to Game 7, well, the In­di­ans will have their ace in play, Corey Klu­ber.

He — like Tom­lin — would be pitch­ing on short rest, un­like Ar­ri­eta and Hen­dricks. But when it comes to beat­ing Klu­ber, the Cubs are 0-for-2 in this Se­ries.

“Yeah, we get to go over there with two rested start­ing pitch­ers,” Cubs man­ager Joe Mad­don said. “I like to be­lieve we’re go­ing to catch or gain some mo­men­tum from (Game 5) go­ing back over there. But mo­men­tum’s al­ways based on your start­ing pitcher, too. And with these guys you saw how good their bullpen was. It’s re­ally im­por­tant to grab that lead and hold on to it.” All games on Fox Game 7 if nec­es­sary


Game 1: Game 2: Game 3: Game 4: Game 5: Game 6: Game 7:

In­di­ans 6, Cubs 0 Cubs 5, In­di­ans 1 In­di­ans 1, Cubs 0 In­di­ans 7, Cubs 2 Cubs 3, In­di­ans 2 Cubs (Ar­ri­eta) at In­di­ans (Tom­lin), 8 p.m. Tues­day Cubs (Hen­dricks) at In­di­ans (Klu­ber), 8 p.m. Wed­nes­day

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