While I was drinking my coffee this morning my wife came into the kitchen and said, “Game 7 tonight. Let’s get the fire pit going, move the projector outside, roast hot dogs, and I’ll make mac and cheese.” I love that woman.
The Indians will send Corey Kluber to the mound as he attempts to become the 14th pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to win three games in one World Series. Kyle Hendricks, who struggled in his Game 4 start, will take the hill for the Cubs.
It is an impressive list, that of the three game winners in the Fall Classic. Names like Christy Mathewson (1905), Red Faber (1917), Lew Burdette (1957), Bob Gibson (1968), Randy Johnson (2001) and Madison Bumgarner (2014) stand out.
How the Chicago Cubs adjust to Kluber will likely determine whether or not they are able to win tonight. Kluber has been sensational in his two winning efforts thus far, hurling 12 innings while only surrendering 9 hits, one earned run and one walk. Kluber’s 15 strikeouts have been a big part of his success. It will be interesting to watch how Terry Francona handles the bullpen in this do-or-die situation. Andrew Miller could be up and ready to go in the 4th if Kluber finds himself in any tight jams.
Kyle Hendricks was unusually hittable in his Game 4 start. The Indians knocked Hendricks around, giving up 6 hits over 4.1 innings pitched. He will need to be much better tonight if Joe Maddon wants to give the ball to Aroldis Chapman with a lead.
As far as predicting this one, I’m just not going there. These teams have run the marathon and they are now facing a one night sprint. I look forward to watching either city celebrate what they have waited a lifetime (or two, or three) to witness. The stars will be out (literally and figuratively) in Cleveland, but these games usually have an unsung hero making a tremendous play or blunder. Check back tomorrow for analysis. Enjoy the game.
**Photo credit to Arturo Pardavila III, check him out on Flickr!**