The overwhelming favorites, the Chicago Cubs, now find themselves just a game away from elimination, having scored a total of one run in two games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs bats have gone ice cold, which gives credence to those that argue that home run hitters can go through slumps, while hitters that slap at the ball and rely on speed and defense don’t take a game off.
Tonight it will be Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA) on short rest against Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA). Expect a short leash for Bauer and no pickoff attempts from Lester. It seems like everything Terry Francona touches turns to gold this post-season. He’s a terrific manager - probably the best in baseball, and it will be interesting to see if his bullpen usage is copied by other skippers now that he’s taken Corey Kluber and a rag tag rotation and gotten them to the verge of a championship. Meanwhile, remember when we all though Joe Maddon was a great manager?
Cleveland could be America’s sports championship city tonight. What a time to be alive!
Sept. 17: Remember the date because that's when Indians' postseason dreams ended before they began. https://t.co/4fNAMyn1oi— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) September 18, 2016
Here are the lineups.