MLB World Series Game 7
Cubs vs Indians (3-3)
A longstanding drought will end for either the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night while the other team will be flooded with heartbreak. The visiting Cubs forced a decisive World Series Game 7 with Tuesday’s 9-3 victory. They are aiming to win their first pennant since 1908 while the Indians are trying to break a rut that dates back to 1948 (Enter Contest).
Chicago recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the last two games but has yet to solve Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, who is looking to become the first starting pitcher since Detroit’s Mickey Lolich in 1968 to record three victories in a single World Series. Chicago shortstop Addison Russell (age 22) is coming off his own sterling performance as he became the second youngest player to hit a grand slam (behind New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle) and matched the Series record of six RBIs. He joins Yankees Bobby Richardson (1960), Hideki Matsui (2009) and former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols (2011) among that select group of 6 RBIs in a World Series.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant went 4-for-5 in Game 6 and homered for the second straight game while first baseman Anthony Rizzo also had a homer among three hits. Kyle Schwarber is batting .333 for the Cubs in the World Series despite missing the previous six-plus months due to knee surgery. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who grew up in the Chicago area, had three hits and a homer in two of the past three games.
Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 1.31 ERA) vs. Indians RH Corey Kluber (4-1, 0.89)
Hendricks, who won 16 regular-season games, took a no-decision in Game 3 of the World Series when he allowed six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 scoreless innings. The 26-year-old is ecstatic to have the opportunity to help the Cubs end their 108-year title drought.
Kluber has struck out 15 in 12 innings during the World Series while allowing just one run in his two victories. He has repeatedly had his best stuff during the postseason despite regularly pitching on short rest and manager Terry Francona has been impressed that the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner has remained sharp.
The one-sided affair in Game 6 allows the Indians to have stellar left-hander Andrew Miller (0.53 ERA, 29 strikeouts in 17 postseason innings in 2016) and right-handed closer Cody Allen (22 strikeouts in 11 2/3 scoreless innings in 2016) rested for Game 7 while Cubs left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman pitched 1 1/3 innings on Tuesday despite the margin.