That’s why you don’t sleep on the Cleveland Indians!
No one gave them any chance against the Red Sox. And they went right through them. Then no one gave them any shot against the Blue Jays. And they locked them up.
Then no one, anywhere, gave them any hope against the juggernaut that is the Cubs… and they knocked them the hell out last night. And they did it the same way they did when they shocked Boston and then Toronto. By jumping on them early and getting it to that dirty, I don’t care how explosive that Cubs lineup is; they’re not coming back on the Indians, bullpen to slam the door shut.
No one is. Not when you spot them a 3 run lead. The Indians are 70-1 this season when they lead by 3 or more runs. 70-1!
And now they’re just three wins from their first world championship since 1948.
Now, let’s not get this twisted. And let’s not get carried away. And don’t make the mistake of counting the Cubs out until they’re officially out. Ask the Dodgers. They found out quickly the Cubs can turn it on. But that was more than just Cleveland holding serve. More than just one game.
Again, teams that win Game 1 go on to win the World Series 64% of the time. Teams that win Game 1 have won it 12 of the last 13 years. So that’s a huge game for the Indians.
Lose that one, with their ace on the mound and that series might already be over. But have your ace, Kluber, go out and straight dominate and humiliate the best lineup in baseball, and do so without wasting energy and now you’re looking at him possibly starting three times in this series. And then you have 130 year-old Cub fans cardiac’ing in their living rooms, because they might not see the world title they’ve waited their whole lives for and already banked on after they beat the Dodgers.
Look, the Cubs are still the better team on paper: better rotation, better offense, and a better defense. But the Indians have the best starter in the series, and sometimes that’s all you need, i.e. the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner. And Terry Francona is going to ride that horse, hope they get that early lead and get it to that nasty bullpen he has.
The Cubs didn’t stand a chance against Kluber and if they don’t figure him out quickly, middle aged dudes will once against be crying in the streets. But not because their lives are now complete, but because they’re now ruined.