While Jake Arrieta was dominating Cleveland’s bats after the first inning, Trevor Bauer was pitching like a guy who’d mangled his pinky with a drone a few weeks ago. Because he was a guy who mangled his pinky with a drone a few weeks back.
He was in trouble from the start, struggling to locate his pitches and weaving in and out of danger before Terry Francona went to get him with 2 outs in the fourth.
This could’ve been a nasty matchup for Chicago, that is if Bauer didn’t thrash his finger in a rotating blade. Cubs hitters have a hard time hitting curveballs, but Bauer was having a hard time locating his curveball.
And if you’re Cleveland, I’m not sure what’s more concerning – the fact that you had to go to your bullpen so early or the fact that they didn’t throw like your bullpen. Francona’s relievers have been his strength all postseason and for the first time, they let him down.
Zach McAllister got out of the fourth when he replaced Bauer and got the first out of the fifth, but then walked Anthony Rizzo and gave up an RBI triple to Ben Zobrist and got pulled. Then Bryan Shaw came in and gave up an RBI single to Kyle Schwarber on a 1-2 pitch. Schwarber went to second a wild pitch, Wilson Contreras got to first on an error. And then the wheels really fell off. A walk to load the bases. And then Shaw walked in a run. Suddenly, 2-0 Cubs was 5-0 Cubs…BALLGAME. THANKS FOR COMING.
And the other major problem is the fact that as good as Kluber was in Game 1, they’re gonna need Josh Tomlin to be that good in Game 3. Because they can’t count on Kluber to win every game he starts, and even if he does, which would be amazing, they still need another starter to come up big. The Cubs just keep rolling up there with that stacked lineup and were more patient in game 2 than they were in game 1. How many times were they behind in a count and managed to eek out at walk or a hit?
I hate to say it C-Town, and it’s only one game, but it’s looking pretty bleak right now. But this is what happens when you lose your number 2 and 3 starters in September, which is what Cleveland did. Francona managed to cover that up with spit, duct tape, and a nasty bullpen against Boston and Toronto. And they finally came undone last night.
The fact that they’re in the World Series is amazing. But winning it feels almost impossible. If anyone can pull this off, it’s Tito. I’m just not sure anyone can at this point.
Granted, the Cubs have disappeared a few times this postseason, but now they’re back and this time it looks like they’re here to stay.