Cubs vs. Indians Game 7. Somehow, someway, you knew it would come down to this. It seems fitting in so many ways that the two franchises that haven’t won a championship in nearly a combined 200 years will decide the 2016 World Series champion tonight in a winner take all Game 7 from Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The television networks were dreaming of a Cubs vs. Indians Game 7 right from the get-go, and they are getting their wish!
According to a USA Today report, the Cubs wasted no time last night as they jumped all over Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin for six runs in just 2 and 1/3 innings. To be fair to Tomlin, he was the victim of his own outfield in the first inning. Trailing 1-0, Tomlin should have been out of the inning when Cubs shortstop Addison Russell lifted a fly ball to right-center field that was misplayed by Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall, leading to two runs for the Cubs.
Russell’s fly ball blunder by the Tribe was crucial to this game. However, his next at-bat two innings later sealed Cleveland’s fate in Game 6 when he crushed a grand slam off of relief pitcher Dan Otero. You could feel the air leave the stadium as Russell rounded the bases as the once ruckus sold out crowd fell silent.
In the end, Cleveland has some opportunities to get back into the game, but the Cubs came away with the 9-3 win.
The good news for Cleveland fans is that with a win tonight, no one will remember what took place yesterday. The bad news is if the Cubs win Game 7, Cleveland will be remembered for being one of the select few teams who blew a 3-1 lead in the World Series. The last team to hold that honor was the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals who watched their 3-1 series lead evaporate as they lost the final three games to the Kansas City Royals.
So who has the momentum headed into Game 7? Neither team.
While it is cliché, the winner of tonight’s game will be the team that makes the least amount of mistakes. The most important thing for both teams is to get off to a good start. Sure, cliché, but it’s true.
When Cleveland misplayed the fly ball with two outs in the first inning that scored two runs, you could just read the body language from both teams.
The Cubs were cheering like never before, hanging out of the dugout and high-fiving each other like their lives depended on it, while the Indians were staring into space, pointing fingers at each other and asking themselves what in the world just happened? The missed fly ball opportunity was very early in the contest, yet you could tell by the expressions on so many of the Indians’ faces that Game 6 was slipping away quickly.
The good news for Cleveland is they are playing at home, and Corey Kluber will be on the mound. Kluber has compiled a 4-1 postseason record with an ERA of 0.89. He also has already beaten Chicago twice in this series.
The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks who has been outstanding this season. Hendricks shined in the Game 6 clincher of the NLCS against the Dodgers, out dueling Clayton Kershaw and helping the Cubs advance to the World Series. Now, can Hendricks win another big game and crown the Cubbies as world champions?
Hendricks and the Cubs may have lady luck on their side tonight — that is if you like to believe in crazy stats. This statistic is very ominous.
The last time the NFL had two ties in the same season was in 1997. That is the same year the Cleveland Indians made it to the World Series, losing in Game 7 to the Florida Marlins. What’s the significance?
The NFL has had two games finish in ties this year, and the Tribe are back in the World Series and headed to Game 7 tonight. How eerie is that? One tie in the NFL is rare nowadays, let alone two, and for it to happen 19 years later with the Tribe going for a clinching win once again? The odds of things lining up this way in the future between the two sports are astronomical.
Unlike 1997, the Indians will be playing at home tonight.
Las Vegas odds makers have Chicago listed as the favorite in tonight’s winner take all matchup at -140. The over/under run total has been set at 6.5.
Tonight’s Cubs vs. Indians Game 7 is scheduled to get underway just after 8 p.m. ET and will air live on FOX. Fans could also watch the action streaming live on their PC, cell phones, tablets or other devices through the FOX Sports Go app and MLB.TV.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]