As for Game 6, from the start it was all Cubs. The game’s third batter, Kris Bryant, crushed a home run to left off Josh Tomlin to get the scoring started. Three batters later, Addison Russell hit a pop fly into right-center field that simply dropped between Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall, with each apparently believing the other was going to catch it. While they tried to recover, two runs scored.
Staked to a 3-0 lead, Jake Arrieta proceeded to mow through the Cleveland order, and the game got out of hand in the third inning when Tomlin loaded the bases. Indians Manager Terry Francona pulled Tomlin for Dan Otero, but on a 2-0 pitch, Russell crushed the ball an estimated 435 feet to center, increasing Chicago’s lead to 7-0 and putting the game out of reach. Russell’s six R.B.I. tied a World Series record for a single game. Anthony Rizzo got in on the action, hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning to put the game out of reach.
Arrieta, who earned his second victory of the series, went five and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs. He struck out nine and walked three. The results were not as pretty for Tomlin, who lasted just two and a third innings and was charged with six earned runs.
The Indians showed some fight, but they never truly threatened the Cubs’ lead. The one positive thing for Cleveland was Francona being able to preserve ace relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen for Game 7. If needed, that pair could eat up four or five innings.
The Series will conclude on Wednesday in Cleveland, with the starters expected to be Kyle Hendricks, who led the majors in E.R.A., and Corey Kluber, who was the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner and will be looking to become the 14th pitcher to win three games in a single World Series. The last pitcher to accomplish that feat was Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001.
David Waldstein: Chapman threw 20 pitches after a day off, so he should be fine for Game 7 tomorrow, but it will be a bit of an unknown. This game was lost in the first inning when the Cubs roughed up Tomlin and the Indians played poor defense behind him. Remember, other than Game 4, the Indians have been winning with a combination of a couple of runs, sensational pitching and good defense. We’ll see if they can get back to that.
Game 7 is a chance for both of these fan bases to have greater glory, or greater heartbreak. One curse will end.
Here’s an inning-by-inning breakdown of Game 6:
Top of 1st: A Home Run and a Collision
Josh Tomlin, who had been in a groove throughout the playoffs, got things off to a good start by getting Dexter Fowler to line out to third base for the first out of the game. He only needed one pitch to get a groundout to second from Kyle Schwarber. But then he hung a curveball to Kris Bryant and paid for it when the slugging third baseman launched it high into the stands in left field for the first run of the game.
That was only the beginning as Tomlin allowed consecutive singles to Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist that set up Addison Russell with runners on first and third and two outs. Russell hit a pop-fly to right-center but Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall both appeared to assume the other would catch it and the ball dropped between them. Rizzo scored easily and Zobrist came all the way around from first, running over Roberto Perez for Chicago’s third run. Tomlin retired Willson Contreras to end the inning, but he already has his worst start of the postseason. The most runs he had allowed in a game until this point was two in a win over the Boston Red Sox in the league division series.
David Waldstein: Corey Kluber pitching on three days rest is one thing. Josh Tomlin, apparently, is another. Two of the three runs should not have scored, but still, five of the Cubs batters made solid contact, especially Kris Bryant. The Cubs look like they are on Tomlin’s curveball, which is key because they have not been hitting the breaking stuff all series. Indians Manager Terry Francona had Mike Clevinger warming up.
Bottom of 1st: Arrieta Flexes
Staked to a 3-0 lead before he stepped on the mound, Jake Arrieta started things off by striking out Carlos Santana on just four pitches. He retired Jason Kipnis on a grounder to second base, but then walked Francisco Lindor on seven pitches. He recovered to strike out Mike Napoli to end the inning. Arrieta appeared fired up, but while the broadcast crew talked about his pitches reaching 97 m.p.h. (perhaps based on radar guns used by television stations that often get much higher readings than the ones used by scouts), M.L.B.’s Pitch F/X data had him throwing only one pitch as fast as 95, with most of his fastballs being 92 or 93.
David Waldstein: The Indians brought in 95-year-old Eddie Robinson, the last surviving member of the 1948 Indians championship team. Robinson played first base and knocked in the winning run in Game 6 of that Series. He was asked if he ever thinks about how much Bob Feller and Bob Lemon, who started Game 6, would earn if they pitched today.
“I think about Eddie Robinson and what he could have gotten,” he replied.
Top of 2nd: Tomlin Settles Down
Jason Heyward jumped on the first pitch he saw and hit a flyball to right that fell into Lonnie Chisenhall’s glove. Javier Baez hit a grounder up the middle that Jason Kipnis came across second base to field before throwing across his body to get the out at first. Dexter Fowler then hit a soft popup to Chisenehall to end the half-inning.
David Waldstein: The average velocity of balls coming off the bat against Tomlin (known as exit velocity to seamheads) was about 90 miles per hour for much of the season, but in the postseason it was down to 82 m.p.h. as Tomlin’s curveball improved. That differential looked like it was played out between the first and second innings.
Bottom of 2nd: Arrieta Cruises Through Indians’ Lineup
Jake Arrieta absolutely steamrolled the Indians in the second inning. He struck out Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall before getting Coco Crisp to ground out to third for the third out.
David Waldstein: Arrieta looks sharp, but bear in mind he was staked to a three-run lead in a division series start against the Giants, and the Cubs lost that game. There are an extraordinary number of Cubs fans here at Progressive Field, and they are in full voice early.
Top of 3rd: Russell’s Slam Quiets Cleveland
With Cleveland already having gone to its bullpen with one out in the third inning, disaster struck for the Indians in the form of a grand slam to center field by Addison Russell that opened up a 7-0 lead for the Cubs.
The problems for the Indians started right away in the inning.
After Kyle Schwarber led off with a walk, Kris Bryant hit a ball into shallow right-center and once again the Indians’ outfield was a bit of a circus. Center fielder Tyler Naquin was attempting to slide under the ball but after the disaster in the first inning, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall wasn’t taking any chances and ran in front of Naquin to make the catch. After the play, Naquin appeared to chastise second baseman Jason Kipnis, who had been charging hard into the outfield, indicating Kipnis may have disrupted the communication between the outfielders.
Anthony Rizzo singled to center on a hanging curveball, and with two on and one out, Ben Zobrist singled to left to load the bases. Terry Francona had seen enough and he pulled Josh Tomlin, replacing him with Dan Otero, who had pitched well in Game 4.
The move did not work out, as Russell absolutely crushed Otero’s third pitch, breaking the game wide open.
Otero recovered to get two quick outs to end the inning, but Tomlin finished the day with an ugly stat line of 2 1/3 innings and six earned runs.
David Waldstein: For those scoring at home, this is the first major malfunction for Francona: both pitching Tomlin on three days’ rest, and then bringing in Otero to face Russell. Before that, almost every move Francona made had worked. Maybe the altered schedule played no role in Tomlin’s performance, but he had nothing and the Cubs were squaring him up. The only silver lining for the Indians is that it looks as if this will be six-plus innings of mop-up duty. They won’t waste their good relievers in a close loss.
Bottom of 3rd: Indians’ Bats Go Silent
Jake Arrieta has not let up at all despite the huge lead. He struck out Tyler Naquin to start the inning, and then got Roberto Perez to fly out to center. Carlos Santana was retired with a soft grounder to second and the Cubs are firmly in control.
David Waldstein: Russell’s grand slam was the first in the World Series since Paul Konerko in Game 2 of the 2005 contest. And because these two teams have almost never played in the World Series in the live ball era, it was also the first ever by the Cubs in the World Series, and the first allowed by the Indians. It went a long way, too, as did Bryant’s — almost 900 feet combined. Danny Salazar on for the Indians.
Top of 4th: Indians’ Bullpen Holds On
Danny Salazar became the Indians’ third pitcher in just four innings when he came in to replace Dan Otero. He started well by striking out Javier Baez on a comically-high four-seam fastball that Baez flailed at meekly. That brought up the top of the order. Dexter Fowler worked a full-count, but struck out swinging with Salazar fooling him with an 85-mph changeup. With two outs, Kyle Schwarber continued his hitless streak since Game 2 by flying out to left.
Bottom of 4th: Another Run for Scrappy Tribe
The Indians are on the board, as World Series veteran Mike Napoli came through with a one-out single that drove in Jason Kipnis to close the gap to 7-1.
Kipnis led off the inning by getting Cleveland’s first hit of the night when he doubled off the wall in left-center. It was not just the first hit off of Jake Arrieta, but was the first time an Indians batter seemed to even make hard contact.
Arrieta recovered enough to strike out Francisco Lindor on a checked swing, but Napoli worked a full-count before driving the ball to center to bring Kipnis in.
Jose Ramirez followed Napoli will a well-struck ball to right that the three-time Gold Glove award winner Jason Heyward was able to slide in front of and catch for the second out of the inning. Arrieta finally seemed a bit rattled, and he hit Lonnie Chisenhall with an 0-1 slider. Arrieta walked Coco Crisp on four pitches to load the bases, but with the Cleveland crowd standing, he pulled things together and struck out Tyler Naquin to end the inning.
David Waldstein: Indians finally get a hit and cut the deficit to two field goals. This game could put a dent in the high ratings that the World Series has been getting to date, although I am sure the Chicagoans are all still tuned in. It is amazing how many Cubs fans are here. The roar when Arrieta got the last out made it sound as if the Cubs were the home team.
Top of 5th: Salazar Survives Heart of Cubs’ Order
It was a tall order for Danny Salazar to start the inning against the heart of Chicago’s batting order, and Kris Bryant got things started with a hard grounder to deep short that Francisco Lindor barely managed to knock down. Salazar’s first pitch to Anthony Rizzo got lost in the dirt by Roberto Perez, which sent Bryant to second. Salazar finally got some help when Jose Ramirez ran down a foul popup by Rizzo with a nice play at the wall that narrowly avoided interference from a person handling a large microphone. Buoyed by the play, Salazar struck out Ben Zobrist on four pitches. That brought up Addison Russell, whose 6 R.B.I. had already tied a single-game World Series record. Salazar caught the young shortstop looking at strike three, ending the inning.
David Waldstein: Eddie Robinson, the first baseman for the 1948 champion Indians, was shown on the big video screen at Progressive Field between innings. He wore the Chief Wahoo logo from 1948 on his cap and jacket, which was understandable because that was his team. Unfortunately, that logo was the team’s most degrading caricature of all — even more than the current one.
Bottom of 5th: Kipnis Homers
The Indians got one run closer to a comeback when Jason Kipnis slammed a two-out home run to left off of Jake Arrieta that narrowed the gap to 7-2.
Arrieta started the inning with his eighth strikeout of the game by getting a swinging strike three from Roberto Perez. Carlos Santana followed with a shallow popup to first base but Kipnis got ahead 3-0 in the count, and then on a 3-1 pitch, he crushed a sinker into the stands.
Arrieta recovered to retire Francisco Lindor on a grounder to first. His pitch count sits at 83, and he could presumably go at least a few more innings without his stuff falling off. But Joe Maddon likely will not show any patience.
David Waldstein: Kipnis has come to play. He has a double and a home run and is showing emotion, despite the circumstances. He said after Game 4 that he wants to break the hearts of all Cubs fans — and he used to be one of them — but he has a long way to go if he is going to do it in Game 6. He did not swing the bat well in the A.L.C.S., but now has 2 home runs and 3 doubles in the World Series.
Top of 6th: More Outfield Adventures for Indians
The Cubs continued their tour of the Cleveland pitching staff when Jeff Manship came in as the Indians’ fourth pitcher. Willson Contreras did not seem to like what he saw and he nearly fell down swinging at strike three for the first out of the inning. Jason Heyward got under a two-strike curveball and hit a towering fly to right that Lonnie Chisenhall caught for the second out.
Manship then tried to exploit the biggest flaw in Javier Baez’s approach by throwing a curveball out of the zone on an 0-2 count, but Baez was not fooled and laced the pitch up the middle. That one flaw was enough for Terry Francona to make yet another move, as he called to the bullpen for Zach McAllister.
On McAllister’s first pitch, he got a simple pop-fly from Dexter Fowler, and while the box score says Tyler Naquin caught it for the third out, it was yet another miscommunication, with Naquin nearly colliding with Coco Crisp. It was the third time this game that Naquin has had a communication issue.
David Waldstein: Addison Russell is the fourth player to knock in six runs in a World Series game and the first since Albert Pujols did it in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series at Texas. Russell had two R.B.I. in his previous six postseason games before Game 6 and had been 4 for 19 in the World Series. He is going to feel pretty good at the plate if there is a Game 7. Same with Kris Bryant.
Bottom of 6th: Arrieta Exits, but No Damage Done
Jake Arrieta struck out Mike Napoli to start the inning and Jose Ramirez flied to left for the second out. But with his 102nd pitch of the game, Arrieta walked Lonnie Chisenhall and Joe Maddon lost his patience and replaced him with Mike Montgomery. Arrieta’s 5 2/3 innings matched the amount he pitched in a Game 2 win, and Chicago will now likely try to finish off the Indians without having to use closer Aroldis Chapman. They might need him for a long outing in Game 7.
Montgomery needed just one pitch to end the inning as he got Brandon Guyer to ground into a fielder’s choice.
Top of 7th: Cubs Threaten Again, but Come Up Short
Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant started the inning with consecutive singles, but Zach McAllister got Anthony Rizzo to fly out to right, and Ben Zobrist to line out to left. That brought up Addison Russell, who has been the driving force of the team’s offense today, but he hit a hard grounder that Jose Ramirez was able to snag before stepping on third to end the inning.
David Waldstein: Every seat still seems to be occupied here at Progressive Field. This is the 44th World Series game in the state of Ohio (Indians and Reds). That pushes it past Massachusetts for fifth over all (Red Sox and Braves). New York has the most, by far, at 194.
Bottom of 7th: Chapman’s Inning Ends in a Limp
Two nights after Aroldis Chapman got the final eight outs of the game, the Cubs are apparently asking him to get seven, with Joe Maddon going to his closer with two on and two outs in the bottom of the 7th. It may have backfired, as he appeared to injure himself somewhat in recording what eventually became the third out of the inning.
Mike Montgomery had gotten himself into trouble after walking Roberto Perez with one out and then allowing a two-out single to Jason Kipnis. Maddon had seen enough and went to Chapman.
Francisco Lindor hit a hard grounder to first and was called safe on a close play where Chapman appeared to turn his ankle on the bag. After the trainer visited Chapman, a review of the play reversed the call and ended the inning. But Chapman’s health is a huge question mark at this point, which would be a blow to Chicago’s hopes of overcoming what had been a three-games-to-one lead in the Series.
David Waldstein: If the Indians did nothing else in this game, they succeeded in forcing the Cubs to use Chapman, who threw 42 high-pressure pitches in Game 5. I like the move by Joe Maddon because that was a big moment in the game: The Indians had two men on and could have cut significantly into the deficit. So you bring your bullpen ace in right there to squelch the potential rally. I think that should happen in the regular season, too. Chapman only threw two pitches, which is almost nothing. But you wonder if he hurt himself so badly it will wind up costing the Cubs.
Top of 8th: No Problem for Indians’ Bullpen
Mike Clevinger came in to start the eighth, thus becoming Cleveland’s sixth pitcher of the night. He walked the leadoff batter, but then got Jason Heyward to ground into a double play. With the bases clear, Clevinger needed just three pitches to strike out Javier Baez looking.
David Waldstein: Joe Maddon is not taking any chances in his quest to force a Game 7. Chapman is back on the mound. He stuck the landing on first base with his right foot in the bottom of the seventh, but as he ran out to the mound in the eighth he made a little flexing motion with his left leg, as if to shake off some discomfort there. Either way, he’s in there throwing 101 m.p.h. over the plate, so he seems okay. It will be interesting to see how this plays out tomorrow. I’m sure he will be available. The Cubs can use Lester in relief, too.
Bottom of 8th: Chapman Cruises
Aroldis Chapman stayed in the game after the scary play to end the seventh inning, and in the eighth he started things off by striking out Mike Napoli on four pitches, with the big first baseman unable to pull back a checked swing on a 100.8-mph fastball. Chapman allowed a one-out single to Jose Ramirez, and Terry Francona tried to take advantage of the baserunner by sending up Yan Gomes to pinch-hit for Lonnie Chisenhall. Gomes grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Indians now just have three outs remaining, likely against Chapman, to avoid having to come back for Game 7.
Top of 9th: Rizzo Adds to Cubs’ Lead
Anthony Rizzo likely put this game out of reach by pulling a two-out, two-run home run over the right field wall, making it 9-2.
Dexter Fowler started the inning with a groundout to second before Kyle Schwarber put a charge into a ball that ultimately fell into Rajai Davis’s glove. Kris Bryant got a two-out single for his third hit of the game and then Rizzo delivered his big blast.
David Waldstein: The first pitch for Game 7 has been moved to 8 p.m. sharp. Travis Wood and Pedro Strop are warming up for Cubs as this game is basically settled after Rizzo’s home run. That was Rizzo’s first World Series homer. It seemed like it was a matter of time because his timing was getting locked in. Bryant, too. He was working on hitting the ball the other way in batting practice as a way to let the ball get deeper before swinging, and it worked.
Bottom of 9th: Chapman Charged With a Run
Aroldis Chapman ended up being charged with an earned run, but it was after he had already been removed from the game to preserve his arm for Game 7.
Two nights after Chapman recorded an eight-out save, he was asked to potentially get seven outs in this game. But with the Cubs leading by seven runs, and Chapman having walked Brandon Guyer to start the ninth, Joe Maddon decided to pull him for Pedro Strop.
Strop got the first out of the inning on a long flyball to left from Rajai Davis. A wild pitch let Guyer advance to second base and then Roberto Perez laced a single to right that drove in the first run charged to Chapman in the World Series. Perez inexplicably tried to stretch the single into a double and was thrown out at second base for the second out of the inning.
Strop walked Carlos Santana and Maddon was out there again, removing him for Travis Wood. Santana advanced to second base without a throw, but Jason Kipnis hit a pop-fly foul that Addison Russell was able to chase down for the final out of the game.
The one run against Chapman was hardly enough, as the Indians ended up losing 9-3.
Source: New York Times