Well, this is it, folks. Not only is it GAME SEVEN, it’s also the last day of baseball in 2016. We’ve had a fun run, so what better way to end the season than with Felix Hernandez’s Cy Young-stealer on the mound, Corey Kluber, against one of those annoying Ivy League grads, Kyle Hendricks?
Okay, sure, I didn’t present that well. But this game should be electric. Will this game be karmic payback for the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, simultaneously plunging Cleveland into despair (and reminding them that they still live in Cleveland) and lifting a century-plus-old curse from the North Side? Will the Cubs finally exonerate Steve Bartman after all these years? (Note: I will always remember Steve ever since dressing up as him for Halloween when I was in fourth grade. Good times.) Will Kluber go down alongside Bob Feller as one of the best Indians pitchers of all time?
Legacies are defined by Game 7’s. History will be made, tonight, in Cleveland.
Chicago at Cleveland - (Series tied 3-3) 5:00 PM PT on FOX
The lineups are fascinating perhaps for who is not in them rather than the actual names that are. For the Cubbies, neither Jon Lester nor David Ross are starting. This isn’t surprising, given that Lester pitched in Game 5, but it seems likely that Joe Maddon’s distrust of his bullpen will manifest itself in inserting Lester. When he does so, watch to see whether he burns Wilson Contreras at catcher in favor of Ross, Lester’s personal catcher, even though Contreras is the far superior hitter.
On Cleveland’s side of things, center fielder-turned-Little Leaguer Tyler Naquin has been bumped from the starting lineup. Is Terry Francona overreacting to Naquin’s misadventures last night?
Tyler Naquin is on the bench against a right-handed pitcher for the first time since June 30, when the Indians played Toronto & R.A. Dickey.— August Fagerstrom (@AugustFG_) November 2, 2016
Either way, with Cody Allen and Andrew Miller having thrown just 1.2 combined innings in the past three days, one assumes that they’ll both be going multiple frames today after Kluber.
|CHICAGO CUBS||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Carlos Santana - DH|
|Kyle Schwarber - DH||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Kris Bryant - 3B||Francisco Lindor - SS|
|Anthony Rizzo - 1B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Ben Zobrist - LF||Jose Ramirez - 3B|
|Addison Russell - SS||Lonnie Chisenhall - RF|
|Willson Contreras - C||Rajai Davis - CF|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Coco Crisp - LF|
|Javier Baez - 2B||Roberto Perez - C|
|Kyle Hendricks - RHP||Corey Kluber - RHP|
FiveThirtyEight: 54% Indians win.
Mariners win Cubs win 4-2, Lester throws three relief innings, Chapman closes out the final two.