Chicago Cubs (Arrieta 18-8, 3.10) vs. Cleveland Indians (Bauer 12-8, 4.26)
Cleveland leads series 1-0
8pm ET Wednesday on FOX
Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber did it again Tuesday night, pitching 6 shutout innings for the third time in four postseason starts, and striking out 9 Cubs, while his batterymate Roberto Perez chipped in with a solo homer in the 4th and a 3-run shot in the 8th to lead the Indians to a 6-0 win in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, who had been the only starter this postseason with better numbers than Kluber, struggled early, giving up a single, stolen base, two walks, an infield single and a hit-by-pitch as the Indians plated 2 runs in the first inning.
Jake Arrieta has started just two games thus far in the postseason, with the Cubs losing both. In Game 3 of the NLDS he gave up just 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk over 6 innings, and hit the showers with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen would cough up the lead, eventually losing in the 13th. In Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, he surrendered 4 runs on 6 hits, including a pair of homers, in 5 innings, on a night when the Dodgers’ Rich Hill was at his best, leading LA to a 6-0 victory. Those two losses continued what has to be a disconcerting trend if you’re a Cubs fan, as Arrieta has been very hittable since June 27, going 8-8 with a 4.44 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 99 ⅓ innings. Up to that point he’d gone 12-3 with a 1.74 ERA and 107 K’s over 98 innings.
But Trevor Bauer has troubles of his own, namely the bloody gash on his right pinky (sustained while playing with his drone) that cut short his most recent start, in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays. He managed to face just 4 batters, walking 2 – Bauer has had control issues in his career, having given up the sixth-most walks in baseball over the last two seasons, so who knows if it was the finger or just Bauer being Bauer. In his only other start this postseason, he gave up 3 runs on 6 hits – including 2 homers – in 4 ⅔ innings. Bauer also had trouble getting across the finish line this year, posting a 7.28 ERA in 29 ⅔ innings spanning his final 5 starts.