Cleveland Indians (Bauer 12-8, 4.26) vs. Chicago Cubs (Lester 19-5, 2.44)
Cleveland leads Series 3-1
8pm ET Sunday on FOX
Indians ace Corey Kluber delivered another huge performance Saturday at Wrigley Field, holding the Cubs to a single run over 6 innings, and hometown boy Jason Kipnis launched a 3-run homer into the Chicago night to propel the Indians to a 7-2 win and a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series.
Trevor Bauer gets the call for the Indians tonight with a chance to clinch the franchise’s first Word Series title since 1948, and to doom Cubs fans to another offseason of misery. Bauer’s had a tough go of it this postseason, lasting just 9 innings over 3 starts, one of which was cut short after just 2 outs because he was gushing blood from a drone-induced gash on the pinkie of his pitching hand. After that bloody mess (which inspired one Cubs fan to send him a toy drone) against Toronto in the ALCS, Bauer came back on 8 days of rest for Game 2 of the World Series, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in just 3 ⅔ innings of a 5-1 loss. Bauer swears the finger wasn’t an issue, but c’mon… Given how aggressive Cleveland manager Terry Francona has been this postseason, don’t be surprised to see Bauer get a quick hook at the first sniff of trouble – with Monday being an off day, he’ll be able to roll out all of his relievers if he sees a chance to close this out.
There might be no pitcher in all of Major League Baseball better suited than Jon Lester to the pressure of pitching in Wrigley with the season on the line. A preternaturally calm man, by the age of 24 Lester had beaten cancer, thrown a no-hitter and clinched the 2007 World Series, and in his career he has a 2.60 ERA in 124 ⅔ postseason innings – he will not be rattled (unless he has to throw to first). He’s been a stud again in these playoffs, with a 1.69 ERA in 26 ⅔ innings, though his last start, in Game 1 of the World Series, was a bit shaky, as the Indians got to him for 3 runs over 5 ⅔ innings of 6-0 loss.