Monday, October 31, 2016

World Series: Did You Know?

Winning game six has never been easy for Cleveland, so Chicago is still very much alive.

The 2016 Cleveland Indians were up 3-1 and looking to put the Chicago Cubs away in game five, but could not. The Cubs won a narrow 3-2 ballgame, sending it back to Ohio for it's conclusion. Whether or not we see a game seven remains to be seen.

How about Cleveland's history of game six's?

Well, not quite up there with the Boston Red Sox, for sure, but interesting nonetheless. A struggle, too!

They did win game six of their first Fall Classic appearance, against the Brooklyn Robins in 1920. This World Series was a best-of-nine format, just like the year before. Even though Cleveland, (Up in games 4-1 in 1920) won it 1-0, they had their problems. Their starting pitcher, Duster Mails, went out and 3-hit Brooklyn. Mails' team made three errors behind him. The Indians clinched it with another shutout, 3-0 in game six.

The 1948 team lost game five, 11-5 at home despite sending Bob Feller to finish the Boston Braves off. The Indians had 'em! Up three games to one, they lost it big time. Forced to head to Boston for games six, Bob Lemon won it by the narrowest of margins, 4-3. The next time the Indians played in the World Series, it was against the Braves again. Completely different story, however.

For one, it was 1995. Also, they were now the Atlanta Braves, and Cleveland needed a win in game five to stay alive. They got it, 5-4 as Orel Hershiser beat Greg Maddux, no small feat. But the visiting Braves nearly came back, as they scored twice in the top of the ninth before the last out was made. Tom Glavine finished off the Tribe in game six in Atlanta with a 1-hit shutout, 1-0.

Two years later, Cleveland was down 3-2 to Flordia, one the road, and needing a win to force a game seven. They got the much-needed win, 4-1. But the Marlins loaded the bases for Bobby Bonilla in the bottom of the seventh. Michael Jackson got him to pop up and end that. The Fish put two more runners on the rest of the way, and could have made a game of it, but Jose Mesa slammed the door shut on any comeback hopes. In the end, however, the 1997 World Series went to Florida in seven games.

So this year, 2016, saw Cleveland only split the first two games. They really played well, despite no DH in games three, four and five at Wrigley. They won 1-0 behind four pitchers (Andrew Miller picking up the win). Then they won game four in a laughter, 7-2, despite the Cubs scoring first.

The Indians, trying to end the Fall Classic on the road, scored first on a home run in the top of the second inning of game five. But the Cubs put across three runs in the bottom of the fourth, erasing that and taking a 3-1 lead. Three Cleveland relievers put some nice zeros on the Cubs side of the scoreboard from then on. And the Indians got a run back in the top of the sixth. Would you believe it? Chicago brought in closer Aroldis Chapman in to pitch the top of the the next inning with just one down. Chapman did the job, and this thing was heading back to where it all began, in Cleveland, as Chicago won 3-2.

What will it be in this game six, Cleveland? I say a good ballgame. Certainly not an easy one!


Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.

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