on! World Series shifts back to Cleveland
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[November 01, 2016]
By Larry Fine
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - On Sunday, the
Cubs had one foot in the World Series grave, but with their Game
Five 3-2 win in Chicago the Fall Classic shifts to Cleveland on
Tuesday and it is game on for Major League Baseball's championship.
Indians fans in "Believeland" are happy to have their team back for
Game Six leading the best-of-seven series 3-2 and poised to launch a
championship celebration marking the end of the American League
team's 68-year Fall Classic drought.
While they were away in the Windy City, over 67,000 attended watch
parties at the Indians' Progressive Field stadium, paying $5 a head
to watch on the giant video screen with proceeds going to local
Yet the Cubs, whose own title drought stretches four decades beyond
Cleveland's, hope to gain momentum from their 2016 farewell game at
old Wrigley Field and complete a comeback.
"I like to believe we're going to catch or gain some momentum from
this game going back over there," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after
Chicago's do-or-die Game Five win.
"I've never been looking forward to wanting to play the seventh game
of a World Series more in my life."
Six of the 46 previous World Series teams that fell behind 3-1 came
back to win the championship, with the last one accomplishing the
feat being the Kansas City Royals over the St. Louis Cardinals in
But this comeback would be even more difficult since the Cubbies
have to claim the final two games on the road - last done by the
Pittsburgh Pirates against the Baltimore Orioles in 1979.
Cleveland's unflappable manager Terry Francona, who won two World
Series sweeps while steering the Boston Red Sox and has a remarkable
11-2 record in Fall Classic games, does not suffer from complacency
and has his own way of battling the nerves.
[to top of second column]
Chicago Cubs fans cheer after game two in Cleveland. Ken Blaze-USA
Francona revealed over the weekend that when he had trouble sleeping
the night before Game Five, despite holding a 3-1 lead, he ate $44
worth of ice cream ordered from his hotel's room service to calm
The Cubs, who led the majors with 103 regular season wins, comfort
themselves with the fact that they have won three games in a row 18
times, including three straight to vanquish the Los Angeles Dodgers
in the League Championship Series.
The Indians have lost three in a row seven times this past season.
Pitching may prove the difference.
Cleveland are set to start Josh Tomlin on Tuesday and ace Corey
Kluber, who has already won a pair of Series games, on short rest
again in a possible Game Seven. They are a combined 6-1 with a 1.18
ERA in the postseason.
Chicago counter with reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta in Game
Six with a fully rested Kyle Hendricks, the NL ERA leader, ready for
a Game Seven.
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)
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