Cubs level World Series with first Fall Classic win since 1945

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(CNN) - As of last week, it seemed next to impossible for Kyle Schwarber even to play in the World Series.

Now, improbably, Schwarber, who underwent surgery for a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee less than seven months ago, has helped the Chicago Cubs even the series against the Cleveland Indians, giving the Cubs their first win in a Fall Classic game in 71 years.
Schwarber had two RBI singles, Anthony Rizzo drove in a run and scored two more, and Ben Zobrist chipped in with an RBI and a run, and the Cubs leveled the best-of-seven series, winning 5-1 in Game 2 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

"This is the moment that we all look forward when we were little kids, to play in the World Series," Schwarber said. "We just took a small step today, but we've still got a long way to go."

It's the first time the Cubs have been victorious in a World Series game since 1945, a series they lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games.

It also was the same World Series when the supposed billy goat curse was put on the club.

The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908, the longest drought between championships in Major League Baseball.

The question now, though, is how much Schwarber will be able to play in Games 3, 4 and 5 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The DH isn't an option at a National League ballpark, and Schwarber has yet to be cleared by the medical staff to play in the outfield.

"We'll see," Schwarber said when asked if he's ready to play defense.
"I haven't tried it. We'll take it day by day."

Game 3 is Friday. Both teams are scheduled to work out at Wrigley Field on Thursday.

In Game 1 on Tuesday, it was Cleveland that got off to a quick start.

On Wednesday, Chicago struck first, and it came in the top of the first inning off Indians starter Trevor Bauer.

Third baseman Kris Bryant singled for his first career World Series hit. The next batter, first baseman Rizzo, doubled to right, driving Bryant in for the first run of the game.

And with that, it was 1-0, giving the Cubs their first lead in a World Series game since October 8, 1945.

In the top of the third inning, with runners on first and second, Schwarber connected on a base hit to center field, driving in Rizzo to make it 2-0.

Bauer's World Series debut lasted 3 2/3 innings.

He gave up two earned runs and six hits, walking two and striking out two.

It was longer than his last outing, when he was forced to make an early exit in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

That was because his right pinkie finger -- which he sliced while repairing a drone -- started bleeding.

But while Bauer's finger wasn't bleeding Wednesday night, his command wasn't always there.

"They beat us tonight," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It wasn't because somebody had a bad finger. They just played better than us tonight."

Wednesday marked the first time Francona has lost a World Series game in his career, dropping his record to 9-1.

He managed the Boston Red Sox to World Series sweeps in 2004 and 2007 against the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies, respectively.

The loss wasn't the only thing that made the manager uncomfortable, with temperatures in the 40s.

"It was cold," Francona said. "I mean, it was so cold, I tried to go to the bathroom in the fourth inning and I couldn't. That's tells you enough."

Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, meanwhile, fared much better. He pitched 5 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before he was pulled one out later.

He gave up an unearned run on a wild pitch, allowed two hits, walked three and struck out six.

"I knew that I hadn't given up a hit all the way to the sixth, through 5 1/3," Arrieta said. "But that's really not the focus in a game like this. You just want to try and continue to pile up outs as often as you possibly can. And whether they get a hit or not really doesn't affect the way you continue to approach that lineup.

"Especially with a five-run lead, I wanted to stay aggressive and continue to allow these guys to put the ball in play on quality pitches in the bottom of the strike zone. That was the mindset throughout regardless of whether I gave up a hit or not."



 
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