When the Cubs don’t hit, they really do it up big.
The Cleveland Indians held the Cubs to five hits on Friday night and, behind an RBI single by pinch-hitter Coco Crisp against reliever Carl Edwards Jr. in the seventh inning and a combined four-man shutout, pulled out a 1-0 victory in Game 3 of the World Series.
Watching the Cubs play in a World Series game at Wrigley for the first time in 71 years, a revved-up but disappointed crowd of 41,703 saw the National League champs get shut out for the fourth time in the postseason and second time against Cleveland to fall behind the Indians two games to one.
Game 4 is Saturday night at Wrigley Field, with John Lackey starting against Indians ace Corey Kluber.
Kluber blanked the Cubs on no runs over six innings in the Indians’ 6-0 triumph in Game 1. He will pitch on three days rest.
Josh Tomlin, Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen combined to thwart the Cubs offense. It was the fifth shutout of the postseason for the Indians, who are 9-2 in October against the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Cubs. Tomlin went 4 2/3 innings and Miller, who was credited with the victory, went 1 1/3 innings with three strikeouts to remain unscored on in the postseason.
The Cubs’ last 1-0 loss in the World Series was in 1918, against Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox.
The Cubs threatened in the ninth when Anthony Rizzo led off with a single and, with two outs, pinch runner Chris Coghlan got to third on first baseman Mike Napoli’s error on pinch-hitter Jason Heyward’s ground ball. Heyward stole second without a play, moving into scoring position for the winning run.
Javier Baez, on a 2-2 pitch from Allen, struck out to end the game.
“We were just out of the strike zone way too often,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
“I thought our guys were ready to play tonight. They had a good vibe about them. They just swung at too many bad pitches.”
The Cubs trailed the Dodgers two games to one in the NLCS before coming back to win the series with three straight victories.
“I have all the confidence we can fix it by tomorrow,” Maddon said.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Cubs ninth: Anthony Rizzo leads off with a single to left, a soft liner over third baseman Michael Martinez against Cody Allen. The Cubs have a chance.
Indians ninth: Lonnie Chisenhall strikes out leading off against Aroldis Chapman, trying to hold the Indians lead at 1-0.
Cubs eighth: Addison Russell leads off against Bryan Shaw and strikes out on a 3-2 pitch. Kyle Schwarber pinch hits for Pedro Strop and breaks his bat on a little pop up to shortstop Francisco Lindor, playing on the right side of second. A good slider by Shaw in on Schwarber’s hands.
Dexter Fowler singles to left with two outs, and with Kris Bryant stepping up, Indians manager Terry Francona brings in closer Cody Allen, and he strikes out Bryant on a pitch in the dirt to end the inning.
Fowler’s hit is only the fourth for the Cubs in this game. The Indians have eight.
Indians eighth: The Indians go down in order against Mike Montgomery and Pedro Strop.
Cubs seventh: With two outs and nobody on, the Cubs suddenly have life when Jorge Soler’s high fly off Bryan Shaw near the right field line and side wall padding eludes right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, rolls into the corner and goes for a triple. But Javier Baez grounds out to shortstop to end the inning and the Indians still lead 1-0.
During the seventh inning stretch and the Cubs trailing 1-0 in Game 3 of the World Series, Bill Murray tells the crowd it’s their last chance to buy beer but shouts, “We didn’t come here to drink beer, we came here to win a ballgame!”
Murray impersonates Daffy Duck in his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Bryan Shaw enters to pitch, Michael Martinez takes over in center field and Yan Gomes is now catching.
Ben Zobrist leads off.
Indians seventh: The Indians score the first run on Coco Crisp’s single to right against Carl Edwards, scoring pinch runner Michael Martinez — almost picked off a moment earlier — from third. On the plus side for the Cubs, Rajai Davis is thrown out at third by Jorge Soler and Andrew Miller is out of the game. Mike Montgomery enters to face Jason Kipnis with two outs.
The Indians got the rally going on Roberto Perez’ leadoff single against Edwards. Martinez moves to second on Tyler Naquin’s bunt. With Miller in the on-deck circle, Martinez then scoots to third on Edwards’ wild pitch in the dirt.
Rajai Davis walks, and the Indians get runners on the corners.
Cubs sixth: Andrew Miller is back to his remarkable postseason tricks. He strikes out Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. That looked easy.
Indians sixth: Carl Edwards Jr. enters and pitches a perfect inning, striking out Lonnie Chisenhall to end it. Joe West, umpiring at third gets into the show when Cubs catcher Willson Contreras appeals Chisenhall’s check swing on the previous pitch. At first, West doesn’t even react as if to say “that wasn’t really close.” Then he makes a nonchalant, quickie flattening of the palms.
Cubs fifth: You know who is warming for the Indians as Jorge Soler leads off with a single to left. It’s left-hander Andrew Miller, who hasn’t allowed a fun in the postseason. On an 0-2 pitch, Javier Baez hits a nubber to the right of the mound, moving Soler to second.
Somewhere in the Cubs dugout, Kyle Schwarber looms. But after Addison Russell grounds out to third, keeping Soler glued at second, Miguel Montero is announced as a pinch hitter. And with that, Miller enters, and retires Montero on a liner to right.
The Indians double-switch, putting Miller in Carlos Santana’s leadoff spot and new left fielder Rajai Davis in the ninth spot.
Indians fifth: The Indians load the bases with one out, knocking out Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks but do not score as reliever Justin Grimm gets an inning ending double play. Grimm’s fist pump near first is enormous, as is the Wrigley Field crowd’s.
A single by Tyler Naquin, one-out walk to Carlos Santana and a 2-2 pitch that hit Jason Kipnis — the 85th pitch of the game for Hendricks — brought Joe Maddon to the mound and Justin Grimm to pitch.
This is the height of anxiety for the Wrigley crowd, which knows the Indians have ace Corey Kluber ready to start in Game 4. Grimm, on a 3-2 pitch after getting ahead 0-2 on Franciscor Lindor, gets a Javy Baez to Addison Russell to Anthony Rizzo DP to end the inning, and the place erupts.
Cubs fourth: Kris Bryant catches a break on a 3-2 pitch that looks to catch the knees but is called a ball, putting the leadoff man on for the Cubs. But Josh Tomlin is keeping the ball down and matching up well with Kyle Hendricks, holding the Cubs to one hit through four innings. No hard contact for the Cubs in that inning, and the game remains scoreless heading to the fifth.
Indians fourth: Francisco Lindor, now 5-for-9 in the World Series, led off with a sharp single to right. His second hit of the night. He’s batting .375 for the entire postseason, and he gets to second on Jose Ramirez’ line single to right.
The Indians have five hits, and Josh Tomlin’s good early work on the mound for Cleveland has taken a little something out the Wrigley Field crowd. Hendricks, covering first on grounder to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, saves a run by picking Addison Russell’s return throw.
On a 3-2 pitch to Roberto Perez with runners at the corners and two outs, Hendricks throws a fastball that comes back over the outside corner. Umpire John Hirschbeck calls it a strike to end the inning, as Perez walks away shaking his head in disagreement.
Cubs third: Josh Tomlin is doing his part to get this game to the Indians bullpen with a tie or lead, dealing three scoreless innings out of the gate. Dexter Fowler lines out hard to end a 1-2-3 inning.
Indians third: Kyle Hendricks is working much harder tonight than his last start, when he threw only seven pitches out of the stretch in Game 6 of the NLCS. But he’s getting along just fine, with three scoreless innings against the Indians. Addison Russell helps him with a diving stop to his right on Tyler Naquin’s hot smash leading off. Hendricks ends the inning with a couple of excellent changeups to Northbrook native Jason Kipnis.
Cubs second: The Indians can’t get Ben Zobrist out. He leads off with a single to center for his sixth hit of the series, and advances to second on Willson Contreras’ tap near the mound. But Josh Tomlin gets Jorge Soler, starting in right field for Jason Heyward, to chase a slider below the strike zone. Javy Baez pops out, and the Indians escape.
Indians second: Kyle Hendricks is keeping the ball down, as usual, which is especially important with the wind blowing out at 14 miles per hour. The Indians hit three balls on the ground, including Roberto Perez’ inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Cubs first: Right-hander Josh Tomlin retires the Cubs in order. The most “dramatic” play is designated hitter Carlos Santana, playing left field for the first time, routinely catching a fly ball by Kris Bryant.
Indians first: Kyle Hendricks struck out Carlos Santana to start the game, then allowed an infield single to Jason Kipnis and a single to the gap by Francisco Lindor to put Tribe runners on first and third. Hendricks then picked off Lindor — it took a replay challenge by the Cubs to get the call — and struck out Mike Napoli to get out of the first unscathed.
Wrigley Field is rocking.
Billy Williams threw out the first pitch, Bill Murray was lined up to sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch and Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks threw out the actual first pitch of the first World Series game at Wrigley Field since 1945.
Hendricks struck out leadoff man Carlos Santana to get things rolling for the Cubs.
The series is tied at one game apiece. The Indians won the opener 6-0 and the Cubs won Game 2 by a 5-1 score.
The neighborhood around the ballpark has been jumping since the early afternoon.
Here is Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s lineup:
- CF Dexter Fowler
- 3B Kris Bryant
- 1B Anthony Rizzo
- LF Ben Zobrist
- C Willson Contreras
- RF Jorge Soler
- 2B Javy Baez
- SS Addison Russell
- RHP Kyle Hendricks
1. LF Carlos Santana
2. 2B Jason Kipnis
3. SS Francisco Lindor
4. 1B Mike Napoli
5. 3B Jose Ramirez
6. RF Lonnie Chisenhall
7. C Roberto Perez
8. CF Tyler Naquin
9. P Josh Tomlin