Indians blank Cubs 6-0, take 1-0 lead in the World Series
By Bryant Kizer
Corey Kluber was in his Cy Young Award winning mode and Roberto Perez was in his Mr. October Award mode, as the Cleveland Indians blanked the Chicago Cubs 6-0. The Indians take a 1-0 lead in the World Series.
Kluber put the Cubs bats in hibernation. He struck out nine and gave up only four hits. Kluber also set a Major League record with eight strikeouts in the first three inning.
"I think he's a good pitcher all the time," said Indians manager Terry Francona, who is 9-0 in the World Series. "I mean, I think for the last three years he's been pretty good."
While Kluber provided the spark on the mound, Perez, who finished with a regular season batting average .183. Hit three home runs and drove in four.
"I've come a long ways. I'm just playing with a lot of confidence right now. I'm not trying to do too much at the plate. I'm just trying to control my emotions," said Perez.
Perez missed almost two-thirds of the season due to a thumb injury. He was activated on July 18. He struggled at the plate. He started 0-for-16 at the plate. But, behind the plate he was solid. Then other injuries was plagued on their other catchers.
"This is my first World Series experience, and just trying to go out there and compete and try to get at-bats up there, and try to get on base and make something happen. It's an unbelievable feeling."
Perez became the first Indian to hit two home runs in a World Series game.
The Indians played a little small ball, not by design, to get a 2-0 lead on Cubs starter and veteran Jon Lester. With two outs, Franciso Lindor singled, Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana walked, to load the bases. Jose Ramirez hit a 10-foot pitch that stuck like a pitch-wedge shot about 10-feet in front of catcher Dan Ross and 15-feet- in front of third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant field it, but he had no play, Lindor scored. Brandon Guyer got hit-by-a-pitch and that scored Napoli.
"There is an importance on small ball, but you can't try to hit a swinging bunt. That's a little bit of good fortune. Then Guyer got hit, which he is really good at. That happens to him a lot. He's up on the plate and he doesn't get out of the way," said Francona.
The game was locked at 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Perez hit a shot to left field that hit the top of the railing for a homer. The Indians led 3-0.
Lester (0-1) kept batting.
Kluber finally gave way to Andrew Miller in the seventh with one out. Miller did not have his dominate stuff that he had in the Boston and Toronto series. But, he still put up zeros. Miller got out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh. He walked Kyle Schwarber and gave up a single to Javier Baez. He got Willson Contreras to fly out to shallow center-field. Then he struck out Addison Russell and Dan Ross to end the seventh.
Miller got into some more trouble in the eighth, with two on and two outs, he fanned Schwarber.
Perez gave the Indians some breathing room in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Guyer walked and Lonnie Chisenhall singled. Perez hit a three-run homer to left. The Indians lead comfortably 6-0.
Game two, will be an hour earlier because of weather. First pitch will be at 7:08.