Heading into this two-game World Series rematch set in Cleveland, Twitter was full of puns and “remember whens” for much of the day. Once the game finally commenced, the Cubs picked up right where they left off on that glorious evening of November 2, 2016. (Box score). Okay, just kidding, here is the box score from tonight’s game.
Why the Cubs Won
Carried by their bats and solid pitching, the Cubs secured the victory by out-hitting the Indians 15-9 while also notching four homers on the night. Unlike previous games, the Cubs’ scoring efforts came outside of just a one- or two-inning span. They were actually able to put up runs in five of nine innings.
Kyle Schwarber blasted two solo home runs, one each in the 2nd and 4th innings. To the Cubs’ benefit, the scoring came as a steady stream throughout the entire game. In other words, there were a lot of other key moments throughout much of the evening.
Stats That Matter
- Schwarber crushed his fifth home run of the season in the top of the 2nd inning. This one was an absolute laser-beam, leaving the bat at 117.1 mph. It was the hardest hit ball of any Cubs player since Statcast began tracking data in 2015. Then there was his moonshot in his next at-bat. It’s safe to say Schwarber knows how to mash the baseball in his home state of Ohio.
- Willson Contreras hit his first home run of the season in the top of the 3rd inning to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead. His first two at-bats of the game, a groundout and home run, had exit velocities of 101 mph and 105.6 mph, respectively. Coming into the game, Contreras was ranked 64th on the Statcast leaderboard for average exit velocity (91.2 mph).
- Ian Happ has been heating up and he went 3-for-4 on the night. His first two at-bats consisted of an RBI single and a solo shot (his third home run of the season). He has quietly improved his slash line to a much more respectable .259/.306/.448 with a 108 wRC+.
- Jason Heyward made two excellent defensive plays in this one, firing a great throw to gun down Rajai Davis at the plate in the 3rd inning and then making a sliding grab in the 6th. Many fans forget the value Heyward provides in the field despite his well-noted struggles at the plate, though his hitting has been picking up over the last week or so.
- Tyler Chatwood’s command issues continued into tonight’s start, which was a weird one overall. He was able to last six innings while only allowing one earned run on four hits and was the first Cubs starting pitcher to throw into the 7th inning this season. However, he issued five walks against five strikeouts, continuing his concerning walk trend.
The Cubs simply outhit the Indians tonight and when Cleveland got scoring opportunities, which was rare, they were only able to capitalize minimally. Chatwood had a solid start outside of the walks and the bullpen was able to shut down the game the rest of the way outside of one earned run each from Justin Wilson and Luke Farrell.
Jon Lester gets set to make his fifth start of the season when he takes on Trevor Bauer in the final game of this World Series reunion trip. The game can be viewed on NBC Sports Chicago with a scheduled first pitch of 6:10pm CT.