Indians blank Cubs for World Series lead

By Sacha Pisani and Joe Rodgers 29 October 2016 51
Indians blank Cubs for World Series lead

The Cleveland Indians moved ahead in the MLB World Series on Friday after shutting out the Chicago Cubs 1-0 in game three.

After back-to-back games in Cleveland to open the best-of-seven series, the World Series came to Wrigley Field for the first time in 71 years but it was not a happy homecoming for the Cubs as the Indians triumphed for a 2-1 championship lead.

Coco Crisp was the hero for the Indians, coming off the bench to break a tie in the seventh inning with a pinch-hit RBI single off Carl Edwards Jr.

Crisp's shot allowed Michael Martinez to score the winning run as the Indians moved a step closer to their first title since 1948.



Starting pitchers Josh Tomlin and Kyle Hendricks exited during the fifth inning, marking the earliest both starting pitchers were pulled in a 0-0 World Series game in history but as we come accustomed to see this postseason, the Indians were able to rely on their bullpen for the win. 

American League (AL) Champion Series MVP Andrew Miller came in first for Cleveland, delivering just over one inning on just 17 pitches with three strikeouts, bringing his postseason total to 27 (one short of the MLB record). Bryan Shaw followed for a little under two innings in which he worked around a two-out triple to Jorge Soler in the seventh. Cody Allen closed it out for the Indians despite a tense bottom of the ninth after an error by Mike Napoli put runners at second and third with two outs. Cleveland are now 6-0 this postseason Miller, Shaw, and Allen all appear in a game. 

Acquired at the end of August from the Oakland Athletics, Crisp led the American League with a .392 average with runners in scoring position during the regular season and came up clutch with homers in the AL Division Series and ALCS. So when the Indians needed a clutch hit manager Terry Francona called upon Crisp to hit for Miller. Crisp responded with yet another RBI hit, this time a game-winner on baseball's biggest stage. 



With the scores level at 0-0 in the seventh, Crisp came in to score Marquez.



The Cubs have a chance to level the series again when they welcome the Indians back to Wrigley Field for game four on Saturday. Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA) toes the rubber for the Indians on short rest after a record-setting game one start. Kluber became the first pitcher to strike out eight batters over the first three innings of a start in the Fall Classic. He will face John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA)​, who leads all active pitchers with 22 postseason starts, going 8‐5 with a 3.26 ERA in 25 total playoff appearances.