Cubs rout Indians, send World Series to deciding Game 7
CLEVELAND — After 108 years, what’s one more day?
The Chicago Cubs are far from finished. They’re frothing.
Addison Russell hit a grand slam and tied a World Series record with six RBIs, and Chicago took advantage of a huge early misplay in Cleveland’s outfield as the Cubs throttled the Indians 9-3 on Tuesday night in Game 6 to push this tense tug-of-war between baseball’s two longest title drought holders to the limit.
Game 7, it is. The biggest, most nerve-wracking day yet.
For one city, hysteria.
For the other, heartbreak.
“It’s correct and apt it will go seven games,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Kris Bryant homered to spark a three-run first inning, Russell hit the first slam in the Series in 11 years and Jake Arrieta worked into the sixth as the Cubs, who came to Progressive Field one loss from elimination, are now rolling and one victory from their first championship since 1908.
“You dream for that, man,” Bryant said. “We’re going to play a Game 7 tomorrow and that’s pretty special.”
Indians ace Corey Kluber, dominant while winning Games 1 and 4, starts again on short rest Wednesday night at home against big league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks.
The NL champions, who also got a two-run homer from Anthony Rizzo, are trying to become the seventh team to rally from 3-1 deficit and first to do in on the road since Willie Stargell and the Pittsburgh Pirates came back against Baltimore in 1979.
Maddon didn’t take any chances despite a comfortable late lead, using atomic-armed Aroldis Chapman for one out in the seventh, the eighth and one batter in the ninth. The lefty, who got the final eight outs in Game 4, will be on call for Game 7.
Maddon said he used Chapman as long as he did because he felt the game was still in the balance.
The Cubbies, shut out twice earlier in this Series, brought their clubbies to Cleveland.
They hammered Josh Tomlin, who couldn’t get out of the third inning and didn’t get any help from his outfield in the first. The right-hander, who was so effective in Game 3 at Wrigley Field, pitched on short rest for the second time in his career but wasn’t the problem as much as his location.
Everything seemed to be lined up for a massive downtown street party in Cleveland, which has waited since 1948 for another World Series title.
On an unseasonably warm November day, fans came hoping to witness the first championship win at home by a Cleveland team since the Browns took the NFL title in 1964 by shutting out the Baltimore Colts.
With Eddie Robinson — the last living member from that ’48 title team — in attendance, and LeBron James and the NBA champion Cavaliers coming over from Quicken Loans Arena after they beat Houston, Cleveland was poised to have a night to remember like the one just 134 days ago in June when the Cavs ended the city’s 52-year championship dry spell.
The Cubs blew through those plans like a wicked wind off Lake Michigan.
Arrieta wasn’t dominant, but he didn’t have to be. Staked to the early lead, he held the Indians without a hit until the fourth when Jason Kipnis doubled leading off and scored on Mike Napoli’s single.
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