Kluber, Perez Cap Off Cleveland’s Memorable Night

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“At this point, if you’re not from here, live here, play here, dedicate yourself to Cleveland, then it makes no sense for you to live at this point. Cleveland against the world.”

-LeBron James

I thought that June 19, 2016 would be the greatest night of my life. I was downtown with a few thousand other people as the Cavs won their first NBA title, and the city’s first since 1964. Boy, was I wrong. October 25, 2016 will forever be remembered as one of the greatest nights in Cleveland sports. The Cavs received their rings and raised the championship banner. They also pounded the “only super team in the Eastern Conference” 117-88. But that wasn’t all, because just across the street, the Indians were hosting their first World Series Game 1 since 1920. This marks Cleveland’s first World Series trip since 1997. For the Chicago Cubs? Well, the last time they played in a World Series was five weeks after Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender, which ended WWII.

On a normal night, LeBron James recording a triple double (19 Pts, 14 Asts, 11 Rebs, 1 Blk), Kyrie Irving going off for 29 Pts or Kevin Love scoring 23 Pts with 12 Rebs and 3 Stls in just 25 minutes, would have dominated my timeline, this article and my night. But last night, Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber and Roberto Perez dominated the heavily favored Cubs 6-0 to take a 1-0 Series lead. Against a lineup that is said to be “the best in baseball”, Kluber struck out nine batters in six innings of work and allowed only four hits. Eight of his strikeouts came in the first three innings, which is now a World Series record for most strikeouts in the first three innings of a World Series game. Kluber combined with ALCS MVP Andrew Miller and closer Cody Allen to punch-out 15 batters, which fell two strikeouts shy of the Series record for a nine inning game. Oh, Kluber also improved his postseason record to 3-1 and lowered his ERA to an impressive 0.74. Andrew Miller also looked semi-human last night, but settled in and pitched two scoreless innings.

But in all honesty, the star of the game was Roberto Perez. Perez hit two homers last night, one hitting off of the railing above the left field wall, and the other almost halfway up the bleachers in left. Perez finished the night 2-4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Not to be outdone, Francisco Lindor became the youngest player (22 years old) since Edgar Renteria (21 years old) in 1997 to have three hits or more in a World Series game (yes, that World Series). Frankie finished 3-4 with a double and a run scored. Jose Ramirez got the party started in the first with a two out dribbler up the third base line. Brandon Guyer was then hit by a pitch to bring in another run off Jon Lester.

Lester gave up three runs and six hits in 5.2 innings while also walking three. He did record seven strikeouts though, so he at least had that going for him. The Cubs’ top three in the batting order (Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo) went a combined 0-11 with four strikeouts and a walk. Ben Zobrist led the Cubbies with a 3-4 performance. The story for the Cubs, and I guess for us before the first pitch, was the return of young slugger Kyle Schwarber. He tore knee ligaments on April 7th and last night marked his first game action since then. He did do some rehab in the Arizona Fall League prior to the Series, but no one down there is Corey Kluber. In his return, Schwarber went 1-3 with a double that would have been a home run on a normal night, but the stiff wind on a 50-degree night held it in the park.

Tonight’s Game 2 has been moved up an hour to 7:08 pm due to some rain that will get heavier as the night goes on. In other words, it’s just another normal, Cleveland style October night. Trevor Bauer will go up against 2015 NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. Arrieta finished the year with 18 wins and a 3.10 ERA, but he’s been far from spectacular this postseason. In two games, he is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA and opponents are hitting .273. During the regular season, opposing batters hit an abysmal .194. Bauer’s last start came in Toronto and lasted just two outs and 21 pitches before his stitched-up pinky finger started to bleed all over the Rogers Centre mound. Like last time, we’ve been assured that it’s not a problem and he’ll be good to go.

The team that has won Game 1 went on to win the World Series 17 of the past 19 years, so that’s a great stat to have in your favor. But so is having a 3-1 Finals lead. Speaking of that incident, did you see Golden State got their souls taken from them last night? San Antonio beat them by 29…in their own house! The last three Warriors home games have been an expensive let down if you ask me.

Anyway….

It’s up in the air who starts Game 4 for the Indians. Josh Tomlin goes in Game 3, and there’s speculation that Kluber may go again in Game 4 if it’s not Danny Salazar or Ryan Merritt. Either way, Terry Francona didn’t improve to 9-0 in the World Series just by dumb luck. Just remember that before you have an aneurysm if Kluber is on the hill for Game 4.

Cherish last night. Cherish the memories of seeing so much history being played out right in front of our eyes. A banner raised. Rings fit for a king. Grown men with tears in their eyes. Records being broken. All right here on the North Coast. We may never have another night like this again, but one thing is for certain: For one night, the sports world was centered in Cleveland, Ohio. And that will never be forgotten.

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Raymond Bosak About Raymond Bosak

Hello everyone. My name is Raymond Bosak and I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I am a die-hard Cleveland fan, and have been my entire life. I am looking forward to bringing you some excellent Browns, Buckeyes, and Indians coverage, and maybe some Cavs things too. Everything I write will be honest and upfront. I’ll aim to have a couple articles per week, including some game previews and reviews, 5 things to watch for, and game ball and game MVP(s).

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