Notes, quotes and early thoughts on World Series Game 7
Some notes, quotes and early thoughts on Wednesday's seventh and final game of the World Series between the Cubs and the Indians.
• This is the 38th time a best-of-seven Series is extended to the final game, with the home team winning only 18 of the first 37, though nine of the last 10. (The exception was the most recent, the Giants beating the Royals in 2014.)
• The Cubs are looking to be the first team to come back and win a Series after trailing 3-1 since the 1985 Royals (over the Cardinals), and the first to do so with the final games on the road since the 1979 Pirates (over the Orioles).
• This will be the second time cubs manager Joe Maddon and Indians manager Terry Francona have squared off in a Game 7. The stakes weren't quite as high, but Maddon's Rays beat Francona's Red Sox to win the AL pennant.
• Indians RHP Corey Kluber, the quiet Stetson product, will be the first pitcher to make three starts in a Series since Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals in 2011 and the seventh overall in the last 30 years.
• Indians manager Terry Francona said he had total confidence in having Kluber on the mound.
"That's a good feeling,'' Francona said. "And I know they love their guy, too, as they should. It's Game 7. You've got two really, really good pitchers, and it will be exciting. Like I said before tonight's game, it's an honor to even be a part of it, and we're going to give it everything we have. I can't imagine a better group of guys to go through something like this with. I'm looking forward to it already.''
• The Indians have the bullpen advantage, with top relievers LHP Andrew Miller and RHPs Cody Allen and Brian Shaw all fully rested. LHP Aroldis Chapman said he will be available and willing to do whatevr Maddon asks, but he did throw 46 pitches on Sunday and 20 on Tuesday.
• Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that given the histories of the two franchises in termss of Series droughts, it is only "apt" to be going sevenm games. "It's been a very well-contested series,'' Mafffo. Both sides have played really good baseball. They've been outstanding pitching. They've been outstanding pitching all year. All of a sudden, our offense is having a resurgence, which we need. Again, of course, of course we want to be the group that breaks the string, but you're probably right. It's just correct and apt that we'd go seven games.''
• Maddon was an Angels coach and RHP John Lackey a rookie starter for the 2002 Series that went seven games.
* The Indians played in a Game 7 in 1997, and it didn't go well. Facing the upstart Marlins, the Indians went to the ninth up 2-1 and were two outs away from celebrating, only to see Jose Mesa blow the it, allowing the tying run. Then they lost in a messy 11th, when Craig Counsell scored on Edgar Renteria's dream-busting two-out single.