Game 7 of the World Series is about as exciting as it gets. Whatever the outcome tonight, one team will be celebrating and the other will be heading into the offseason as the first losers. There's some consolation in being the first losers in time but surely not anything that will be felt tonight.
I can't even imagine what it would be like if the Orioles were in these circumstances. I'd probably be a nervous wreck. It would be horrible and it would be awesome. It's not the Orioles, though - it's the Cubs and the Indians. The 2014 AL Cy Young winner against the guy who led MLB in ERA in 2016. That's Corey Kluber, starting his third game of the series, against Kyle Hendricks, not that they'll directly face one another since this game is, after all, in an AL park, meaning real baseball will be played.
Kluber is starting on short rest for the second time in the series. That seems unbelievable. Is this guy possibly really that good? Maybe he is. It wasn't an accident that he won that Cy Young. Maybe the only thing that's been standing between him and every baseball fan knowing his name is a chance at postseason glory, which he is only this season finally getting. If the Indians win tonight, his effort in this series will certainly be talked about, perhaps even greater than, say, Madison Bumgarner from the 2014 World Series.
Will home field advantage in Game 7? I read something earlier that it's basically 50/50 for the last 37 World Series that went to seven games. So that seems to suggest probably not. Maybe Cleveland will win thanks to Kluber and Andrew Miller. Maybe the Cubs will win thanks to hitting a bunch of homers and catching every ball in the outfield, something with which the Indians certainly struggled yesterday.
One narrative will soon be validated and the other repudiated. One team's strategy will be the new hot thing to be emulated, the other will be the way that came up just short. This ain't Sea World. This is as real as it gets.
|CHICAGO CUBS||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Carlos Santana - DH|
|Kyle Schwarber - DH||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Kris Bryant - 3B||Francisco Lindor - SS|
|Anthony Rizzo - 1B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Ben Zobrist - LF||Jose Ramirez - 3B|
|Addison Russell - SS||Lonnie Chisenhall - RF|
|Willson Contreras - C||Rajai Davis - CF|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Coco Crisp - LF|
|Javier Baez - 2B||Roberto Perez - C|
|Kyle Hendricks - RHP||Corey Kluber - RHP|