What to watch for tonight in Game 2 of the World Series:
Fans planning to see the first pitch will need to tune in earlier than expected. The start time was moved up an hour to 7:08 p.m. EDT because there’s rain in the Cleveland forecast. Major League Baseball announced the shift Tuesday night midway through Game 1.
“I’d rather do that than have the game start at 8, and then get caught in the latter part of the game with some rain. So I think it’s a good idea,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Indians manager Terry Francona was fine with the change, too.
“We can handle that,” he said. “I don’t care what time they tell us to play. … I’m going to be here anyway by 10 (a.m.). So it doesn’t really matter.”
All eyes at Progressive Field are bound to be on Trevor Bauer’s right pinkie when he starts for Cleveland in Game 2 of the World Series. He sliced the finger earlier this month while fixing one of his many drones. Then in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series at Toronto, blood began dripping onto the ball, the mound and his uniform, and he lasted only 21 pitches.
Bauer says he’s set to face the Cubs. He threw a simulated game this week with gauze over the finger — a no-no during actual action — and there was no bleeding.
“I’m going to go out there and execute to the best level of my ability, and it’s going to be what it’s going to be,” he said.
JUST OK JAKE
Jake Arrieta gets the ball for Chicago in Game 2 with a mostly unimpressive October resume. He dominated in his first postseason start, pitching a shutout against Pittsburgh in last year’s NL wild-card game. But he’s 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in four playoff starts since, including a 4.91 ERA in two starts this postseason.
The 2015 Cy Young Award winner was solid this season but hasn’t replicated last year’s success. Chicago limited Arrieta’s innings during the regular season hoping to keep him fresh for a late-October run, though, and the World Series would be the perfect time for a resurgence.
Indians reliever Andrew Miller threw two scoreless innings in Game 1, but also tossed 46 pitches — his most since 2011, when he was a starter.
So, will the AL Championship Series MVP get the ball in Game 2?
“You know, I don’t know,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said after a 6-0 win over the Cubs in the opener. “I just think that there’s a lot that can happen tomorrow. One, we might not have the lead. Two, it might rain. Three, we could have a lead and he won’t be available for as much.
The Cubs got two hits and two walks off Miller.
“I liked our at-bats overall against Miller,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “I liked the fact we got him up to 50 pitches, also. So there were a lot of positives with that. We struck out a lot, but I’ll defend the fact that we had some good at-bats.”
Chicago whiffed 15 times in the Series opener and was shut out for the third time in six games. Will manager Joe Maddon juggle his lineup looking for offense?
Chris Coghlan started Game 1 in right field over slumping Jason Heyward, who signed a $184 million contract to join the Cubs last offseason. Coghlan struck out in both his at-bats. With another right-hander pitching for Cleveland, will Heyward be on the bench again?
STICKING WITH SCHWARBER
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Kyle Schwarber will “absolutely” start at designated hitter again after the young slugger went 1 for 3 with a double off the right-field fence and a walk Tuesday in his first big league game since April 7. Schwarber, who also struck out twice, had been sidelined since having surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee.
“I thought the bat speed looked good,” Maddon said. “You could see on the finish sometimes maybe the brace grabs him just a little bit. I kind of noticed that. Otherwise there was no kind of negative atmosphere surrounding his at-bats. I thought they were outstanding, actually.”
Schwarber is the franchise leader with five career postseason homers. All of them came when he was a rookie last year.