World Series Game 7: Keys To The Game

On November 2, 2016, in Sporting News, by Buddy TB

MLB Free AgencyAfter six games, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians are tied 3 games apiece setting up a decisive game 7. Regardless of the winner, one of the two longest championship droughts in baseball will come to an end.

The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, while the Indians haven’t done so since 1948. Since both fan bases are badly craving a title, here are some keys to the game that may determine which team ends the night celebrating.

Chicago Cubs’ Keys

Force Kluber to throw a lot of pitches early in the game:  the Cubs need to tire Kluber early in the game and prevent him from keeping a low pitch counts in order to score later on. If Kluber gets comfortable he’s more effective, can go deeper in the game and then hand the ball to reliever Andrew Miller and closer Cody Allen.

-A solid Kyle Hendricks outing: it’s no secret that Joe Maddon does not trust his relievers. None of them has been reliable in these series and as a result, Maddon has preferred to use Aroldis Chapman in an extended role when the Cubs have needed to shut out the Indians hitters. To avoid another potentially messy situation Maddon needs Hendricks to go deep, or at least six innings.

Score first: This is going to be vital for the Cubs, not only because they need to prove they can harm Kluber, but because they need to put pressure on the Indians hitters and take the crowd out of the ballgame. Game six was a perfect example of how this is done.

Cleveland Indians’ Keys

The Indians lineup has to deliver: Thanks to the dominating performances by the Indians pitchers this team has been able to win the low scoring games, and in this game they may get away with it once more, but for sure they’ll have to score if they want to shake up a pitcher like Hendricks. For that to happen Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana have to wake up. Ramirez only has only scored a run and Santana is batting a measly .211 in the World Series.

Patience with Hendricks: Hendricks is masterful at keeping batters guessing and forcing them out of the strike zone. If this happens in this game the Indians hopes of winning this game will evaporate quickly. The hitters have to be patient and make Hendricks pitch inside the strike zone to get some hits. They need to force him out of his comfort zone, make him throw a high number of pitches and take advantage of his mistakes.

Give the bullpen the lead: If starter Corey Kluber dominates the Cubs, as he has done in his two previous starts, and his teammates manage to score a few runs against Hendricks the Indians will win this game. Cleveland’s bullpen is so dominant with Miller and Allen that if the Cubs allow them to get them the ball with a lead in the score they are most likely doomed. Rest assured that If Kluber is still on the mound in the sixth inning and the Indians have the lead you can probably bet that Chicago’s drought will extend for at least one more year.

 

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