By Kevin Powell
WRIGLEY FIELD—Other than a devastating knee injury to Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs season has been pretty much squeaky clean. They “Embraced the Target” by winning the most games in baseball. They have a couple of Cy Young Award candidates. They have the likely NL MVP. Everything has gone right. Until now. The Cubs find themselves in a, 3-1, World Series hole to the Indians.
“We know the task, we gotta win them all,” third baseman Kris Bryant said after their Game 4 loss. “We’ve won three games plenty of times this season and in the playoffs. It can easily be done.”
It doesn’t appear to be that easy especially when you factor in how over-matched the Cubs offense has looked to the Indians pitchers. Cleveland’s pitchers have thrown breaking ball after breaking ball, and it’s left the Cubs scratching their heads. Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Willson Contreras have combined for just four hits this series.
“No, I think a lot of it has to do with youth. That’s what I keep bringing up,” manager Joe Maddon said. Well, they’re running out of opportunities to fix the offensive struggles and if they can’t figure out Indians starter Trevor Bauer, the season will come to end Sunday night at Wrigley.
Jason Heyward gets another starter after collecting two hits in Game 4. That matched his entire postseason total. David Ross gets the start, as usual, with Lester on the mound. Here’s the rest of the lineup:
LESTER vs BAUER
Jon Lester makes his second start this series, and fifth career start in the Fall Classic. He’s 3-1 with 1.35 ERAin his previous four outing, and is 8-7 with a 2.60 ERA in 20 career postseason games. They need a big performance from him tonight. With the start, Lester becomes the first Cubs pitcher ever to make five postseason starts in a season.
The Cubs face Trevor Bauer, who is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA this postseason. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings in Game 2, giving up two runs. His command has been an issue, and if the Cubs are patient, they should be able to drive pitches.
Check wgnradio.com for updates throughout the game including a live blog from our sports team. After the game it’s TRUE BLUE: PLAYOFF PLUS on 720AM and wgnradio.com. Follow us on twitter @WGNRadio and @WGNRadioSports for update.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720