The headline is tongue-in-cheek, but I’m going to be a huge dork and point out that the 1945 Chicago Cubs won the first game of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers 9-0, in Detroit. That series wound up going seven games, and the Tigers, of course, eventually won it.
That is not to prove anything, as the winner of the first game of a seven game series can just as easily – more easily, even – go on to win the series. But nothing is locked in for the Cleveland Indians after last night’s win, other than a single win in a series that requires them to win four.
The nature of that loss – early scoring by the Indians, no scoring by the Cubs, only a small number of missed opportunities, and then the Indians putting it away late – was such that it’s relatively easy for me to get over. Were that a regular season game, it was the type that I could throw away mentally very easily. It was, however, not a regular season game. It was an exceedingly important postseason game. So that part sucks.
But I can lobby several “at leasts” your way, to see if any stick:
- At least the Cubs didn’t squander a brilliant pitching performance or blow a huge lead.
- At least the Cubs’ bats were dominated by the one Indians starting pitcher who can reasonably be expected to do that sometimes.
- At least that domination was actual pitching domination, and not just the Cubs’ hitters failing to make hard contact with very hittable pitches.
- At least the Cubs put several runners on against Andrew Miller, demonstrated that he is not absolutely invulnerable, and also made him throw 46 high-leverage pitches.
- At least the Cubs know to be properly terrified when Roberto Perez steps to the plate.
- At least Kyle Schwarber looked, almost unbelievably, like he can already be Kyle Schwarber again.
- At least it’s just a one game deficit at this point, a deficit from which the Cubs just came back in the NLCS.
Much more on the game today, and the prospects for Game Two (which has been moved up an hour, by the way, on the threat of inclement weather expected in Cleveland tonight).