The Chicago Cubs return to Cleveland to face the Indians for the first time since their historic World Series win in 2016 , on Monday night. Tyler Chatwood, who has struggled since coming to the squad (0-3), walking 14 batters in 15 1/3 innings will be toeing the rubber for the Cubs. Josh Tomlin, who has also struggled and has not started a game since April 10th will take the hill for the Indians.
The Cubs were excited to see Cleveland again. “There will be a sense of nostalgia, just walking in there,” shortstop Addison Russell said over the weekend. “I’m going to try and find the spot in the weight room I was sitting at when J-Hey [Jason Heyward] was making his speech while it was raining outside. Sit down there and take everything in and think back — what was going on in my mind, where we were as a team, all those emotions that we rode. It’s all going to come back.”
Kyle Schwarber also acknowledged coming back to Cleveland. “I always think about the World Series,” Schwarber said. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think about the World Series. That was a heckuva time. Whenever you can relive that, it’s an addictive feeling. And I remember everything to a tee. I know every pitch that was thrown to me, things like that, where I was sitting in the weight room and in the dugout. It’s all very fresh.”
The Cubs who have been on an offensive tear as of late, scoring 45 runs on 66 hits in the last five games, started off with the hot bats again. Schwarber hit the 5th hardest homerun in the MLB in the top of the 2nd to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Later, Addison Russell doubled just out of the reach of a diving Bradley Zimmer. Ian Happ came through with a huge 2-out Rbi making it 2-0.
Wilson Contreras lead off the Top of the 3rd with his 1st homerun of the season making it 3-0. In the bottom half of the 3rd Zimmer lead off with a great bunt hit and eventually came around to score putting the Indians on the board 3-1. Later in the inning our best defensive outfielder, J-Hey, fielded a hot shot line drive by Jose Ramirez and came up gunning to mow down a speedy Raja Davis at the plate keeping the score 3-1. J-Hey played phenomenal in the field as usual robbing Jason Kipnis of a hit with a diving grap in the 6th.
Kyle Schwarber was back at it again to lead off the top of the 4th with a moon shot solo homerun to make it 4-1. Ian Happ then hit his 3rd homerun of the season hitting an opp-field Homerun to end Tomlin’s day on the bump.
Tyler Chatwood finally got his first win with the club. Although he still had trouble finding the strike zone at times, 5 walks through 6 innings, he only allowed 4 hits while striking out 5. It was good for Chatwood to get this monkey off his back and hopefully continues to progress moving forward.
The Cubs ended the day with 10 runs, on 15 hits, lead by Schwarber’s 2 dingers. Ian Happ, who is not batting at the bottom of the order, finished the day 3-4 with a HR, 2 RBI’s, and 2 runs scored. Schwarber is batting .500 (15 for 30) with three homers and eight RBI in seven career games at Progressive Field, including the postseason. The left-handed hitter, who grew up in southwest Ohio, made his major league debut in Cleveland in 2015.
Joe Maddon even chimed in about the Cubs offense. “Good at-bats up and down,” manager Joe Maddon said after the Cubs win. “We’re still in that mode of utilizing the whole field. I hope that doesn’t end until 2019 spring training … because this is the approach you’re looking for.”
The Cubs hope to take both games in Cleveland when Lester takes on Trevor Bauer Wednesday night on ESPN at 7:10. Go Cubs Go!