After three straight wins by the visiting teams, the Cubs finally came back on their home turf to extend the series one more game. Just as the Indians have used Andrew Miller over extended appearances in nearly every game, Maddon took the strategy and threw Aroldis Chapman for the final 2.2 to seal the win.
The Indians came out of the gate as aggressive as a team one win away from their first World Championship since 1948 would be. Jon Lester ultimately struck out the side as Rajai Davis, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor all went down swinging on breaking pitches away.
The Cubs were much more patient against Trevor Bauer, but the results were similar. Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant each struck out looking after Bauer initially fell behind each and Anthony Rizzo flew out to left for a catch that Carlos Santana made more interesting than it needed to be.
The Indians made more contact in the second, but it wasn’t hard at first as Mike Napoli popped out behind second and Santana popped out to both David Ross and Anthony Rizzo on a circus catch in foul territory. Jose Ramirez certainly made some hard contact when he crushed a Lester pitch half way up the bleachers in left for the first run of game five. Brandon Guyer grounded out to a diving Bryant and looked like he could have been safe as Rizzo’s foot came off the base at first, but it looked like he still got back to the base first and the play wasn’t challenged.
Ben Zobrist came up swinging against Bauer in the second and was a quick out to center, but Addison Russell followed with a long at bat and a single up the middle. Jason Heyward then watched four of five pitches go by for a called strike out. Javier Baez also struck out on a check swing as Bauer worked his second scoreless inning.
Roberto Perez began the third swinging at an outside pitch to pop out to Bryant in foul territory. Trevor Bauer had a fantastic seven pitch at bat that ended in another foul out, this time a great play by Heyward, who was hanging on the wall to make the catch. Davis lined out to second to end the top half.
For the Cubs, David Ross grounded out to Lindor, deep at short, for the first out. Bauer quickly dealt with his opponent on the mound, Lester, with a strike out looking and Fowler flew out to Guyer in right to end the inning.
Looking to make Lester work, Kipnis came out bunting, but hit it just in front of the plate and Ross pounced on it, throwing to Rizzo for an easy out. The inning progressed just as quickly as Lindor hit the first pitch out to left for the second out and Napoli popped out to Ross in foul territory with a full count.
The Cubs didn’t hit their first home run of the World Series until Fowler went deep off Andrew Miller in game four and Bryant hit out their second to begin the fourth against Bauer to tie the game. It was just Bryant’s second hit of the World Series and his first RBI. Rizzo took advantage of the situation as Bauer put another pitch over the plate and the Cubs first baseman launched it to right. By the time Guyer had recovered it from the ivy and thrown it back to Lindor at second, Rizzo was safe with the Cubs’ second consecutive extra base hit.
A Zobrist single put runners at the corners and that was close enough for Rizzo to score on an infield single to third off the bat of Russell. Heyward got called out swinging on a check swing on a curve ball in the dirt, but Baez pulled a surprise bunt down the third base line to load the bases. The plan was successful to a point as Ross flew out to Santana in left to bring home the third run of the inning. Lester struck out looking again to end the inning, however, with two still on.
Looking to regain the lead, Santana hit an opposite field double to start the inning after falling behind in the count. With a 3-1 count, Ramirez hit a weak ground ball to short that moved Santana to third. Looking to score him with one out, Guyer worked a long at bat before striking out looking on a pitch that was in the same location as two balls earlier in the at bat. With the pitcher’s spot on deck, Perez grounded out to short to end the inning.
Mike Clevinger replaced Bauer in the fifth, knowing he would be in for just one inning with the pitcher’s spot up next. While he walked two and a Perez error on a Bryant steal put runners on the corners, Clevinger got all three outs with fly outs including Russell to right in a scoreless inning.
Pinch hitting for Clevinger, Coco Crisp grounded out to start the inning. Davis came up looking to bunt, but ultimately decided to swing and poked one into left field for a single. If anything, Davis waited longer than expected to take second as he went on the second pitch to Kipnis. Kipnis would eventually strike out looking with Davis still on second. Lester would go deep in the count to Lindor before the short stop hit one into the left center field gap and Fowler was unable to come up with the diving catch. Davis scored on the play to get the Indians back to within one, but Lindor was out attempting to steal second despite taking a big lead on Lester.
Bryan Shaw replaced Crisp in the line-up as the ninth hitter and pitcher and was at his best. Heyward began the inning with his third consecutive strike out, then Baez went down swinging. Replacing Ross as catcher, Miguel Montero pinch hit and struck out swinging as well to end the inning.
Montero didn’t stay in the game long as the Cubs went with the double switch to put new pitcher, Carl Edwards Jr., in for Lester and Willson Contreras in the ninth spot and behind the plate. Napoli lead off the inning with a single to left, just his third hit of the series. He would take second on a pitch from Edwards that went further outside than Contreras had expected, ultimately called a passed ball. Santana would fly out to left on an outside pitch, leaving Napoli at second and sending Joe Maddon to the mound to bring on Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman started off Ramirez with a breaking pitch, but ultimately went back to his high speed fastball to strike him out. Chapman showed some wildness in the first at bat and hit Guyer with the first pitch of the next at bat to put two on with two outs. While he still looked fairly out of control, Chapman was able to retire Perez with a ground ball to second to end the inning.
If there was any benefit to Perez ending the inning, it was that Shaw was able to stay in for a second frame. He would retire just one batter before Terry Francona went to the double switch himself, bringing in Cody Allen to face Fowler and Yan Gomes to bat ninth and replace Perez in the field.
Allen would hit the first batter he faced with the first pitch he threw before facing off against Bryant. Despite getting hit on the foot, Fowler stole second easily off the new catcher. Allen then struck out Bryant looking before putting Rizzo on first intentionally. This move wound up working out all right for Allen as he popped out Zobrist to Lindor in short left to end the inning.
Chapman stayed in for the eighth and his fastball stayed in the 100’s. With it, he got Gomes to strike out looking After getting behind in the count 3-0 to Davis, Chapman brought it back to full, but Davis hit the pay-off pitch down the first baseline and was safe at first when Chapman didn’t cover the base. As he did so often, Davis stole another base, taking it easily off Chapman and not even giving Contreras a shot to throw him out. Kipnis got ahead in the count as well, 2-0, but swung at two pitches well out of the zone to even the count before popping out in foul territory to Zobrist in left. With two outs, Davis took third on the first pitch to Lindor without a throw. It wouldn’t matter, however, as Chapman struck out Lindor for the third out.
The Indians closer also went for two innings as he put away Russell swinging on three pitches and, after Heyward singled by Kipnis into center field, he struck out Baez swinging as well. Heyward stole second during the Baez strike out, giving the Cubs a runner at second with two outs for Chapman, now at the plate. Heyward stayed on the move, stealing third off Allen and Gomes as the catcher’s throw came in too high to Ramirez. Allen did strike out his counterpart, however, to keep the game within one run with the Indians coming up for their final at bat.
Looking to at least get on base or possibly tie the game, Napoli began the ninth with a weak ground ball to short off Chapman. Santana didn’t last any longer, popping out to short right with Heyward making the catch. If anything, Chapman looked his best of the night to end the game, striking out the Indians most reliable hitter during the regular season, Ramirez, to end the game and send the series back to Cleveland.
Player of the Game – Aroldis Chapman 2.2 IP, 3 K’s, 1 H, 1 HBP, 0 BB, Save
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Chicago Cubs 3
On Deck: The series will head back to Cleveland for game six as Chicago was able to win one game at home to extend the series. Monday is a scheduled off day, so they will reconvene at Progressive Field at 8:08 PM Tuesday night with Josh Tomlin and Jake Arrieta each making their second start.