Cubs Drub Indians 7–1
On a beautiful night on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, a rematch of the 2016 World Series took place between the Cleveland Indians and the North Side Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs blasted the Indians by a score of 7–1. Indians starter Adam Plutko struggled through his outing, taking 60 pitches to get through three innings and only lasting through four, throwing 78 pitches with two four hits, one walk, two strikeouts and an earned run. Two double plays helped get him out of trouble in the third and fourth innings.
Jason Heyward drew first blood with an RBI single, scoring Wilson Contreras in the second inning. In the sixth, Heyward broke it wide open with a three run shot off of Phil Maton to make a 3–0 lead into a 6–0 lead for the Cubs. Heyward went 2-for-3 with four RBI.
Franmil Reyes finally got the Tribe on the board in the sixth, scoring Francisco Lindor on an RBI double to deep right-center field.
However, it was too little, too late. Cubs ace Jon Lester rolled through six innings as Chicago took the first of a two game set, with another two game series to be played at Wrigley Field later in the season.
The Indians streak of not allowing more than four runs in a game to start the season ended at 17 straight games. The Cubs were fully aware of that statistic heading into the game, and were determined to break it.
Tito Back at The Helm
Terry Francona returned to the dugout after being out the prior eight games due to a gastrointestinal issue he had been dealing with since spring training before the pandemic shut down baseball.
Francona is in his eighth season managing the Indians following a stint in Philadelphia as the Phillies manager before winning two titles in Boston, where he managed the Cubs starter for the evening in Jon Lester.
Santana Walks Into History
With a walk on a full count by Jon Lester, Carlos Santana moved into sole possession of 2nd place for walks in Cleveland Indians history with 858 walks. Santana trails only Hall of Famer Jim Thome, who has 1,008 walks in a Tribe uniform.
Jason Kipnis, the Tribe’s second baseman from 2011 through last season, came back to town playing with his childhood team in the Cubs. He doubled in the top of the 3rd and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning in his return to Cleveland.
Kipnis signed with Chicago on a minor league pact over the winter and earned a roster spot at the keystone when Summer Camp broke.
Prior to the game, Kipnis chatted with Chicago and Cleveland media, talking about his time in Cleveland, what it’s like to be on the team he grew up rooting for who beat him in the 2016 Fall classic, among other topics and shared laughs to boot.
Kipnis is glad to be back, though admitted it was a bit strange having to go to the visitor’s locker room. He quipped that he hoped an Indians pitcher would bean him so he could charge the mound for a hug, but noted it wouldn’t be the right thing in light of the global pandemic.