By HAL McCOY
The Chicago Cubs showed they are not going to go quietly into the night, even a very cold and drizzly night against a very hot Cleveland Indians team in Progressive Field.
After getting shut out in Game 1 Tuesday, the Cubs came out swinging in Game 2 Wednesday night and returned the favor, a 5-1 victory.
After a day off, the World Series shifts to Chicago’s Wrigley Field for Game 3 Friday and Cubs manager Joe Maddon has a major decision to make.
WHAT TO DO WITH Kyle Schwarber? The Indians can’t do anything with him.
Schwarber, a Middletown native, had two run-scoring singles Wednesday, but he did it as the team’s designated hitter.
When the Series resumes in Wrigley, the National League park, there will be no designated hitter. So what will Maddon do?
Schwarber tore two tendons in his leg the first week of the season and missed the entire season, but recovered enough to return for the World Series — as a designated hitter. It is uncertain if he can play his normal left field.
How, though, can Maddon keep Schwarber’s bat out of the lineup? He has been cleared by doctors to hit and to run the bases, but not to play in the field. Maddon must get a doctor’s approval to put Schwarber on the field, but how difficult will it be for him to find a friendly physician in Chicago?
“This is the ultimate,” said Schwarber. “It’s the World Series, it is where you want to be. The adrenaline flows. Can I play in the field? I don’t know. I haven’t tried it. We’ll see.”
SCHWARBER, WHO HAD a double and a walk in Game 1, a 3-0 loss, singled home a run with two outs in the third to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead and punched a two-out run-scoring single in the fifth to push the advantage to 4-0.
The Cubs rid themselves of Tribe starter Trevor Bauer in the fourth inning after he gave up two runs, six hits and two walks.
Meanwhile, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta made the Cleveland Indians resemble a bunch of striking workers walking a picket line from home plate back to the dugout.
Arrietta, a maestro on the mound, pitched around a couple of walks in the first inning, but the Tribe didn’t have a hit until Jason Kipnis doubled with one-out in the sixth on Arrietta’s 88th pitch. For Kipnis, it was a make-up for making Cleveland’s first error of the post-season and it led to Chicago’s fifth run.
THE KIPNIS DOUBLE LED to the Tribe’s only run on a ground ball and an Arrieta wild pitch. When Mike Napoli singled to left with one out Maddon came to relieve Arrieta of his duties.
The Tribe uprising was a mere mini-rally because Mike Montgomery came on to snuff it. He walked two in the seventh inning, but escaped mayhem by striking out the side.
Closer Aroldis Chapman, needing work, arrived in the eighth with one on and two outs and struck out Jose Ramirez. Then he pitched a one-walk ninth to send the Cubs back to Chicago tied at one game apiece.
THE DEFEAT WAS THE first World Series loss for Tribe manager Terry Francona, who won eight straight World Series games while managing the Boston Red Sox and his first with the Indians.
And the Tribe made it miserable on themselves on this night by walking eight Cubs.
Schwarber finished 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run. Ben Zobrist was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI and Anthony Rizzo was on base three times, drove in a run with his only hit and scored twice after walking two times.
The Tribe? Four hits. Total.