Cubs

Cubs squeak by in World Series nail-biter, live to fight another day

Cubs squeak by in World Series nail-biter, live to fight another day

Wrigley Field has now seen a Cubs World Series victory in the last seven decades.

On a momentous weekend, the holiday-esque atmosphere around Wrigley Field had the air taken out of it with a pair of losses to the Cleveland Indians on Friday and Saturday nights.

But the Cubs rallied back, keeping the series alive for at least one more game after a 3-2 victory over the Indians in front of 41,711 fans at Wrigley Field Sunday night.

"We're enjoying this win and it's nice to give these fans something to cheer for," David Ross said. "It was nice hearing 'Go Cubs go' after the game.

"We're excited about this win. Hopefully with this momentum, we can take this into Cleveland in two days and kinda go from there."

The formula that led to 111 victories entering this weekend once again showed itself after a two-game absence.

The Cubs played stellar defense, rekindled their offensive approach and executed on the mound, getting another strong start from ace Jon Lester.

"It was a phenomenal game," Ross said. "Well-played, well-pitched by both sides. That's your typical World Series game: 3-2, comes down to every pitch, every play made."

Kris Bryant had been having a rough World Series, but led off the fourth inning with a homer that jumpstarted the Cubs offense.

Anthony Rizzo followed with a double and, after a Ben Zobrist single, scored on Addison Russell's infield chopper. 

Javy Baez laid down a perfect bunt base hit and David Ross - playing in his final home game of his career - worked a professional at-bat to drive home the third run with a sacrifice fly.

That was all the offense the Cubs could muster up, however, as the Indians bullpen once again held them in check. But it was enough.

The Indians scored in the second on a Jose Ramirez homer and two-out single from Francisco Lindor in the sixth.

But that was all Lester allowed, once again showing his postseason grit in six innings.

Carl Edwards Jr. came out for the seventh, but was only able to get one out before Joe Maddon called on closer Aroldis Chapman early.

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Chapman got out of jams in the seventh and eighth and even had an at bat, striking out in the eighth with Jason Heyward on third base.

Chapman - whose season high in pitches was 36 - tossed 42 pitches to keep the Cubs' hopes alive, tossing the longest outing of his career (2.2 innings).

The Cubs now send Jake Arrieta to the mound for Game 6 in Cleveland Tuesday night against Josh Tomlin working on short rest.

Kyle Schwarber will also return to the lineup as the designated hitter.

From an entertainment perspective, if you're a baseball fan or looking to become a baseball fan, it was wonderful tonight, outstanding," Joe Maddon said.

"I like to believe we're going to catch or gain some momentum from this game going back over there."

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

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Former Cub Mark Prior 'likely' to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

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USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior 'likely' to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

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