Cubs

Sitting on the brink of elimination, Cubs dealt another dose of misery

Sitting on the brink of elimination, Cubs dealt another dose of misery

As Jason Kipnis touched home plate and was greeted by his Indians teammates in the first base dugout, Wrigley Field fell so silent, sounds of the Cleveland celebration could be heard on the opposite end of the stadium.

Wrigley Field was that quiet after Kipnis - a native of Northbrook - drilled a backbreaking three-run homer into the teeth of the wind blowing straight in from right field.

That was the icing on the cake for the Cubs as they were handed a gut-wrenching loss for the second straight night, a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Indians in front of packed house of fans forced to endure another dose of misery.

The festive mood of the Halloween weekend in Wrigleyville has transformed into a anxious mess of frustration and bewilderment.

"We gotta do our best to not even worry about that stuff," Kris Bryant said. "It’s fun for us to see that, the pictures of everybody outside and so many people. We can’t get too caught up in that.

"Hopefully we win out and these first, whatever, four games will be forgotten."

The Wrigley crowd actually had a lot to cheer about early on as Dexter Fowler led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and came around to score two batters later on Anthony Rizzo's RBI single.

John Lackey, the battle-tested veteran who was signed for these "Big Boy Games," immediately gave up the lead, however, as Carlos Santana led off the second inning with a solo homer. 

Jason Heyward pointed to that moment as the change in momentum in the ballgame and he was right. It was all Cleveland from there.

The Indians added another run on Bryant's second error of the second inning when he threw away Corey Kluber's swinging bunt.

"We gave up the homer; that ball was properly struck," Joe Maddon said. "The other run we kind of gave to them. The ball never left the infield and they got another run."

The Indians added solo tallies in the third and fifth innings before Kipnis' knockout blow in the seventh made Vince Vaughn's rendition of the Seventh Inning Stretch a muted affair.

"We've been here before," Heyward said. "Tonight, if you go back and look at the video of that game, we took a lot of good swings. It's not an excuse. It just is what it is. If the ball doesn't go, it doesn't go."

Dexter Fowler homered in the eighth inning, proving Andrew Miller is not a cyborg and is merely a man who is really, really ridiculously good at pitching.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

It was the first run Miller has given up in his postseason career in 24.1 innings. 

It was also the Cubs' first World Series homer since Game 1 in 1945.

The Cubs now have their backs against the wall, but send Jon Lester to the mound Sunday night in an effort to push the series back to Cleveland, where Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks will be ready to pitch and Kyle Schwarber will be reinserted into the lineup as the designated hitter.

"We just need that one moment," Maddon said. "We have to have a one-game winning streak tomorrow and if we do that, I really would be feeling pretty good about going back to Cleveland."

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.