CLEVELAND — The last time the Cubs were playing a game in Cleveland, their starting lineup was made public a good 5 hours before World Series Game 7 began.
Eighteen months later, that wasn't the case, as the lineup didn't come out until about 2 hours and 45 mins prior to first pitch.
The hold up? Kris Bryant.
The Cubs have received positive reports on their superstar third baseman after he took a 96 mph fastball to the helmet in the first inning of Sunday's game in Colorado.
Bryant was immediately taken out of that game and eventually deemed unable to go Tuesday, though the Cubs admit they are just playing it safe. Doctors — including the Indians team doctor — gave Bryant the all-clear, but the Cubs aren't going to rush him back.
"I said, 'Hey, listen, you need to evaluate this yourself. You need to do what you think the right thing is to do,'" Joe Maddon said. "'I'm not here to tell you that. You know how you feel. Go talk to the doctor, we're not going to start you right now. If you feel better during the game, let me know, we might be able to utilize you during the game.'
"Let's see how this plays out for tomorrow. I think he's fine, he just has to work through some things."
When it comes to matters of the head, professional teams are letting players call the shots now, given how much we've learned about concussions just in the last half-decade.
San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt hit the disabled list late last season on a 79 mph curveball that hit him square on the head. Belt lost months of his life to the black hole of depression caused by the concussion.
Bryant has been cleared of a concussion and luckily for him and the Cubs, the ball caught him on more of a glancing blow than flush, like Belt took.
Still, it's not something that just goes away overnight.
"Getting hit in the head is kind of a traumatic experience, man," Maddon said. "Especially 96 [mph]. Probably the first time that's ever happened to him."
Bryant's partner in crime on the left side of the infield, Addison Russell, was also cleared for a return to duty after a scary allergic reaction Sunday night in Colorado.
Russell started Tuesday's game and doubled in the first inning, just 48 hours after being strapped to a gurney and rushed to the hospital.
The Cubs shortstop is allergic to shellfish and mistakenly ate the postgame spread in the Colorado vistitor's clubhouse labeled as chicken, not realizing it was actually shrimp.
"To my understanding, I thought it was just lemon chicken and it just turned out to be shrimp," Russell said. "Definitely something that I always take into consideration looking at the spread after the game and completely just didn't see it.
"Had an allergic reaction, went to the hospital, had an IV put in and in a couple hours, everything was fine."
Russell said the shrimp was kind of breaded and just looked like orange chicken or something.
He hasn't had an allergic reaction like that since he was a kid and normally is extremely careful so paramedics don't have to be called, as they were Sunday.
Russell rejoined the team in Cleveland the next day and doesn't anticipate any lingering effects.