The Fall Classic Facts for Game 1: A long, long, long time coming
CLEVELAND – This is one of those days where no one is short on tidbits.
Historical numbers have been thrown around since Saturday night when it was confirmed that the Cubs and the Indians would play in 2016 World Series.
The drought for each team has been mentioned ad nausea and now finally it’s time to get down to baseball.
But before first pitch after 7 PM Central Time, here are a few tidbits for this game in “The Fall Classic Facts” for Game 1 at Progressive Field.
LONG DROUGHTS FOR EACH
Let’s face it – both the Cubs and the Indians haven’t won a championship in a long time.
In fact, both teams currently hold the first and second longest droughts in Major League Baseball for a World Series title.
The Cubs have gone 108-years since winning their last World Series on October 14, 1908 in Game 5 over the Detroit Tigers.
Cleveland’s wait for an Indians title has been a bit less, but not by much. They last won the World Series on October 11, 1948 in a win over the Boston Braves at Braves Field.
THE LAST TO DO SO IN THE SERIES WAS
It has been 71 years since the Cubs last played in a World Series game. That brings up a number of “last time” statistics for the Cubs when it comes to an accomplishment in the Fall Classic.
Here are a few:
Last Pitcher to Win and Start a World Series Game for the Cubs: Hank Borowy won Game 6 at Wrigley Field in relief then came back to start Game 7 two days later but allowed five runs in the first inning in a 9-3 loss.
Last Cubs Player to Homer in the World Series: Phil Cavarretta. He socked a homer in the top of the seventh inning in Game 1 of the 1945 World Series at Briggs Stadium in helping the Cubs to a 9-0 Game 1 victory. (In 1945 the first three games of the World Series were played in Detroit with the final four in Chicago)
Last Cubs Player to Drive in a Run in the World Series: Right fielder Bill Nicholson hit an RBI double to centerfield in the eighth inning of Game 7 at Wrigley Field. It was too little, too late as the Cubs would end up losing the game 9-3 and the series as well.
LESTER THE UNHITTABLE
If you want a reason to feel better about having Jon Lester on the mound for Game 1 of the World Series, then take a look at his previous record in the Fall Classic.
Believe it or not, it’s actually better than his performance in this year’s playoffs.
In two previous appearances with the Red Sox in 2007 and 2013, Lester has a 3-0 record in a trio of starts with a microscopic 0.43 ERA in 21 innings.
He helped Boston clinch the 2007 World Series title against the Rockies with 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball in a Game 4 win by the Red Sox to finish off the sweep in Colorado.
Six years later he pitched in Game 1 and Game 5 of the World Series against the Cardinals, each game going 7 2/3 innings for a victory.
This also marks the 10th game in which Lester will be caught by David Ross in the playoffs. In the previous nine games in Boston and Chicago the pair have won six of the nine games in which they’ve made up the pitcher-catcher battery.