The Fall Classic Facts: The unique Cubs’ World Series postponement

The Cubs and the Red Sox played in the 1918 World Series. (Getty Images)

The Cubs and the Red Sox played in the 1918 World Series. (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND – As if the Cubs don’t have enough to deal with in their first World Series in 71 years, now Mother Nature is making her presence felt.

The start time of Game 2 of the 2016 Fall Classic was moved up an hour on Tuesday night to 6:08 PM central time due to the threat of rain.

If there should be some postponement of the game it would not be the first for the Cubs in the World Series – but you have to go back 98 years to find the last one.

The circumstances surrounding that historic game were unusual, historic, and a bit tragic.

First of all the Cubs’ home games for that series were played not at Weeghman Park (Now Wrigley Field) because of capacity. Instead the series was shifted to the South Side to the more spacious Comiskey Park for the first three games of the series.

September 4th was supposed to be the first game but two things caused the contest’s postponement. The main reason was the weather which caused the umpires to push the start of the series to the following day. That day was also a tragic one in Chicago as four people were killed and 75 injured when a bomb exploded outside the Chicago Federal Building near the Adams Street entrance.

In light of both, the game wasn’t played.

On September 5th the Cubs and the Red Sox finally got things going at Comiskey Park and some history was made in the process. In the seventh inning “The Star Spangled Banner” was played for the first time at a Major League Baseball game, done so as World War I continued in Europe.

The 19,274 fans that sang the song were also treated to an incredible pitching performance from one of baseball’s greatest hitters. Babe Ruth took the ball for the Red Sox in Game 1 and was strong scattering six hits and striking out four batters in a 1-0 Boston win. Hippo Vaughn of the Cubs was also strong but a fourth inning RBI single to Stuffy McInnis would end up costing him the win.

Ruth would pitch again in Game 4 to help the Red Sox to a 3-2 win and eventually a series victory in six games. It would be the pitcher’s last game in Boston as he was infamously traded to the Yankees for cash and the franchise would go 86 years without a championship.

LOSE FIRST, LOSE SERIES?

When it comes to the Cubs and the World Series, most of the time history is working against them.

After a Game 1 loss, that is the case again.

The last 14 teams that have won the first game of the World Series at home have gone on to win the series. That includes the 2015 Royals, who beat the Mets in Game 1 in Kansas City and won the series five games.

To find the last team to break that trend, you have to go back 24 years. The 1992 Toronto Blue Jays lost the first game of the World Series to the Atlanta Braves at Fulton County Stadium but took four of the next five games to win the franchise’s first title.

IS THE ROOKIE UP FOR THE TASK?

Jake Arrieta, like most pitchers, is very specific when it comes to the guys he likes behind the plate for his starts.

Typically that is Miguel Montero, who has caught 20 games with Arrieta this season including his first playoff game against the Giants in the National League Division Series.

That will not be the case tonight as Joe Maddon elects to go with rookie Willson Contreras in Game 2 as Arrieta takes the mound.

While Contreras brings a better bat ( .409 average in the postsesaon), he doesn’t have as good a track record with Arrieta. In 33 innings with the rookie behind the plate Arrieta has a 5.18 ERA and has allowed 18 runs and five homers.