By Joe Giordano || Sports Editor
Through four games of the World Series, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs have battled for the right to call themselves champions. Both teams are dealing with massive championship droughts. It has been a 68-year drought for the Indians while it has been 108 long years for the Cubs. If the momentum of this series remains the same, it will be another long year of drought for the Cubs.
The Indians have taken a commanding lead in the series, now at 3 games to 1, and seem to have no intention of letting the Cubs back in the series. The Indians have taken the baseball world by storm from the start of the current season. No one expected anything remarkable from the usually unsuccessful Indians.
Led by strong defense, great pitching, and a strong anchor in the bullpen, what the Indians really lack is the star power. However, what they lack in stars, they make up for in fundamentals. They are a team that is fun to watch and rarely, if ever, make mistakes on the field.
In addition, a midseason trade for Yankees closer Andrew Miller seems to be paying dividends as he has been lights out this postseason. He has broken the record for most strikeouts in a postseason by a relief pitcher with 29 strikeouts. In addition, he has only given up one run in over 25 innings and has an ERA of 0.36. If the Indians do finish off the series, there is little doubt that Miller would be the MVP of this foundationally sound team.
On the other side, the Cubs are looking for any chance they may get to turn this series around. Going into the season, unlike the Indians, the Cubs were undoubtedly the favorites to walk out of the season as champions. Offseason additions of Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, Jason Heyward, and Dexter Fowler led many to believe that the Cubs were going all in on a World Series this year.
Furthermore, when closer Aroldis Chapman was added to sure up a bullpen, it seemed to all but guarantee a victory for the Chicago squad that would end their lengthy championship drought. However, sometimes expectations don’t line up with reality and this World Series fully exemplifies that.
Although on paper the Cubs appear to be the superior team, there is an indisputable difference in the amount of “team baseball” each lineup plays. For example, the Cubs committed two crucial coordinative on-field errors in game four, which completely shifted the momentum of the game and ultimately, the series. What hope, if any, is left for the Cubs?
If the Cubs want any chance of winning the series, they will need strong performances from Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. Andrew Miller and the Indians have a totally different idea for how this series will conclude and will try their hardest to bring the title back to Cleveland.
All of the games have been action-packed, and the remaining games look promising to deliver similarly. Either way, one city will finally have their patience rewarded with a title, and I encourage you to watch as the two best teams in baseball this season square off for an anxiously awaited championship title.
Junior Joe Giordano is the Sports Editor. His email is email@example.com.