Sports editor prediction game five: Cubs win

Scott Nicol

It’s do-or-die time for the Chicago Cubs in game five of the World Series. 

The Cleveland Indians won 7-2 in Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. I

Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber didn’t have the same dominating stuff he had in game one of the series, but was good enough to go six innings and giving up just one run, lowering his World Series ERA in 12 innings pitched to 0.75.

The Cubs scored an early run in the first inning, but John Lackey was unable to hold the lead and Cleveland scored two in the top of the second. The Cubs never regained the lead.

Cubs outfielder was inserted in the starting lineup for the first time this World Series and had two base hits. Unfortunately. the Cubs have been unable to hit with runners in scoring position with the team going just one for its last 27 at-bats.

The keys for the Cubs to stave off elimination will have to begin with starting pitching. Starting pitcher Jon Lester will need to continue to be the ace he has been this season. They need seven strong innings, giving up one run or less.

The Cubs cannot afford to fall behind early, otherwise they may tighten up and get in their own heads.

Manager Joe Maddon has been terrific at keeping the young team loose all season, but tonight is no doubt the toughest game-to-date.

Gaining an early lead will help the Cubs, but they really need there sluggers to come through with guys on-base. Third baseman Kris Bryant has looked lost at the plate the last few games and needs to connect on hittable pitches.

The Cubs need to play the baseball that got them to this point, fundamentally sound and loose baseball.

For the Indians to be crowned MLB champions tonight they will need to dip into Friday and Saturday’s success and hope to replicate it.

The team needs starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to give them five to six innings pitched before the bullpen takes over for the Indians.

The Cubs were able to get to relief pitcher Andrew Miller for a late run last night. It was Miller’s first run he’s given up this postseason.

Cleveland has done a better job in the last two games of hitting with runners on base and manufacturing runs.

Lester is prone to stolen bases and if the Indians get guys on early, they will be aggressive on the base paths to try and force an early run. If they score early it could be trouble for the Cubs.

Prediction: 3-0 Cubs