Five key moments from the Cubs' 5-1 win in World Series Game 2

Big League Stew

The relentless Chicago Cubs can only be subdued for so long. After being dominated by Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians bullpen in Game 1, they bounced back in every phase in Game 2, defeating the Indians 5-1 to win their first World Series game since 1945.

The Cubs struck early against a clearly rusty Trevor Bauer, scoring runs in the first and third innings. That gave Chicago the early lead and forced Cleveland to play from behind, which is a position they had only been in for 8 1/2 innings this postseason coming in to Game 2. The Cubs would add three more runs against Cleveland’s bullpen in the fifth inning behind clutch hits from Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber, which put them squarely in command.

Of course, the Indians didn’t go away quietly. Though they didn’t threaten much against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (they were hitless into the sixth inning), they made him work hard and ended up knocking him out in the sixth inning. That afforded them an opportunity to chip away against the Cubs’ bullpen, but they couldn’t string together enough hits to forge a comeback.

The Indians will settle for a 1-1 split at home as the scene shifts to Chicago for Games 3, 4 and 5 this weekend at Wrigley Field.

Jake Arrieta started slow but recovered to throw a gem in Game 2 of the World Series. (Getty Images)
Jake Arrieta started slow but recovered to throw a gem in Game 2 of the World Series. (Getty Images)

Arrieta made Cubs’ fans nervous early, struggling through a two-walk, 23-pitch first inning. From that point on though he was superb, only running into trouble after Jason Kipnis thwarted his no-hit bid with a one-out double in the sixth.

At one point, Arrieta retired 14 of 15 batters. Many of those outs were tough battles. He was pulled at 98 pitches after allowing Kipnis to score on a wild pitch and a hard-hit single to Mike Napoli. He allowed one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings. Arrieta walked three and struck out six.

Anthony Rizzo’s first-inning RBI double was a historic moment for the Cubs, as they grabbed their first World Series lead since scoring the winning run in Game 6 of the 1945 World Series. Kris Bryant, who singled with one out and scored the run, became the first Cubs player to score in the World Series since Peanuts Lowery in Game 7 of that same Series.

It wasn’t just historically significant though. It put the Cubs in prime position to even the series. Teams scoring first in the National League Championship Series, American League Championship Series and the World Series this postseason are now 13-0.

Any concerns about Kyle Schwarber’s knee holding up or his timing being off are old news by now. The Cubs young slugger has proven he’s healthy enough to hit, and right now he’s pretty close to locked in at the plate. He cemented his return in Game 2, collecting a two-out RBI single in the third inning on a 3-0 pitch from Trevor Bauer.

Two innings later, Schwarber added another single, this time against reliever Bryan Shaw to essentially put the game away.

Through two games, he’s hitting 3-for-7 with two walks, one run and two RBIs.

Ben Zobrist follows through on his RBI triple during the fifth inning of World Series Game 2. (AP)
Ben Zobrist follows through on his RBI triple during the fifth inning of World Series Game 2. (AP)

The Cubs signed Ben Zobrist this past winter in part because of his big-game experience and, even more so, his big-game success. That continued in Game 2, when he delivered a run-scoring triple that padded the Cubs lead and his remarkable stats over the past two World Series. Zobrist is 5-for-8 with a double, triple and walk through two World Series games in 2016. With the Royals last season, he collected six hits (including four doubles), and scored five runs as they defeated the Mets in five games.

The Indians scoring opportunities were limited in Game 2. The best came in the seventh inning when Brandon Guyer and Game 1 hero Roberto Perez reached with two outs against Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery. The veteran left-hander recovered quickly though, striking out Carlos Santana to end the threat. Montgomery, who took over for Arrieta and escaped the sixth inning as well, picked up six big outs for Joe Maddon before giving way to closer Aroldis Chapman.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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