Cubs force deciding game seven in World Series

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The 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians will come down to one final game. 

With the long ball and dominant pitching, the Cubs beat the Indians 9-3 on Tuesday at Progressive Field, staving off elimination and force a winner-takes-all game seven on Wednesday.

The last MLB team to overcome a 3-1 World Series deficit and win game six and seven on road was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cubs are one win away from pulling off the comeback and ending their 108-year World Series drought. 

 

BRYANT, RUSSELL HITTING THEIR STRIDE

The young Cubs duo each had their postseason slumps but put to rest any concerns with big games on Tuesday. Kris Bryant, who entered game six with the same number of hits as errors in the World Series (two), put the Cubs ahead in the first inning with a homer in his second straight game. Addison Russell, who was one for 24 to begin the postseason hit an RBI double and an historic grand slam en route to six RBIs. 

The Indians pitcher and the rookie outfielder had been playing decent ball since September 1 with Josh Tomlin owning a 1.71 ERA and Tyler Naquin playing error-free ball in the outfield. Things were a lot worse for the two before that however and their mishaps came back. Tomlin, who allowed the second-most homers in the regular season (36), gave up a solo homer to Bryant on a 0-2 pitch in the first inning but was tagged for two more hits and two runs after miscommunication between Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall in the outfield allowed a Russell fly ball to drop. Tomlin, who was pitching on short rest, gave up six hits before getting pulled after a little more than two innings and was scored with allowing six runs after reliever Dan Otero served up the grand slam to Russell. Naquin, meanwhile had a chance to avenge his mistake with the bases loaded in the fourth but struck out swinging. 

In game two, Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth inning for the Cubs, but left the game in the sixth after allowing a run. On Tuesday it was more of the same as the right-hander struck out nine Indians batters, allowing two runs on three hits. The last two starts were vintage Arrieta and drastically different than the pitcher we saw the 10 games prior. The reigning Cy Young Award winner owned a 4.77 ERA over his last 10 starts before the World Series with 25 walks and nine homers allowed. 

 

RECORD-EQUALLING NIGHT FOR RUSSELL

Russell's six RBIs on Tuesday tied a World Series record with Bobby Richardson, Hideki Matsui, and Albert Pujols.

 

DO-OR-DIE IN CLEVELAND

Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14) takes the mound for the third time this World Series on Wednesday, becoming the first pitcher since Curt Schilling in 2001 to make three starts in the Fall Classic. Kluber owns a 0.89 ERA this postseason and will face MLB's ERA leader during the regular season, Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA). It will be all hands on deck in the final game of the year, meaning Cubs ace Jon Lester could come out of the bullpen like Madison Bumgarner did in game seven of the 2014 World Series.