CLEVELAND -- On a frigid night on the shore of Lake Erie, Jake Arrieta's bid for history came up short. The Chicago Cubs' bid for history, on the other hand, remains very much alive in large part because of the grand return of Kyle Schwarber.
Arrieta overcame a shaky first inning to carry a no-hit bid into the sixth, as the Cubs evened the World Series with a 5-1 Game 2 win Wednesday over the Cleveland Indians. As the series shifts to Chicago in what promises to be an exuberant Windy City, the Cubs can win their first championship in 108 years by taking all three games at Wrigley Field this weekend.
Schwarber again beefed up a middle of the lineup rejuvenated by his return. Schwarber singled twice, drove in two runs and scored another. He's now driven in 10 runs in his first 11 career postseason games. Before Game 1 on Tuesday, Schwarber had not played a big league game since injuring his knee in the Cubs' third game of the regular season.
The Cubs waited and then jumped on Indians starter Trevor Bauer, who had left his previous postseason outing after only 21 pitches because of a bleeding pinkie. This time around, Bauer didn't bleed, except on the scoreboard, where his pitch count skyrocketed against a patient Cubs offense. Bauer exited after 87 pitches and 3⅔ innings, though the Cubs scored just two of their runs against him.
By the time Cleveland's Jason Kipnis -- a Cubs fan while growing up in the Chicago suburbs -- doubled with one out in the sixth, the Cubs had opened up a 5-0 lead. Chicago hasn't blown a run that large all season, so Arrieta's bid was pretty much the only remaining drama in the contest. That and reports of an approaching rainstorm, which had stirred Major League Baseball to push up the start of the contest an hour. Temperatures fell throughout the game, dipping into the low 40s by the late innings.
Chicago added three more runs off a Cleveland bullpen taxed by the Cubs' early lead. As dominant as Andrew Miller, Cody Allen & Co. have been holding leads through the Indians' playoff run, they never got a lead to protect in Game 2.
Perhaps because of the cold weather, or perhaps because he hadn't pitched since Oct. 18, Arrieta wasn't sharp in the early going. He walked Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli with two outs in the first, but wriggled out of the jam by getting Jose Ramirez on a well-struck fly to center. Arrieta threw just 10 of his 23 first-inning pitches for strikes. He settled down after that, retiring 15 of 16 Cleveland batters before Kipnis' double.
The loss was the first World Series defeat for Indians manager Terry Francona, who was the only manager to win his first nine games in the October classic.
Another note in a postseason of historic moments for both teams: When Rizzo doubled in Kris Bryant in the first, he became the first Cub to drive in a run in a World Series game since Bill Nicholson drove in Peanuts Lowrey in Game 7 of the 1945 World Series.
When you're coming across guys named Peanuts in the history books, you know you're going deep. But the Cubs hope to get a whole lot deeper when Game 3 begins at Wrigley Field on Friday. Kyle Hendricks will face Cleveland's Josh Tomlin with the Series lead on the line.