CHICAGO -- Not even the wind can defeat great pitching, not even at Wrigley Field. Starter Josh Tomlin and three relievers combined to shut out the Chicago Cubs 1-0 as the Cleveland Indians grabbed a 2-1 lead in the World Series with their fifth shutout in 11 postseason games and their second in the World Series.
Pinch hitter Coco Crisp broke up a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the seventh. Despite a stiff wind blowing out to left-center, the pitchers for both sides controlled the game from start to finish on an unusually warm late October evening in Chicago.
There wasn't much drama in the first two games at Cleveland, with each team getting an early lead and coasting to a win with little late-inning drama. That changed in Game 3, a tight, terse affair that pitted two of the majors' premier managers in a chess match.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks kept the Indians off the scoreboard for 4⅔ innings despite wavering command. He gave up leadoff singles in three innings and also walked two batters. After appearing fidgety enough to draw a pair of mound visits from catcher Willson Contreras and another visit from pitching coach Chris Bosio, Hendricks hit his final batter, Jason Kipnis, to load the bases with one out in the top of the fifth. Justin Grimm came on and, after running the count full, got red-hot Francisco Lindor to hit into a nifty 4-6-3 double play to keep the game scoreless.
Despite the wind, the warmth and the anticipation of the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years, the Cubs did little against Indians starter Josh Tomlin, who gave up 36 homers during the regular season.
After Jorge Soler collected his first hit of the postseason to lead off the fifth and advanced to second on a groundout, Cleveland manager Terry Francona summoned his chief fireman, Andrew Miller, the MVP of this year's American League Championship Series. Miller got pinch hitter Miguel Montero to end the inning on a well-struck liner to right.
In the top of the seventh, the Indians got a leadoff single from Roberto Perez, their fourth leadoff hit over the first seven innings. Perez was replaced by pinch runner Michael Martinez, who was bunted to second by Tyler Naquin and reached third on a wild pitch by Cubs reliever Carl Edwards. Edwards walked Rajai Davis to bring Miller's spot in the order up, forcing Francona's hand. So Crisp came on as a pinch hitter and dumped a single to right to score Martinez. With Miller out of the game, that left Francona with Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen to finish the game.
Meanwhile, with the lefty Miller done, Cubs manager Joe Maddon still had Series sensation Kyle Schwarber, a lefty-hitting slugger, on his bench to pinch hit.
After comedic actor Bill Murray got the crowing going with a Daffy Duck-inspired rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," Soler touched up Shaw for a two-out triple in the bottom of the seventh.
Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall appeared to misplay the ball near the brick wall that runs along the right-field foul line. However, Shaw got Javier Baez on a bouncer to short to end the threat.
Schwarber's time came in the eighth when he batted for reliever Pedro Strop with the bases empty and one out. He popped weakly to short, and that was that after all his heroics as a designated hitter in Games 1 and 2 in Cleveland.
In the ninth, Allen had to contain another rally after the Cubs had put runners on second and third with two out. Allen was able to strike our Baez on a high fastball to end it.
With the loss, the Cubs won't be able to win the World Series on their home field. In fact, if the Indians win the next two games, they will be celebrating the end of an epic title drought on the venerable grounds of Wrigley Field. The Cubs will send John Lackey to the mound against Indians ace Corey Kluber in Game 4 on Saturday.