Game One of the 2016 World Series got off to a good start for the Cleveland Indians. Starting pitcher Corey Kluber cut down Chicago batters with ease, leaving the Cubs without a run. This is only the fifth time in World Series history that a team has shut out their opponents in Game One. The Indians were able to hit starting Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, and catcher Roberto Perez was the unlikely hero in the Indians’ 6-0 win with two solo home runs.
Cleveland, Ohio, has been a city long ridiculed for the relative mediocrity of its sports teams. Until recently, the city had gone 52 years without a major championship win. However, 2016 changed this. On June 19, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title after coming from behind in the series to defeat the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James and the Cavaliers partially renewed the faith in Cleveland sports and gave their loyal fan base a taste of victory after years of disappointment. In addition to the Cavs’ victory, the Lake Erie Monsters brought home a minor-league hockey title, and Cleveland native Stipe Miocic established himself as the UFC Heavyweight champion. Now, it is the Indians’ turn.
The Cleveland Indians have worked toward the World Series since the 2016 season opened, and they are finally here. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, baseball fans of the world will watched as the Indians began to participate in their first World Series since 1997, and will continue to watch as they work to achieve their first World Series victory since 1948.
Although they have put together some fantastic seasons in recent years, the Indians have fallen short. In 1995 and 1997, they made it to the World Series but were defeated by the Atlanta Braves and the Florida Marlins, respectively. In 2007, the Indians came close to the series, but were defeated by the Boston Red Sox in the American League Divisional Series. The Red Sox went on to the 2007 World Series, defeating the Colorado Rockies to win the title.
This year, the Indians have blazed a long trail to the series. Throughout the regular season, Cleveland managed to stay on top of the American League Central division, holding off playoff hopefuls such as the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals. Injuries to starting pitchers forced them to change their defensive scheme, signing veteran relief pitcher Andrew Miller at the trade deadline to take the pressure off the waning number of starting pitchers.
Upon entering the postseason, the Indians made quick work of the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs, then fought the Toronto Blue Jays through five games in the divisional matchup. The National League champions, the Chicago Cubs, will be their toughest competition of the year, but such is the World Series. The Cubs have the longest time without a World Series title out of all current baseball teams, with their most recent title being the 1908 Series. For much of the regular season, they’ve been nothing short of the best team in baseball. Their road to the playoffs included defeats of the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Game Two will take place in Cleveland as well, with Cleveland ace Trevor Bauer facing Cubs star Jake Arrietta. Whoever wins the championship, the 2016 World Series will go down in history.