David Campbell – 23 Sports

In a rematch of the 2016 World Series, the Chicago Cubs faced off against the Cleveland Indians in a two-game series at Wrigley Field. Much like four years ago, it was a hard fought battle that resulted in victory for the Cubs.

Chicago took both games by way of walk-off as both games were absolute thrillers and each team exchanged blows throughout. Despite each team having golden chances, neither squad was able to clearly pull away.

In game one, both the Indians and the Cubs had two aces on the bump. Carlos Carrasco went six innings, giving up three runs and striking out five. Not a bad start for a guy who was recovering from leukemia a year ago.

The Cubs had potential Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish toe the rubber who had an alright game. Over seven innings Darvish allowed nine hits, two earned runs while striking out seven. Darvish has an ERA of 1.86, which is good enough for third in the MLB among starters.

Chicago had a 5-3 lead going into the final inning and they turned to right handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress has been lights out this year out of the pen with a 1.77 ERA in a little over 20 innings pitched this season.

However, Jefress did not look well and it showed, giving up two runs as the Indians tied up the game, still giving the Cubs a chance to win the game in the final frame.

Chicago won the game but in the most interesting fashion. The bases were loaded and pinch hitter Cameron Maybin came in and was hit by a pitch to get the game winning RBI. 

The next night it was a similar story. Close fought game with very solid pitching performances. This time the bullpens for each squad were stellar as neither team scored a run between innings six and nine. 

As the game went into the 10th inning, the Indians turned to little-known reliever Phil Maton. The Cubs started with a runner on second base and after a Kris Bryant single, Chicago had runners on the corner.

The next batter was Anthony Rizzo and after a couple balls in a row, Indians manager Terry Francona decided to intentionally walk Rizzo and load the bases.

The Indians almost got out of the jam after strikeouts of Wilson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. However former All-Star shortstop Javier Baez came up and knocked a base hit to left to give the Cubs the victory and the two game sweep.

Chicago only strengthened their lead over the Cardinals and Reds in the NL Central with a five and a half game lead. They go up against the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.

Cleveland’s playoff hopes are looking grim as they are six games behind the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead and they have lost now eight in a row. They now face a very winnable series against the Detroit Tigers.

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