Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Championship Series, Game 4

A fine autumn day in Chicago found another capacity crowd on hand for the Series. Down 2 games to 1, the Cubs put their trust in the right arm of Ed Reulbach, while the Indians countered with El Presidente, Dennis Martinez.

A triple by Frank Schulte and a sacrifice fly by Frank Chance put Chicago on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning. Martinez struck out Steinfeldt to escape further damage. In the 3rd, Wildfire struck again with another triple, driving in Sheckard. Chance drove him in again on a triple of his own, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Reulbach was pitching in a way that would make even a 1-0 game insurmountable, and showing why he's one of the favorites to win the Cy Young award. Ed threw 4 innings of no-hit ball before Albert Belle doubled (and had the Indians' only extra-base hit), and was never particularly close to trouble. He was not dominant, striking out only 2, but Cleveland was unable to hit the ball with any authority.

Martinez gave way to Albie Lopez, making his first appearance since the epic ALCS finale, and finally Julian Tavarez. Both prevented further damage, though an errant pitch from Tavarez hit Chance in the 8th, knocking him out of the game. Chance is day to day.

In the end, Ruelbach made it look easy, getting the complete-game shutout and lowering his post-season ERA to 0.75 while improving his record to 4-0. With the win for Chicago, they even the series at 2 games a piece. The weather in Chicago looks iffy for Game 5, though of course the league offices will try and get the game in.... :)