CHICAGO — The Cleveland Indians scored once, and that was enough.
Pinch hitter Coco Crisp had an RBI single in the top of the seventh inning, and the Indians escaped with a 1-0 win against the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the first World Series game there in 71 years.
In World Series history, the team winning Game 3 in a 1-1 series has gone on to win the championship 37 times (64.9%).
The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. No team in the four major North American sports has ever gone longer without an appearance in a championship game or series.
The Indians, meanwhile, haven’t won the World Series since 1948. Coupled with the Cubs’ drought, the 174 combined seasons between titles for the two clubs is the largest in World Series history.
Game 4 is Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 8:08 p.m. ET. Corey Kluber, who shut down the Cubs in Game 1, will start for the Indians, while John Lackey will go for Chicago.
Paralyzed dad sees his son pitch
Win or lose, it was a special night for Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin, as he took the mound at Wrigley with his father, Jerry Tomlin, in attendance.
Two months ago, it didn’t seem possible that the two would be able to share a moment like this together.
According to MLB.com, Jerry Tomlin felt a burning in his stomach while working at a power plant in Whitehouse, Texas, in August. In the hospital, he suddenly became paralyzed from the chest down. The cause: arteriovenous malformation (in regular speak, a tangle of blood vessels) on his spinal cord. He underwent emergency surgery to keep the condition from getting any worse.
There’s a chance Jerry Tomlin will never walk again. But that didn’t keep him from traveling to Chicago and watching his son pitch.
“It’s been awesome,” Jerry Tomlin said from his seat on the Fox television broadcast. “For me, it’s a dream come true.”
On Thursday, his son said just being able to see him was what he was what he was looking forward to the most.
“He hasn’t been to a game in quite a while,” Tomlin said. “And it wasn’t looking like he was going to get to come to a game at all. …The fact that we get to experience the World Series together is pretty neat.”
Tomlin gave his dad a performance to remember. He didn’t allow a run in 4 2/3 innings pitched, giving up just two hits and walking one.
Historic night at Wrigley Field
It wasn’t just about the teams Friday night. It also was about the location.
Wrigley Field is second only to Fenway Park as the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball. But until recently, it was a pretty lonely place in October.
Before Friday night, the last time the Cubs played a World Series game in this ballpark was on October 10, 1945, when they lost the series to the Detroit Tigers in Game 7. To add to the misery, the now-famous “billy goat curse” was put on the club just a few days earlier by a local tavern owner, who was denied admittance to the stadium with his pet goat for Game 4.
The 102-year-old ballpark known as the “Friendly Confines” has never seen its home team Cubs win the World Series.
Ticket prices are sky high for the games at Wrigley. The average ticket price for Game 5, which is Sunday, is $6,548, making it the most expensive sporting event of all time, according to TicketIQ, which has been tracking ticket prices for seven years.
Comic legend and Cubs super-fan Bill Murray fired up the crowd during the seventh inning stretch with his rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” ending with a reference to the late Cubs sportscaster Harry Caray, yelling, “Let’s get some runs!”
Other celebrities in attendance included actor Jon Hamm, television/radio personality Jenny McCarthy, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, actor Jim Belushi and actor and comedian Jeff Garlin.
The frenzy wasn’t contained to just inside the stadium, as bars in the Wrigleyville neighborhood were charging hundreds of dollars for fans to watch the game.