Cleveland Indians Lead World Series 2-1 After Beating Chicago Cubs 1-0

Oct 29, 2016
Originally published on October 29, 2016 12:53 pm
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Cleveland Indians defeated the Chicago Cubs 1-0 last night to take a two games to one lead in the World Series. The game was played at Wrigley Field, the first World Series game there in seven decades. The atmosphere was electric. I know. I was there. You can hear it in my voice. A century of losing baseball uplifts a place, as NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Before we get to the game, did you know that this weekend is probably your best bet to see "Hamilton" in Chicago for cheap? The wildly popular show just opened here. Yet ticket resellers were cutting prices because of the World Series. Scalpers are getting record-high prices for tickets to the games.

NATE BIRNBAUM: I think this is one of the most historic events in the history of American sports. And we're really, really fortunate to be here.

SCHAPER: Thirty-nine-year-old Nate Birnbaum is a lifelong Cubs fan. And he's fortunate because, while World Series tickets are going for thousands of dollars each, he got his for free - a gift from the father of boys he coaches.

BIRNBAUM: He's like, I want you to promise me that you'll be at all three games. And I want you to pay it forward as you get older.

SCHAPER: Many fans are overcome with emotion.

SCOTT GOLDSTEIN: It's intensely surreal.

SCHAPER: Forty-two-year-old Scott Goldstein sits in seats his family has owned since 1938. He says his late father and grandfather saw the Cubs lose in the World Series in '38 and in 1945. But he's seen nothing but futility from the Cubs in his lifetime. So what's it like to see his team now play in the World Series?

GOLDSTEIN: I can't put it into words. But it's like - experience every emotion you could possibly have.

SCHAPER: What are some of those emotions?

GOLDSTEIN: Ecstasy, fear, anxiety, joy, elation, fetal position, if that counts as an emotion.

SCHAPER: I suppose it does. And fans of both teams experienced them all in a tight nail-biter of a baseball game last night. With the wind blowing out, expectations were for an explosion of offense. But instead, it was a pitcher's duel. Both teams threatened, the Indians with more runners on base than the Cubs. And both teams went through several pitchers to keep the hitters in check.

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, that was agonizing.

SCHAPER: Cleveland manager Terry Francona.

FRANCONA: As fun of a game as it was to be a part of, that was agonizing because, you know, we used so many guys.

SCHAPER: But Francona used them the right way, especially pinch hitter Coco Crisp, who drove in the only run in the seventh. Cubs manager Joe Maddon says his young hitters swung too wildly.

JOE MADDON: Maybe - you know, the first game here with all the hoopla going on - it may have had somewhat of an impact for our young guys. But listen, I have all the confidence in the world we'll fix it by tomorrow.

SCHAPER: But they'll have to fix it against Cleveland's top pitcher, as the Indians carry the momentum into tonight's Game 4. David Schaper, NPR News, Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.