The 112th World Series got underway Tuesday with a 6-0 shutout win by the Indians over the Cubs at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Yesterday’s was the 54th World Series game in Cubs’ history, but just the third time they’ve been shutout. Their last shutout in a Fall Classic game was September 5, 1918 versus the Red Sox (also a Game 1). No team had been shutout in the first game of the World Series since the Reds blanked the Athletics 7-0 in 1990.
Though national popular sentiment seems focused on the Cubs, the Indians are just as focused on winning. As he showed in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against Boston, Tribe manager Terry Francona knows the value of that initial win. Indeed, every Game 1 winner since 2010 and all but two since 1997 have gone on to win the series.
That said, too much shouldn’t be read into the shutout loss. The Cubs have proven themselves resilient this season. What’s more, of the 16 teams in major league history to suffer the indignity of a shutout loss in the first game of a World Series, nine have gone on to win the whole thing.
Worth noting: On the threat of rain the forecast for Cleveland, Major League Baseball moved the start time for Wednesday’s Game 2 up an hour. First pitch will be at 7:08 ET/4:08 PT.
On to some news and notes for Red Sox fans now:
- Old friends, Part I: Cubs ace Jon Lester was charged with three earned runs and his first-ever World Series loss Tuesday. Lester had not allowed more than 1 ER in three previous such starts, all with the Red Sox.
- Old friends, Part II: What a moment last night when Indians reliever Andrew Miller struck out Chicago’s David Ross with two outs and the tying runs on base. Lester, Miller, and Ross (not to mention Cleveland’s Mike Napoli) were, of course, part of Boston’s 2013 championship team.
- In case you missed it, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald recounts how the Theo Epstein/Joe Maddon tandem in Chicago was close to getting together in Boston back in 2003, before Epstein hired Francona. It’s an interesting, albeit cursory look at the process of hiring a team manager. For his part, Maddon says Francona was ultimately the right decision for the Sox, “I thought Tito was more prepared for that moment than I was at that time.”
- There won’t be a General Manager to replace Mike Hazen, who left the left the Sox to run Diamondbacks baseball. Instead, Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski promoted Eddie Romero Jr. to Senior VP and Assistant GM, where he’ll join Brian O’Halloran, who has the same title. Romero, 37, was previously Vice President for International Scouting for the club.
- Meanwhile, Amiel Sawdaye, the Red Sox VP of International and Amateur Scouting and a potential Sox GM candidate himself, has decided to follow Hazen to Arizona where he’ll be an Assistant GM. Speculation continues that Hazen will also be talking to popular Sox Bench Coach Torey Lovullo about managing the D-backs.