Corey Kluber historic, Indians shut out Cubs in Game 1 of World Series

CLEVELAND -- Breaking down Game 1 of the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field.

Indians 6, Cubs 0: Indians take a 1-0 series lead.

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The game: Indians starter Corey Kluber spent most of the night making the Cubs' offense look awful, relying on perfect command of his two-seam fastball and his devastating breaking ball to generate ugly swings all evening from a lineup that ranked second in the National League with a .772 OPS during the regular season. Kluber pitched six scoreless innings to earn the win in the game, striking out nine and walking none while allowing only four hits.

Cleveland took advantage of some atypical wildness from Cubs ace Jon Lester in the first inning, plating two runs on a two-out rally that started with a Francisco Lindor single and continued with two walks and a hit by pitch. Lester appeared to settle after the first, allowing only one more run on a Roberto Perez homer in the bottom of the fourth. The lefty left the game with two outs in the sixth, having allowed three earned runs on six hits, three walks and the hit by pitch while striking out seven.

The first-inning damage off Lester proved all Kluber and the Indians' bullpen would need. Andrew Miller relieved Kluber after Ben Zobrist singled to lead off the seventh. The first two Cubs batters reached safely against Miller -- a borderline miracle, given the lefty's performance this postseason -- but two strikeouts around a pop up to short center field ended the threat.

Miller also worked into and out of trouble in the eighth before Cody Allen entered in the ninth to close out the game.

Perez put a stamp on the game with his second home run of the game, a three-run shot off Hector Rondon in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Tribe a 6-0 lead. He became the first catcher to hit two home runs in a World Series game since Gary Carter in Game 4 of the 1986 series.

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Pivot point: Kluber got the first two batters of the game to strike out looking, setting the tone for the evening as soon as it started. The righty fanned eight Cubs through the first three innings, establishing a World Series and franchise record. He finished the night with nine strikeouts across six innings.

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Man of the moment: Kluber was spectacular and Perez provided the power, but Lindor not only keyed the opening -- and decisive -- rally with a line-drive single off Lester, he then won a free Taco Bell taco for everyone in the United States by stealing the first base of the World Series. Lindor was the only Indians player who capitalized on Lester's well-known issues throwing the ball to bases, but the young shortstop did get caught stealing later in the game. By that point, though, the tacos had already been won. Lindor went 3-for-4 in the game, including a seventh-inning double.

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Needing a mulligan: All-time Major League hit king Pete Rose, in his new role as a pre- and postgame analyst for FOX broadcasts, predicted a three-strikeout night for Kyle Schwarber in Schwarber's first game action since the April knee injury that ended his regular season. Schwarber did strike out twice, but he had one of the hardest hit balls of the night off Kluber -- a double off the wall in right field -- and became the first lefty batter to draw a walk off Miller since July 2, and only the second to do so in 2016.

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What you missed on TV: An incredible confluence of Cleveland sports moments. Just before Game 1 kicked off at Progressive Field, the Cavaliers celebrated their NBA championship with a ring ceremony at Quicken Loans Arena, some 40 yards away. In the grassy pavilion between stadiums, a few hundred Cleveland fans decked out in both Indians' navy and red and the Cavs' maroon and gold watched the Game 1 broadcast and followed along as the Cavaliers throttled the woebegone Knicks, 117-88.

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State of the series: The Indians take a one-game lead into Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, set to start at 7:08 p.m. ET time -- an hour ahead of its initial start time due to forecasts of rain in the area that evening. Not only does the prospect of a rain-interrupted game seem to favor the bullpen-rich Indians, but Kluber's exit after only 88 pitches could set him up to start on short rest in Game 4 of the series in Chicago on Saturday. Trevor Bauer, confident that the finger he cut while fixing his drone has now healed, will start Game 2 for the Indians against Jake Arrieta for the Cubs.


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