Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Game 1 was Game 1. And that's all.

Well. At least Corey Kluber wasn't this Corey. Or this Corey, either.

At least he was just Corey Kluber, who Klubbed the Kubs with a flurry of Ks, then departed with his work well done: a four-hit, nine-strikeout performance that staked the Indians to a 6-0 victory in Game 1 of the World Series. And, really, Cubs Nation, weren't you just a tiny bit unsurprised?

For three days, after all, it's been delirium and joy and omigod-we're-in-the-World-Series, which hinted broadly that, come Game 1, the Cubs would play like a team that was just happy to be there. And the Indians ... well, the Indians would be the Indians, throwing Kluber out there with his filthy stuff, getting the timely hit, playing the role of the wise old heads who knew there were still four more games to win.

It was, on its face, a ridiculous notion, given that the Indians haven't been to a World Series themselves in two decades, and haven't won one in 68. Their own record of futility and epic losing is almost as monumental as that of the Cubs. Only against the Cubs could they come off looking like the team that's been there before.

They are also going to be a tough, and perhaps impossible, out. Lost in all the hoo-ha over the Cubs getting to the World Series for the first time in 71 years is A) they still have to play more games, and B) the Indians are not merely the willing foils in this fairy-tale drama. Yes, the Cubs are the better team on paper, and pretty clearly so. But the Indians have already made confetti out of two teams that were better on paper. And they have the better pitching, having given up only 15 runs in nine postseason games -- eight of which have been Ws.

So the work is cut out, and if there are any saving graces to be taken away from last night, it's that, presumably, it's returned the Cubs' feet to the ground. And it's baseball, which more than any other sport is devoid of momentum.

Which means what happened last night will have no more bearing on tonight than what happened a few yards away in QuickenLoans Arena last night,, where the Cavaliers raised their NBA championship banner and then pounded lumps on the heads of the hapless Knicks. Two new pitchers will take the bump in Game 2, and the blackboard is wiped clean. Everybody's starting over from scratch, with nine fresh unmarked innings lying ahead.

On we go. 

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