CHICAGO -- The Cleveland Indians may be just one victory away from their first World Series Championship since 1948, but despite a 3-1 lead over the Chicago Cubs, they are not taking anything for granted heading into Game 5 at Wrigley Field tonight.
Champions of the American League, the Indians know they will have a tough task at hand when it comes to finishing off the Cubs, especially in front of the Wrigley Field fans, who watched their team win 103 regular-season games and cruise into the postseason.
“It’s not an ending yet,” Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. “We’ve got one more to get, and it’s probably going to be the hardest victory of the year, but this is a special night for me and this team to take the first two here. Now, we’ve got a couple tries to try and win one more. We’re ready to get it. This is a fun one.”
Shortstop Francisco Lindor added, “It feels good, but we’ve still got to work hard. We’ve still got a long way to go. They’ve got a good team. They can come back at any time. We’ve just got to make sure we do our thing, stay humble and stay aggressive the entire time.”
For the Indians to be successful in their quest for the franchise’s first championship in 68 years, the players believe the key is doing what they have done all season, focusing on the next game on the schedule and putting aside all other distractions.
“That team over there is the best team in the National League,” outfielder Coco Crisp said. “They’re not going to give up. We know they’re not going to give up. We’ve got to go out there and play them like they’re the best team in the National League.
“That is a possibility, and that would be amazing if that happened, but at the same time, you can’t worry about the end result of the game. You have to worry about what’s going to happen during the game, and that’s where we’re going to focus on.”
According to outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, the Indians “can worry about” the celebration when they register their fourth victory of the World Series and not a moment sooner.
“We’re going to come out and try to play a good baseball game,” Chisenhall said. “We look forward to celebrating at some point, but they’re a good ball club over there. I know they’re not going to go down easy.”
Starting pitcher Corey Kluber added, “It’s business as usual. I think we have to take tomorrow with the same approach we’ve taken every game to this point. If we relax or take our foot off the gas pedal, that’s just inviting them to get momentum and come back into the series.”