CHICAGO -- Three down, one to go!
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 in the best-of-seven matchup, 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.
“Our goal is to win, and if we have a chance to win, we’ll do whatever’s in our best interest to try to win the game, just like all the time,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
The last 10 teams to hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the Fall Classic have gone on to with the World Series. The 1985 St. Louis Cardinals were the last team to have a 3-1 lead in the World Series and not claim the championship.
For the Indians to be successful in their quest for the franchise’s first championship in 68 years, the key is doing what they have done all season, focusing on the next game on the schedule and putting aside all other distractions.
“Nothing changes,” Francona said. “We’re going to show up. The only thing that changes is we’ll pack our bags because we’re going to go home one way or the other, and we’ll show up and try to beat a really good pitcher.
“That’s what we always do. Nothing needs to change.”
And by nothing, Francona means everything will stay the same, and that includes excluding a cheerleading type of speech prior to Game 5.
“It might make them nervous,” Francona said. “They’re doing fine. They’re okay. They know how to play the game. In our game, you can’t meet every night. It’s not like football. If they don’t understand by now, they’re probably not gonna, and I think they’re doing just fine.
“We’ve had games where we haven’t hit the ball really well, but we’ve still competed and found ways to win. They don’t need a talking to. They’re doing just fine.”