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The View From Pluto: Indians Face Their Biggest Test Yet At Cubs' Wrigley Field

World Series at Progressive Field
Amanda Rabinowitz

The World Series is even at 1-1 after the Indians lost to the Chicago Cubs 5-1 Wednesday night at Progressive Field. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz talked to commentator Terry Pluto looking ahead to Game 3 Friday.

Terry Pluto says the Cubs did to the Indians on Wednesday what the Indians have done to other teams they've faced in the postseason: Pitch well and play good offense. 

"It was an ugly game. It's one of those games where you felt like the score was worse than 5-1."

"In four of their first eight playoff games, the Indians held the other team scoreless. The Indians did score one run last night. But you can see when you don't score at all, it feels almost hopeless and that's how it was in that game."

What to expect at Wrigley Field
The series shifts to Chicago's storied Wrigley Field on Friday.

"Probably the loudest, rowdiest crowds I have seen the Indians encounter," Pluto says. "And while they played in front of loud fans in Boston and Toronto, they've never played in front of such a desperate fan base like the Chicago Cubs. To me one of the remarkable things in Cleveland was that at least 15 percent of the crowd -- if not more -- was from Chicago."

Game 3 Pitching
The Cubs will start Kyle Hendricks on the mound in Game 3. "He's been terrific in the postseason," Pluto says. "He's allowed only one run in 12 innings."

The Indians will start Josh Tomlin, who's had a solid postseason

"He had an August slump but since Sept. 1st, he's 4-1 with an earned run average a little under 2.0. He also has a big heart in terms of his ability to handle pressure situations but a slow heartbeat, which means he's been able to, in these big games so far, pitch his normal game."

Pluto says another advantage for the Indians starting Tomlin is that he can hit.

"In junior college he batted .340. He's only had 12 at-bats in the big leagues, but he's had six hits at 12 at-bats. It wasn't the main reason they were saving him for the National League park, where there is no designated hitter and the pitcher has to bat, but it was a big reason for it."

The Cubs frenzy
Pluto says this series is especially tough for Indians fans to watch on TV, especially when the games shift to Wrigley Field.

"The announcers are going to be oozing, 'These poor Cubbies! They haven't won since 1908! And their faithful fans!' And they'll be showing you all the people with their little blue bears on their jerseys, looking very forlorn.

There's not going to be a lot of love on the national stage for the Tribe. It's been 'Cleveland against the world' and was like that when the Cavs played Golden State [in the NBA Finals].  For the Cavs and Indians ... the best you can say is they're Northeast Ohio's team and that's about as deep as it goes. And that's OK. It's been kind of fun for us to have that 'Cleveland against the world' mentality and I hope the players do too."