The Latest: Francona unsure of left fielder for Game 6
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the World Series (all times local):
Once again, Indians manager Terry Francona is torn on what to do in left field.
The good thing is that Carlos Santana isn’t an option.
Francona was forced to start Santana, his regular designated hitter, twice in left at Wrigley Field, where Cleveland had to play under National League rules. Santana more than held his own in Games 3 and 5.
“I was really proud of him,” Francona said of Santana, who had only played four innings in left in his career before Game 5. “He’s come a long way. Took a lot of work in that four- or five-day span for him to be out there, and I thought it was pretty cool. I’ll be glad that we can DH somebody though.”
Francona is now trying to decide whether to play Coco Crisp or Rajai Davis in left for Game 6 against Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta. Davis had two hits and stole three bases in Game 5.
Francona said he’s leaning toward Crisp but wants to discuss it first with bench coach Brad Mills.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon anticipates closer Aroldis Chapman will be available for another long outing in Game 6.
Chapman threw 42 pitches in Game 5, getting the first eight-out save of his major league career.
“I don’t know that we could do what we did yesterday, necessarily. But I’ll talk to him tomorrow,” Maddon said Monday. “He’s a pretty strong guy. Beyond that I don’t think we’ve overused him to this point. I’m just talking about the latter part of the season as well as the playoffs, he’s been in pretty much a little dabs, not the lengthy moment like you saw yesterday. I’ll check with him tomorrow. I’ll definitely listen to what he has to say. I’m betting that he would probably think that he would be good for two innings, I would imagine tomorrow.”
Rookie catcher Willson Contreras is set to start in Game 6, with Jake Arrieta on the mound for the Chicago Cubs.
David Ross, a 39-year-old in his final big league season, started Games 1 and 5 along with pitcher Jon Lester. Contreras started Games 2, 3 and 4.
“Willson’s done a great job. He caught Jake well in Cleveland a couple days ago,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Contreras is hitting .071 (1 for 14) in the Series, and Ross is 1 for 4. Lester could enter a Game 7 in relief.
“You’d have to make a decision how you want to utilize that if you actually put Jonny in the game, who you want catching Jon in that moment,” Maddon said. “So there’s a lot of little subplots going on.”
With the Chicago Cubs successfully fighting off elimination by Cleveland, World Series Game 5 attracted its most television viewers in nearly two decades.
Chicago’s 3-2 win Sunday was watched by 23.6 million on Fox, the network said Monday, attracting a 13.1 rating and 21 share.
Kansas City’s Series-clinching, 12-inning victory over the New York Mets in Game 5 last year received a 10.0/17 and 17.2 million viewers. This year’s Game 5 rating was the highest since Florida’s 6-4 win over the New York Yankees in 2003 received a 13.2/21, and the viewership was the most since 24.2 million tuned in for Florida’s 8-7 victory over the Indians in 1997.
Spanish-language coverage of Game 5 on Fox Deportes drew 342,000 viewers and the digital telecast on Fox Sports Go 136,000, raising the total to 24.1 million.
The first five games have averaged an 11.0/19 and 19.3 million viewers, up from an 8.7/16 and 14.7 million last year.
The Indians will have a personal piece of their past at Game 6.
Eddie Robinson, the last living member from Cleveland’s 1948 World Series title team, will be at Progressive Field on Tuesday night as the Indians try to win their first championship in 68 years.
The 95-year-old Robinson was the starting first baseman on the ’48 team, which featured Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, Larry Doby, who broke the AL color barrier, shortstop/manager Lou Boudreau and pitcher Bob Lemon.
Robinson is making the trip from Fort Worth, Texas, to see the Indians try to close out the Chicago Cubs. He batted .300 with six hits in the ’48 Series and drove in Cleveland’s fourth run in Game 6 when the Indians beat the Boston Braves to win the championship.
Cleveland Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall should be available for Game 6 after being stricken with a stomach bug on Sunday.
Chisenhall was sent back to the team hotel before Game 5 at Wrigley Field on Sunday after complaining about not feeling well. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Monday that Chisenhall was able to make it back to the stadium before the first pitch and could have entered as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of Sunday night’s 3-2 loss if the pitcher’s spot had come up.
Chisenhall is just 1 for 13 in the Series.
Chicago Cubs fans’ hopes that the team can still win it all are still very much alive.
Many are planning trips to Cleveland for Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday after the Cubs survived elimination Sunday night against the Indians.
A StubHub spokesman said Monday that about 27 percent of the tickets being sold on the site for Tuesday went to credit cards associated with Illinois Zip codes.
Barry Rosenthal was at Sunday night’s 3-2 win over Cleveland. He says he’s going Tuesday and was always confident the Cubs would win in seven games.
Longtime Cubs fan Ed Koenig says he can’t go. But he suspects people are working on their coughs so it won’t be a total surprise to their bosses when they call in sick.
The NBA has moved up the start time for Tuesday night’s Cleveland Cavaliers game because of the World Series.
The game against Houston at Quicken Loans Arena will now begin an hour earlier at 6 p.m. EDT.
The champion Cavaliers requested the change to avoid an extended overlap with Game 6 of the World Series, which starts at 8:08 p.m. at neighboring Progressive Field.
The Cleveland Indians lead the Chicago Cubs 3-2 and can win their first World Series since 1948. In June, the Cavaliers defeated Golden State in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to end the city’s championship drought after 52 years.