CLEVELAND -- Thanks largely to Aroldis Chapman's eight-out save in Game 5, there is still baseball to be played this year. The Indians hold a 3-2 lead over the Cubs in the World Series even after Chicago's win in Game 5. The two teams will play Game 6 on Tuesday night. Here's how you can watch.
Monday is a World Series travel day as the series shifts from Wrigley Field back to Progressive Field, where the Indians are so tough to beat. They went 53-28 at home during the regular season and have won five of six games at home in this postseason. The one loss was to the Cubs in Game 2.
"You hit last so you get to use your bullpen differently, and that's a huge advantage. That's why so many good teams have better records at home," Indians manager Terry Francona said Monday. "I think every hitter is probably going to be more comfortable in their home batter's box because they do it half the year as opposed to going to a city once or twice a year. So there are some other advantages."
Beyond coming home and getting to play in their own ballpark and sleep in their own beds, returning to Cleveland means the Indians can also get back to playing their regular lineup. The lack of the DH in Wrigley Field meant Carlos Santana had to play left field in Games 3 and 5, and Mike Napoli had to sit in Game 4 so Santana could play first.
"He volunteered to do that," added Francona about Santana playing left, "and like I said, I was really proud of him. 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."
Santana's stint in left field went fine -- he made every play he was supposed to make on balls hit his way and wasn't tested with anything tough -- but the Indians still had to play him out of position and take another bat out of the lineup. The Tribe weren't whole in Wrigley. Such is life for an AL team in an NL park.
"Give him credit. That had to be nerve-racking for him out there and he did a great job," Jason Kipnis said. "But we can go back to what's comfortable and what works for us. Add it to the comfortability of our home stadium with our fans behind us, we're going to get back to doing what we've done."
Make no mistake, playing in an AL park benefits the Cubs as well because they can put Kyle Schwarber back in the lineup -- "They'll also have the DH too, which I'm sure they're thrilled about," Francona said -- so both lineups will be more imposing in Game 6. That's kind of a big deal. Schwarber is a difference-maker.
The Indians get to go back to what got them to the World Series now. Santana can DH, Napoli can play first base and an actual outfielder can play left field. It's sounds so simple and it is really, but they weren't able to do it the last few days. That they took two of three in Wrigley over the weekend is a bonus.
"When you're on the road, it's kind of you against the world," Francona said, "which is OK."