CHICAGO -- With Kyle Schwarber on the bench now that the World Series is playing under National League rules, how would Cubs manager Joe Maddon use the slugger? All Maddon told Schwarber was to be ready."If you're going to pinch-hit earlier in the game, you don't want to waste him
CHICAGO -- With Kyle Schwarber on the bench now that the World Series is playing under National League rules, how would Cubs manager Joe Maddon use the slugger? All Maddon told Schwarber was to be ready.
"If you're going to pinch-hit earlier in the game, you don't want to waste him with nobody on base," Maddon said before Friday's 1-0 loss to the Indians in Game 3. Cleveland holds a 2-1 Series lead. "You probably want to wait for a more significant moment. I just told him to stay ready."
Schwarber was the designated hitter in Games 1 and 2 in Cleveland, but he was not given medical clearance to play in the outfield. Schwarber is coming back from surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee, which he injured on April 7. The lefty slugger popped up as a pinch-hitter in the eighth in Game 3.
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Good glove: The Fielding Bible announced its defensive awards on Friday, and the Cubs had two winners -- first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez. Baez, who was honored as a "multi-position" player, saw time at five positions during the season.
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"He absolutely deserves it," Maddon said of Baez. "It's great they're creating that kind of recognition, and I love it. Good for him."
Cooler by the lake: It was unseasonably warm at Wrigley Field on Friday, which Maddon appreciated.
"Last year at this time, it certainly wasn't like this," Maddon said. "It benefits both sides. Pitchers can pitch better, hitters can swing the bat better. From our perspective, I know us, I'm glad it's more mild as opposed to severe. Baseball, you're playing the most important games of the year now usually in the worst weather circumstances. Our game is definitely designed to be played in better weather. That's not an excuse. It's nice to have these conditions."
Rematch: Maddon said he was still considering his lineup for Game 4's rematch against the Indians' Corey Kluber, and the skipper could start Jorge Soler. Kluber held lefties to a .226 batting average during the season, while right-handers hit .206. In Game 1, Kluber scattered four hits over six innings in the Tribe's 6-0 win.
Giddy: Wrigley Field has been a hub of activity since early Friday as fans swarmed the area prior to the first World Series game here since 1945. Maddon's family arrived with the exception of his 83-year-old mother, Beanie, whose flight was delayed.
"I do stay in the moment, but you can't help but recognize the Ferris wheel [on Navy Pier] in Cubs colors with the Cubs logo in the middle of it," Maddon said. "I saw some huge 'W' flags on the top of buildings. There's 'W's' and Cubs colors and Cubs banners, and where I live, there's a Cubs flag."
Maddon stuck to his normal game-day routine on Friday, getting his morning coffee and jotting down notes.
"Driving down Clark [Street] today was quite an adventure and you could make a video game of that," he said of his route to the ballplark. "The altruistic component is everybody is benefiting, everybody, through this experience -- the entire city, and there are people from Chicago and you could say internationally. The game is benefiting from this and the industry is benefiting. If you want to put your altruistic cap on, it's the best thing that could happen for baseball right now."
And the timing is perfect. Halloween is one of Maddon's favorite holidays.
"Having the World Series morphed with Halloween is kind of fun," he said. "This is awesome. We would've signed up for this in Spring Training, right? Just go play. Today's Friday, just go play."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.