CLEVELAND -- The Cubs are flying the first letter of the World Series after all these years. Hey, Chicago, what do you say, here's what Wednesday's 5-1 victory means today:
There will be three -- yes, three -- home games at Wrigley Field this weekend.
• Game 3: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET air time | 8 ET game time on FOX
The Cubs have a chance to clinch their first World Series title since 1908 at home. They clinched in 1908 at Bennett Park in Detroit.
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The Game 2 win over the Indians at rainy Progressive Field marked the Cubs' first World Series victory in 71 years and 18 days.
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The Cubs were the first to win a World Series game with six under-25 players starting. Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Willson Contreras are 24, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Báez are 23, and Addison Russell is 22.
"This is 2016 -- moving forward as they've gained this experience from this season and the World Series experience, they're going to keep getting better," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "These kids are going to get better. They're scratching the surface of how good they can be."
It was the latest Cubs victory of any calendar year in their history.
According to Elias, in best-of-seven World Series that followed a 2-3-2 format, teams that lost Games 1 and 2 on the road came back to win the Series just seven of 38 times, or 18 percent. Road teams that managed a split greatly upped their chances to 22 of 49 times, or 45 percent.
Of the 57 times that a World Series has been tied 1-1, the winner of Game 2 has gone on to capture the Series on 29 occasions (50.9 percent). However, that has happened just two out of 10 times since 1993: Angels in 2002 and Yankees in '09. The '93 Phillies, '97 Indians, '03 Yankees, '06 Tigers, '08 Rays, '11 Rangers, '13 Cardinals and '14 Royals all won Game 2 to tie it up but ultimately lost the Series.
"It was a successful first road trip here," Bryant said after the win. "Any time you can split when you're on a visiting team's field, it's a good thing. We know we play pretty well at home, so we're headed home happy."
It was the Cubs' 111th overall victory this season, which ties the 1907 Cubs for the second most in franchise history. That 1907 team won 107 games and then won the World Series, 4-0-1. The 1906 Cubs have the club record with 118, including 116 in the regular season before losing to the White Sox, four games to two.
Jake Arrieta became the first Cubs starting pitcher to win a decision since Claude Passeau fired a 3-0 shutout at Detroit in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series. The only hit off Passeau was a single by Rudy York in the second inning. Arietta flirted with a no-hitter until Jason Kipnis hit a one-out double in the sixth. The last World Series win by a Cubs pitcher before Arrieta was recorded by Hank Borowy, who came on in the ninth inning of Game 6 and was the pitcher of record as Chicago walked off in 12.
"I knew that I hadn't given up a hit all the way to the sixth," said Arrieta. "It was through 5 1/3. That's really not the focus in a game like this. You really want to try to continue to pile up outs as often as you possibly can."
Maddon ended a personal four-game World Series managerial losing streak. That included the last three games of the 2008 World Series against Philadelphia, while managing Tampa Bay.
The Cubs are 10-10 in their 20 overall matchups with the Indians. These two games are the first World Series meetings.
The Cubs improved to 10-12 in Game 2 of postseason series, including a 2-1 record this year and a 1-1 mark in 2015. Chicago is 5-6 all-time in World Series Game 2s.
You can stop invoking the 1990 A's-Reds World Series as a possible comparison of a powerhouse being shockingly swept by a hot-hitting club that opened at home.
Schwarber has a (very) early shot at becoming the only player in Major League history to miss almost the entire year and then win a World Series MVP Award.
"I'm just trying to put in team at-bats right now. I want to help this team get to the ultimate goal," Schwarber said. "That's why I did all of this, was for these guys in the clubhouse and for our organization. It wasn't for me."
Jon Lester will start again this season.
Wrigleyville is out of control.
"I drove through Wrigleyville a couple hours after everything cleared out [following the NLCS clincher], and there were still people there really enjoying it," Bryant said. "So I can't imagine what it's going to be like come [Friday]."
"The last game we had there, the NL championship game, was definitely loud," center fielder Dexter Fowler said, "but it's probably not even going to compare to this."
A happy Cubs flight home and no 0-2 questions when they conduct interviews at workout day Thursday. Their workout is at 3 p.m. CT, and Game 3 is Friday night.