CHICAGO — The Indians were one man down right up until game time Sunday night, and maybe even into Game 5 of the World Series.
Rightfielder Lonnie Chisenhall accompanied his team to Wrigley Field yesterday but was sent back to the team hotel because of flu-like symptoms.
The plan, Terry Francona told Indians beat reporters, was for Chisenhall to return shortly before the first pitch. “We’ll get him here and get some fluids in him,” he said. “See how much he can be available.”
Chisenhall, 1-for-13 in the first four games of the series, was not slated to start Sunday night anyway. Carlos Santana was in leftfield, Rajai Davis in center and Brandon Guyer in right as Francona loaded his lineup with righthanded hitters against Cubs lefthander Jon Lester.
Santana is a switch hitter and Davis and Guyer bat from the right side, as does Mike Napoli, who got the start at first base. Santana started at first base Saturday night and homered. “I wanted Guyer, Santana and [Napoli] all to play,” Francona told Cleveland reporters. “Hard without the DH to maneuver it any way else.”
Sticking with Baez
NLCS co-MVP Javier Baez was 2-for-17 in the first four games, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he never considered sitting the second baseman to shake up the lineup. “With Jon pitching, we do certain things defensively, and Javy needs to be on the field for that. No. 1,” he said. “No. 2, if Javy’s first at-bat tonight’s a good one, he could just go off for the rest of the series, too. This kid’s just coming off of being the MVP of the last series that we played, and the reason why we’re here is because of all the different things he’s done over the last two or three weeks.”
Maddon is getting his first in-person look at Francisco Lindor, the Indians’ 22-year-old shortstop. Lindor was 7-for-15 in the first four games and stood out defensively. “He’s really good,” Maddon said. “I’ve already compared [Baez] to Roberto Alomar, but this guy’s actually a switch hitter. I mean, Roberto Alomar, when he was like really good a couple years ago, that was hard to beat. A combination of everything. I mean, the guy just knew how to play baseball with power at that position. He’s unique.”