CLEVELAND — His team could not have looked much worse in Game 1 of the World Series, but Joe Maddon exuded his typical calm.
“I know we’re going to be fine,” the Cubs manager said after a shutout in which his club struck out 15 times. “I have no concerns.”
The Cubs demonstrated why 24 hours later, bouncing back with a 5-1 victory over the Indians in Game 2 on a damp, 44-degree night at Progressive Field.
The 112th World Series is tied, with Games 3, 4 and 5 scheduled for Wrigley Field. Friday night’s Game 3 will be the first World Series game at Wrigley since Oct. 10, 1945.
“Wrigley, it’s going to be . . . you know, it’s always good,” Maddon said. “It’s always crazy good, but I’d have to imagine a little more than that, especially coming back 1-1.”
It is 1-1 in large part because the Cubs, shut out over six innings by Corey Kluber in Tuesday night’s 6-0 defeat, received a brilliant starting outing of their own Wednesday night, a plodding evening that took 4 hours, 4 minutes to finish.
After an erratic first inning in which he walked two, righthander Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth inning — Jason Kipnis ended the bid with a one-out double — and ended up allowing one run and two hits in 5 2⁄3 innings.
“I kind of had my foot on the gas a little too much at the start, trying to do more than I needed to,” Arrieta said. “After that inning I was kind of able to settle down.”
Though they stranded 13 runners, the Cubs produced enough against an Indians pitching staff that entered the night 8-1 with a 1.58 ERA this postseason. Designated hitter Kyle Schwarber, a surprise addition to the World Series roster Tuesday morning, led the offense, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Schwarber had not played since the third game of the season, when he tore two ligaments in his left knee. The 23-year-old improved to 3-for-7 with two walks in the series.
“For a guy to be able to do something like this in his second year is just . . . you know, I’m kind of speechless,” Arrieta said.
Said Schwarber: “This is the moment that we all look for when we were little kids, to play in the World Series and win it. We just took a small step today, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Indians manager Terry Francona took the first World Series loss of his career, falling to 9-1. His Red Sox swept the Cardinals in 2004 and the Rockies in 2007. Soon after the game started, there was never any drama about him going to 10-0.
Trevor Bauer’s right pinkie, gashed open before Game 2 of the ALCS in a drone accident, held up, but the righthander’s pitches did not and his troubles began in a 29-pitch first.
Bauer, after retiring leadoff man Dexter Fowler on a comebacker, allowed a single to Kris Bryant, who before the game was presented the Hank Aaron Award as the NL’s top offensive performer, and an RBI double by Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo drew a two-out walk in the third and Ben Zobrist and Schwarber followed with singles, with Schwarber driving in Rizzo to make it 2-0. Bauer’s strikeout of Javier Baez to end the inning left him at 71 pitches through three.
“We gave up nine hits, eight walks, two errors,” Francona said. “For us to win, we generally need to play a clean game, and we didn’t do that.”
Arrieta, meanwhile, cruised after the walk to Napoli, retiring nine straight and 14 of 15.
Francona replaced Bauer with Zach McAllister with two outs in the fourth, and the righthander struck out Fowler to end the inning.
But the Cubs got to him in the fifth. Rizzo walked with one out and came in on Zobrist’s lasered triple into the rightfield corner, which made it 3-0. In came righty Bryan Shaw and in came another run as Schwarber greeted him with a single up the middle. Shaw retired Baez but an error by second baseman Kipnis on Willson Contreras’ grounder extended the inning. Consecutive walks to Jorge Soler and Addison Russell forced in a run to make it 5-0.
“They beat us tonight,” Francona said. “It wasn’t because somebody had a bad finger. They just played better than us tonight.”