World Series Game 5 Recap: Back to Cleveland

Aroldis Chapman pieced together an eight-out save to secure Game 5 for the Cubs, keeping alive their chance to end the curse.

The Cleveland Indians now know what it feels like to get Andrew Millered into submission.

Throughout the postseason, the most impactful thing that has taken place is how managers have changed the way they use their best relief pitchers. After Baltimore Orioles skipper Buck Showalter decided not to utilize Zach Britton in a tied game on the road in the American League Wild Card game, managers have gone the opposite direction.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts started using his closer, Kenley Jansen, for multiple innings, as early as the seventh inning, with Jansen throwing more than 50 pitches in one of his appearances. Indians manager Terry Francona has been using mid-season acquisition Andrew Miller in the most high leverage situations since he was acquired at the end of July, and he has taken that to a new extreme here in the postseason.

Now, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has followed suit. In last night's dramatic 3-2 win in Game 5 of the World Series, Chicago went to their closer Aroldis Chapman for an eight-out save.

It was a bold move because Chapman had never done anything like that before. And like it has for Francona and like it did for Roberts, the move paid off.

Chapman's heroics, with a one-run lead, allowed the Cubs to stave off elimination and force a Game 6 in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

What Chapman did on Sunday night was almost unprecedented in the history of the Fall Classic.

And not only did Chapman deliver, but he also did it with some of the nastiest stuff you will ever see.

This was only the second time Chapman had ever entered a game before the ninth inning in his playoff career. The first time, in Game 2 of the 2010 National League Division Series, didn't go as well.

This time, Chapman had a little more help from his defense, and he turned in a performance for the ages. In 2 2/3 innings he gave up just one hit, walked no one, and struck out four. But guarding a one-run lead, every single one of his 42 pitches was the highest of high stress.

And those 42 pitches were close to the most he'd ever thrown in a single outing, two short of the 44 pitches he dealt to these same Cleveland Indians in the regular season back in July of 2015.

Chapman got the lead thanks to outstanding work once again by starter Jon Lester, whose performance is going to get overlooked but shouldn't. He went the first six innings and gave up just two runs on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He became the first Cubs starter to make five starts in a postseason, and they've all been terrific. He has a 1.93 ERA in 32 2/3 innings this postseason, with a 3-1 record.

The Indians got baserunners on against him, but Lester continues to dominate with runners in scoring position. Since the All-Star break, batters are just 8-for-76 against him with runners in scoring position, good for a .105 batting average. The team is now 4-1 in games in which Lester starts this October, and they are 5-5 in all their other postseason games this year.

And although the Chicago offense continued to struggle (they are slashing .210/.281/.311 in the Fall Classic), they did just enough to scratch out three runs in the bottom of the fourth, one of them courtesy of Kris Bryant.

Also, Chicago's defense, which was the best in the regular season, came to play, too. Catcher David Ross and first baseman Anthony Rizzo combined on this crazy grab on a foul pop in Game 5.

If you feel like you've seen something like this in the World Series before, you're not crazy. The Philadelphia Phillies, in 1980, two outs away from their first title, watched as Bob Boone and Pete Rose pulled off the same maneuver in Game 6.

And so, the Cubs have finally won a World Series game at Wrigley Field, their first since Game 6 of the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. They now turn to their other ace, Jake Arrieta on Tuesday night to try and extend the series to a Game 7. The Indians will hand the ball to Josh Tomlin, a pitching matchup that favors the Cubs.

After that, Cleveland's amazing Corey Kluber awaits on short rest for a Game 7 against Kyle Hendricks.

Folks, this one ain't over yet.