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Cubs shut out in Game 1 against Indians; will they come back?

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The Chicago Cubs were shut out, 6-0, by the Cleveland Indians in last night’s game. Yes, it’s only Game 1 of the World Series. Yes, they came back in the NLCS after being shutout two games to take the series. But, statistics.

  • Since 1997, only two teams that lost Game 1 went on to win the World Series – the Yankees in 2009 and the Angels in 2002. Sure, it’s a best-of-seven series, but it seems losing the first game sets most teams up for a downward spiral. It’s their mindset, maybe?
  • This is also the 10th time the Cubs have lost Game 1 of a best-of-seven series – and they lost the previous nine series. Of course, they haven’t been to the World Series in 71 years, either, and here they are. The Cubs are nothing if not surprising this season.
  • Finally, seven teams before the Cubs this year have been shut out at least three times in the postseason. Only one – the Dodgers in 1981 – recovered to win the World Series.

So, yeah, it’s easy to get down if you’re just going off of these statistics. But how about this?

  • This season the Cubs won 28.8 percent of games in which they trailed at the start of the sixth inning. The league average is 18.9 percent. The Cubs are notoriously slow starters, but, as Javier Baez said, “we don’t lose many series. Hopefully, we’ll come out [Wednesday] stronger and get that win.”

If you’re a Cubs fan, you’ve undoubtedly set yourself up for disappointment before. It’s part of the game. But the Chicago Cubs have a history of getting better as they get more familiar with their opponent, so maybe that will ring true in tonight’s Game 2.

“I have no concerns,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I thought we were ready to play. Our guys looked really good. They were great in the dugout today. It’s the first game. I’m fine. We’re fine.”

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