Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is Box-Toppers Player of the Game in World Series Game 6 Tuesday.
The Chicago Cubs win 9-3 and even the best-of-seven game series with the Cleveland Indians at three games apiece, setting up a decisive Game 7 Wednesday.
Arrieta struck out nine over 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, three hits and three walks, earning the win. Arrieta had the highest Box-Toppers game score of all Cubs players, +4.2.
This is the second time this postseason (and second time in the World Series) Arrieta has been Box-Toppers Player of the Game. He was also top player in the Game 2 win against the Indians.
Arrieta had 15.7 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, ninth among all players, sixth among NL pitchers. In 2015, he led all players in Box-Toppers points with 29.1.
Shortstop Addison Russell had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+4.0) among Cubs batters (GS 2B 2-5 R 6BI). Russell was the leading candidate for Box-Toppers Player of the Game during much of Game 6 after his third-inning grand slam homer, but his game score fell just below Arrieta’s after hitless at-bats later in the game.
Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin had a Box-Toppers game score Tuesday of −10.9 (2.1IP 6H 6R BB 0K L).
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
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Top Cubs in World Series Game 6: Cubs 9, Indians 3
Here are the Box-Toppers game scores of all Cubs who played in World Series Game 6 listed from highest-to-lowest Box-Toppers game score.
|4.2||* Jake Arrieta (W,2-1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||5.2||3||2||2||3||9|
|4.0||Addison Russell, SS||5||1||2||6||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|3.0||Anthony Rizzo, 1B||5||3||3||2||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2.0||Kris Bryant, 3B||5||2||4||1||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|0.0||Ben Zobrist, LF||4||2||2||0||1||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|-2.0||Kyle Schwarber, DH||4||1||1||0||1||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|-3.0||Javier Baez, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|-3.0||Willson Contreras, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|-4.0||Jason Heyward, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|-5.0||Dexter Fowler, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|* Player of the Game|
|BTG: Box-Toppers game score|
Coming Wednesday in Cleveland:
World Series Game 7, Cubs at Indians, series tied, 3-3
The pitching matchup Wednesday:
Cubs—Kyle Hendricks, 13.4 Box-Toppers points, ranked 17th among all players, 10th among National League pitchers. Hendricks was Player of the Game in the National League Championship Series Game 6 vs. the Dodgers.
Indians—Corey Kluber, 21.2 Box-Toppers points, fifth among all players, first among American League pitchers. Kluber was Player of the Game in AL Division Series Game 2 vs. the Red Sox, in AL Championship Series Game 1 vs. the Blue Jays, in World Series Game 1 vs. the Cubs and World Series Game 4 vs. the Cubs.
Kluber has been Box-Toppers Player of the Game four times during the postseason, more than any other player and twice during the World Series, tied with Arrieta of the Cubs.
Kluber is Box-Toppers’ highest-ranked AL pitcher in 2016 with 21.2 Box-Toppers points.
Given that, the Indians should be favored in Game 7. But Kluber is pitching on short rest. But again, he’s done that before in Game 4 and earned Player of the Game honors.
Hendricks has only been Player of the Game once this postseason. In his previous World Series start in Game 3, which the Cubs lost, he didn’t do badly. He had a positive Box-Toppers game score, +2.1 (4.1IP 6H 0R 2BB 6K ND). Unlike Kluber, he is pitching on full rest and making just his second appearance in the World Series. And though he has fewer regular season Box-Toppers points than Kluber, Hendricks is among the top 10 NL pitchers in 2016.
Given how both managers have put starters on a short leash and relied on middle relievers and closers to carry the load, it would be odd to see both pitchers go deep in a Jack Morris-John Smoltz style Game 7 1991 World Series pitching duel.
It would be far more likely to see the bullpens handle the load, as has happened most of the series. That would give the Indians the edge with strong relievers Cody Allen (7.0 Box-Toppers points) and Andrew Miller (8.0 Box-Toppers points), neither of whom pitched Tuesday. The Cubs counter with their closer Aroldis Chapman (7.4 Box-Toppers points), but Chapman pitched Tuesday and had a long 2 2/3-inning outing to secure Game 5 on Sunday.
But on the other hand, the Cubs have the best starting pitching line-up in baseball and have the luxury of bringing in two of their starting aces in relief in Game 7. Both Jon Lester (22.1 Box-Toppers points, ranked fourth, third among NL pitchers) and John Lackey (13.4 Box-Toppers points, ranked 16th, ninth among NL pitchers) would be available as relievers for the season’s final game.
Game 6 narrative via Box-Toppers Twitter feed
Here are real-time tweets from Box-Toppers Wednesday as World Series Game 6 progressed: