The Cleveland Indians are welcoming the Chicago Cubs to town Tuesday for a quick two-game series.
“Welcoming” may be the wrong term in this scenario.
The Cubs are showing up and fans immediately get to dredge up memories from the 2016 World Series.
That is just inevitable until the Indians finally capture their first title since 1948.
This writer will be in attendance Tuesday night.
Will memories of Rajai Davis resurface?
Oh yes, without a doubt.
But a regular season series is a nice way to continue moving on from that fateful week of baseball late in 2016.
Indians Have an Ace on the Mound
The first game of the series is set for Tuesday night at 6:10 and the finale is the next afternoon at 1:10.
Then the Indians will head out west to Seattle for a nice Pacific road trip.
But a quick series should not take away any of the drama.
The best news of all is that Shane Bieber is on the mound Tuesday night.
What adjectives are even left to describe Shane Bieber? pic.twitter.com/aN1QOh5qRx
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 6, 2021
The 2021 ace was still two years away from his MLB debut when the Indians and Cubs met up in the World Series.
Both rosters are also drastically different than they were five years ago.
However, certain players do remain and there has to be some added motivation on both sides to take the series.
Having Bieber go Tuesday gives the Indians the best possible shot at victory.
His last start was interesting because he was not his usual self.
Bieber allowed three earned runs in six long innings of work.
Nine strikeouts was also a tad lower than fans have come to expect.
Yet in a shocking twist, the offense had their pitcher’s back and scored five unanswered runs to win the game.
A better strategy this time around would to start getting hits early to avoid the need for a comeback.
The Everlasting Memories of 2016
Having a young team in 2021 means they are ready for any challenge.
However, not all the young guys will understand how fans still feel about the Cubs.
Today is also Tyler Naquin's birthday!
Where were you when he hit a walk-off inside-the-park home run? pic.twitter.com/Bc1O5si9SQ
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 24, 2020
Or maybe this writer is the one who needs to move on.
Unfortunately, the playoff collapses following the 2016 run ruined some of the luster and momentum the team built that year.
Any dreams of the Indians and Cubs having a rematch faded away and the goal in Cleveland was just to win another postseason series.
Both teams are in different places than they were in 2016 and yet optimism remains high.
It is almost like 2016 all over again when expectations are low and both teams can just go out and play.
Maybe this short series will be the restart of what could have been a great MLB rivalry.