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Mitch's Sports Report: Cubs Ride Arrieta's No-No Through Six Back To Chicago All Tied Up

Jake Arrieta had a message for any Cubs fans pushing the panic button after game one of the World Series, and that message was "just give me the ball." The former Cy Young award winner took the hill in Cleveland in game two last night, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and let his offense do the rest in a 5-1 win that has the Fall Classic knotted at one game apiece with the next three games to be played in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Kyle Schwarber, the slugger who had such a great rookie season two seasons ago but missed most of this one with a knee injury, is back in the Cubs line-up, and he drove in two runs last night. Ben Zobrist had a run-scoring triple, Anthony Rizzo was on base three times, and all of this is breathe-a-sigh-of-relief news for Cubs fans who saw their squad shut out in game one.

This win was historic as well, the first time a Cubs team had won a world series game since they took game six against Detroit in the 1945 series they would lose in game seven. On the other side, this was also the first world series game Cleveland manager Terry Francona ever lost. He'd been 9-0 up til last night, having won two world series sweeps managing the Red Sox to wins in 2004 and 2007 and winning game one of this Fall Classic.

But things are shaping up just right for the drought-ridden Cubbies, who did what they needed to do in taking one of two on the road, and electric won't begin to describe the atmosphere when the first world series game in 71 years is played at Wrigley tomorrow night. I picked the Cubbies to win this series in five games and that prediction is still possible, although it would take the Cubs winning the next three straight, and I don't think that'll actually happen. I'd love this thing to go the full seven games, and have it be a series for the ages, although based just on the histories of the two teams involved, in many ways it already is. Game three's pitching match-up features Josh Tomlin for Cleveland against the pride of Dartmouth College, Kyle "The Professor" Hendricks for Chicago. Hendricks pitched college ball for the Big Green under the tutelage of head coach Bob Whalen.

To the NHL, and yesterday I said the Boston Bruins are going to miss the playoffs for a third straight season, which is an extraordinary thing to say in October when the regular season doesn't even end until April, but the Bruins management knows it, the players know it, the fans know it, even their pets know it, and last night's 5-2 loss to the NY Rangers is just the most recent moribund showing by a team so poorly constructed and decimated by injuries right now that the whole season should just be thrown under a zamboni and forgotten. You have to feel for rookie goalie Zane McIntyre, who's being pressed into duty way before he's NHL ready. His rookie teammate Malcolm Subban is even more unprepared, but there isn't any other choice given injuries to Tuukka Rask and back-up Anton Khubodin. The newly acquired winger David Backes is also out indefinitely with an elbow injury and the Bruins are a sinking ship without a rudder. The Bruins actually had a 2-0 lead in this one but Brandon Pirri scored twice for the Rangers and they tacked on insult to injury with goals by Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey, who made the best decision of his life in choosing to sign with the Rangers instead of his hometown Bruins. The Rangers have now won three straight, while the Bruins are a textbook example of how not to run a hockey team.

There is a good team that plays at TD Garden, however, and it's the Boston Celtics, who played their season opener and came out winners in a 122-117 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and 9 assists for the Green, Al Horford chipped in 11 in his Celtics debut, and the team weathered a comeback attempt after the Nets sliced a 23-point Boston lead to just ten with two and a half minutes left. Coach Brad Stevens had been resting his starters at that point but got them back out on the floor before any further damage could be done.

In girls high school soccer playdowns, division one, Molly Finn scored the game winner for Mount Mansfield in a 2-1 win over BFA-St. Albans yesterday on a goal that came in the 72nd minute of play, and with Mansfield having just ten players on the pitch. Elsewhere, Burlington got by Mount Anthony on penalty kicks following a regulation time 1-1 draw, and Rice needed penalty kicks as well to knock off Rutland.

CVU's Charlotte Hill had a goal and two helpers in their 6-0 win over Brattleboro, while South Burlington's defense allowed not a single shot on net in their 4-0 shutout of Middlebury.

Brooke Woodard had a goal and an assist in Burr and Burton's 5-0 win over Essex. St. Johnsbury got goals from Rileigh Harvey and Grace Cooke in their 2-0 shutout over Spaulding.

Nice send off for St. Michael's College field hockey senior Carolyn Avery, who scored the overtime game winner in St. Mike's 2-1 win over American International yesterday in the final game of her St. Michael's career.

The Purple Knight women fell in soccer 1-0 to Southern Connecticut State.

One other local note that a legendary basketball coach is stepping down from his role in guiding the Burlington Sea Horses. Matt Johnson announced his retirement Tuesday after 14 seasons, a run that included four Division one state championships and nine title-game appearances. His longtime assistant coach, Tom Barron, will take over when the season starts next month. The 47-year old Johnson was also a standout player in high school for BFA-St. Albans and in college at the University of Vermont.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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