World Series 2016: How Babe Ruth figured into Cubs' failed Wrigley homecoming

CHICAGO — The empty kegs of Budweiser that fell off a dolly and bounced noisily around Wrigley Field’s upper mezzanine walkway about an hour after Game 3 of the World Series seemed like a pretty appropriate conclusion for the Cubs on a day where not much went according to plan. This was supposed to be the club’s triumphant homecoming, the first World Series game played in the Friendly Confines since 1945 and the first night World Series game in the ballpark’s history. Instead, they managed just five hits and lost to Cleveland, 1-0 . MORE: World Series in photosThis was the second time in three World Series games they’ve been shut out and the fourth time during the postseason (this was their 13th game), which is kind of hard to believe considering they were only shut out six times during the entire 162-game regular season.  This was supposed to be a slugfest, with the wind blowing out of Wrigley with a ferocity Al Capone would have admired. I sat in the left-field bleachers during the Cubs’ batting practice , and the Chicago sluggers were launching all kinds of home runs over the ivy-covered wall — and often, onto Waveland Avenue beyond the stadium. During the game, they never even sniffed a home run. Heck, they never even sniffed the warning track.“It’s rare you see those conditions and it’s a 1-0 ballgame,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. MORE: Three takeaways from Game 3Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin was brilliant while manager Terry Francona allowed him to throw pitches (he was pulled after just 58 when Francona turned to his shutdown reliever, Andrew Miller, with two outs in the fifth), and then a series of relievers took turns doing their best Mariano Rivera

impressions. Cubs pitchers, led by starter Kyle Hendricks, kept Cleveland from going deep, too, but that was a minor consolation prize after the contest.And two games after Cubs left fielder Ben Zobrist tied an obscure Babe Ruth record — he was the first player since the Bambino in 1927 and 1928 to have three hits in back-to-back World Series Game 1s — a not-so-good connection to the legendary Hall of Famer surfaced Friday. Lat time the #Cubs lost a #WorldSeries game 1-0, Babe Ruth was the winning pitcher.— Dan Mallon (@MallonDan) October 29, 2016Yep. Ruth started Games 1 and 4 for the Red Sox against the Cubs in 1918. The 1-0 shutout happened in Game 1; he came back in Game 4 and allowed two runs in eight innings of Boston’s 3-2 victory. MORE: Game 3 player ratingsAnd all these connections to Ruth are a bit uncanny, considering the slugger’s most controversial — and most iconic — moment happened in Wrigley Field in 1932. That’s the called shot, where he allegedly pointed to the outfield to say he was going to hit a home run, moments before he actually hit a home run. It was one of two homers the Sultan of Swat hit that game. That incident, of course, happened in Game 3 of the '32 series. Ruth’s Yankees swept the Cubs in that one.Speaking of Babe Ruth … this was also supposed to be Kyle Schwarber’s triumphant return to Chicago. You know his story, of course. He blew out his knee in the season’s third game, missed six months and suddenly — well, it seemed sudden but was actually the result of six months of hard work — he was cleared to return, and he had three hits and two RBIs in the first two games of the series. But on Thursday we learned he hadn’t been cleared to play the field, only to hit. On Friday, he pinch-hit with one out in the eighth inning, but there were no called shots. No regular homers or base hits, either. Schwarber popped out, in fact. It wasn’t very script-worthy. MORE: Unveiling the mystery of Ruth's called shotIf the World Series has taught us anything over the years, though, it’s that the final script isn’t turned in until the final out of the final game. Oh, and that things rarely go according to plan, even for empty beer kegs.