CLEVELAND – In this town, if the Indians go on to lose the World Series, the play will have a name, something like “Naquit” or “Chisenfall” or “Red Right-Center” — or, for those scoring at home, “Red Right 8-9.”

The pop fly that dropped between Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall did not kill the Indians in the top of the first inning of Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night. It did, though, open a wound that festered.

There were other outfield miscommunications. There were plays that elicited groans, like Roberto Perez trying to stretch a single into a double with one out in ninth, down by seven runs. The Indians’ pitchers got shelled. It was an aberrantly beautiful night for baseball in November, and the Indians played like it was spring training.

The Chicago Cubs rolled to a 9-3 victory to stave off elimination, again, and force a decisive Game 7. Wednesday, Indians ace Corey Kluber, pitching on short rest for the second time this series, will square off against Kyle Hendricks at Progressive Field.

The Indians will win their first World Series cine 1948. Or, the Cubs will win their first World Series since 1908 – and become the sixth team to come back from a three-games-to-one deficit.

“Of course, we want to be the group that snaps the string, but, yeah, it’s probably correct and apt we go seven,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

Indians starter Josh Tomlin got off to an alacritous start, got the first two outs on six pitches and had a 0-2 count on Cubs slugger Kris Bryant, who slugged. Bryant’s rip at a hanging curve sent the ball into the left-centerfield bleachers, 433 feet from home plate. Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist followed with well-lashed singles.

Then it happened. Naquin, as center fielder, should command the outfield. He did not. Addison Russell looped a ball into short right-centerfield. It was eminently catch-able. It was not caught. It was a two-run double.

The Cubs, or Indians, handed 3-0 lead to righthander Jake Arrieta before he even threw his first pitch. The lead grew to 7-0 after Russell hit a bomb of a grand slam in the top of the third. The game was over before LeBron James could make it across the plaza.

“Yeah, tonight was a tough night,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You can get philosophical or whatever. What it comes down to is, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a really important game tomorrow, and we’ll be really excited to play. Shoot, I might just wear my uniform home.”

Maddon is relishing American League rules and using Kyle Schwarber at DH. Last night, he put Schwarber in the No. 2 hole ahead of Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrist and Russell. If Miles Davis had a third quartet, this would be it. They combined for twelve hits, including three homers, and nine RBI.

Curiously, Maddon brought in closer Aroldis Chapman with a five-run lead and two outs in the top of the seventh – and left Chapman on the mound into the ninth. There was a fright factor: Chapman looked appeared to tweak an ankle when he remembered to cover first base.

“It’s the meaty part of their batting order and if you don’t get through that, there’s no tomorrow,” Maddon said.

Chapman had a career-high pitch count of 42 in covering the last eight outs of Game 5. He threw 20 pitches on Tuesday night. He relies on his 100 mph fastball, and one wonders how much gunpowder he’ll have in his keg tonight.

“You never know, maybe that helps us,” Francona said.

We shall see Wednesday, when history tilts.
— You can reach Michael Arace at marace@dispatch.com or on Twitter @MichaelArace1.