The Chicago Cubs haven’t counted on just one player this season. The unexpected heroics of Miguel Montero and Dexter Fowler in the eighth helped lead the Cubs to an 8-4 win in Game 1 of the NLCS.
This series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers was expected to be a chess match between two fine managers. Joe Maddon and Dave Roberts had to make early decisions, the first being Maddon’s and pinch-hitting for Jon Lester in the sixth. Later, Maddon chose to go to Chapman in the eighth to try and prevent a no outs, bases loaded situation from going awry. Chapman allowed two runs to score, but the game remained tied.
Article continues below ...
The swing of momentum came in the eighth when the Dodgers decided to work their way down to the spot held by Chapman, forcing Maddon to pinch-hit in a key spot. Roberts had a lefty warming up and most fans expected that Montero would be burned when Roberts made the pitching change. Only that change never came.
The rest is Game 1 history as Montero unloaded a grand slam to the right field bleachers, followed by a Dexter Fowler solo shot to help the Cubs secure a victory over the Dodgers in Game 1. It’ll be Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers to take on Kyle Hendricks in Game 2 on Sunday night.
Kershaw has been an imposing force in the Dodgers rotation. But he doesn’t cast the big shadow in the postseason that he does in the regular season. And this Cubs team doesn’t seem to be intimidated by any of the big name starters. Madison Bumgarner. Clayton Kershaw. Whoever. It’s the name on their jersey, not the one on the back of the opponents this year.