NLCS: Chicago Cubs unload in the eighth following Dodgers rally
The Chicago Cubs welcomed in the Los Angeles Dodgers to begin the National League Championship Series. A game in which Jon Lester turned in another solid performance for the second time in October.
Wrigley Field was rocking as the Chicago Cubs opened up another NLCS. Fans from across the country representing both clubs filled this historic ballpark. And both teams who advanced past the NLDS delivered with an impressive game one.
Yet while things started off a little edgy, the Chicago Cubs stormed back with a massive eighth inning. Veteran southpaw Jon Lester took on 28-year-old right-hander, Kenta Maeda and received an early 3-0 lead.
Just like the NLDS, infielder Javier Baez played a huge part in today’s win. Baez became the first Cubs player to steal home plate since 1907. A year before the Chicago Cubs won their last World Series title.
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It wasn’t like Baez was looking to swipe home plate, to begin with. In fact, it looked as if Jon Lester was looking to put down a bunt in order to bring Baez home. Instead, Javier was wondering too far down the third base line and decided to take off once the throw was made to third base.
As a result, Javier slid into home plate, giving the Cubs 2-0 lead. Prior to him scoring, he delivered a double out to center field, scoring Jason Heyward.
The Cubs provided Lester with three runs as he yielded only one earned run which just so happened to be a pinch-hit solo home run. Veteran Dodger, Andre Ethier hit a towering fly ball that landed in the basket out in left, making a two-run game.
With the Chicago Cubs holding that two-run lead into the eighth, the Dodgers put together yet another late rally. Los Angeles had the bases loaded with no outs, forcing Joe Maddon to bring in his closer, Aroldis Chapman.
A familiar situation for Chicago’s skipper who attempted to get his closer to convert a six-out save in San Francisco. Just like this past Monday night, it did not work. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez roped a pitch out to center field, tying things up at two.
Utility man, Ben Zobrist got the Cubs home half of the eighth going with lead-off double off Joe Blanton. Blanton managed to get Javier Baez to pop out but gave up a pinch-hit grand slam to Miguel Montero to give the Cubs another lead.
Moments later, Dexter Fowler launched a home run out to right field. Fowler had a couple of defensive plays saving potential extra bases. Both were diving grabs that received high praise from his starter.
Former closer Hector Rondon entered the ninth and gave up a RBI double to Andrew Toles, making it a four-run game with one out. Rondon would get Chase Utley to line out to Rizzo who tossed it over to second base to complete a game ending double-play.
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