By Richard Kagan
The Chicago Cubs found themselves in a 0-2 deficit in the NLCS vs. the Dodgers when Justin Turner hit a 3-run walk-off HR in the last of the 9th inning to give LA a thrilling 4-1 win over the visiting Cubs.
Turner’s HR came off John Lackey who was pressed into bullpen service in this series. He said he wanted the ball. He was relieving in the 9th inning, and Turner belted one deep to center field with two on and two outs. The Dodger Stadium crowd erupted in joy as Turner circled the bases. Lackey came into the game instead of Wade Davis, the pitcher with the most bull pen experience in these kind of situations. Why Maddon went with Lackey is a decision that will be questioned. Lackey had given up a lot of HR’s during the season. Tonight, he gave up another one and it ended the game.
The Cubs only had three hits in this game. One, an Addison Russell HR, which gave the Cubs a short-lived 1-0 lead, until Turner’s hit tied the game in the 5th inning. Turner finished the game with four rbi’s. The Cubs offense was bogged down and off-balance as the Dodgers pitching staff dissected them as if in a college biology project. It seemed it was only a matter of time until the Dodgers won the game, and it happened in their last at-bats.
Kris Bryant and company could not get anything going. Bryant struck out twice. Anthony Rizzo also fanned twice.
The Cubs were in a 0-2 hole in the NLCS in 2015 when the New York Mets took the first two games, then they went on to sweep the Cubs. The Dodgers and Cubs will play this Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago.
Jon Lester started and went five innings, giving up the tying run and keeping the Cubs in the game. The BP did its job until the 9th inning. It was another one of those tense struggles until Turner won it in the 9th inning.
The Cubs could not get anything going against Rich Hill, and the rest of the Dodgers BP, one of the best in the majors this season. The Cubs hardly hit the ball solidly all night except for Russell’s hit off starter Rich Hill. He was lifted early and reliever Brandon Morrow came in and retired the Cubs in order the next two innings.