It was the tale of the Big Inning. In the 8th the Dodgers (94 – 74) mounted a serious threat and clawed their way back to even. With clever game management they had forced the Cubs (108 – 59) to bench their 100+ mph Closer after only 2 Outs and despite finishing the Inning in a Tie they looked like they were going to make mincemeat of the Cubs Set Up Guy (the best they had left).
And then the Cubs’ Montero who generally is not considered a hitting threat pounded a Grand Slam.
Oh sure, the Dodgers scored as expected, but the game was over.
Bottom 1st- Leadoff Single. RBI Double. Cubs 1 – 0.
Bottom 2nd- Leadoff Triple. RBI Double. Cubs 2 – 0. Báez Stole Home. Cubs 3 – 0.
Top 5th- Solo Shot. Cubs 3 – 1.
Top 8th- Leadoff Single. Walk. Infield Single. 2 RBI Single. Tied at 3.
Bottom 8th- Leadoff Double. Intentional Walk. Intentional Walk. Grand Slam. Cubs 7 – 3. Solo Shot. Cubs 8 – 3.
Top 9th- Infield Single. RBI Double. Cubs 8 – 4 Final.
Cubs lead Series 1 – 0
Today the Cubs go with the lighter part of their staff, sending Kyle Hendricks (R, 16 – 8, 2.13 ERA) to the mound. He’s not bad (heh, led the Senior League in ERA) and didn’t embarrass himself in the Division Series notching a No Decision on 3 and 1/3rd Innings, benched by a Line Shot to his arm. He surrendered 4 Hits for 2 Runs, no Walks or Strike Outs and has a respectable ERA of 5.11.
But he will be facing Clayton Kershaw (L, 12 – 4, 1.69 ERA) that the fawning bi-costal media think is a Superman. Well, he’s pretty good but he’s been getting a lot of work, starting Game 1 and Game 4, relieving in Game 5. 110+ Pitches in his Win, 2/3rds of an Inning in his Save. Once again he’s going on short rest and he’s not unbeatable. In 12 1/3rd Innings in the Divisional Series he’s given up 15 Hits for 8 Runs and issued 3 Walks against 19 Strike Outs. His ERA is a distinctly competitive 5.84.
So it’s a pick ’em. Should be an interesting game. If the Dodgers pull off a win tonight Home Field advantage will shift to them. If not they pretty much have to sweep their Home games to remain in contention.