Anthony Rizzo hit a walk-off single off Kenley Jansen as the Cubs took the series opener by a score of 3-2. The game began with a banner raising ceremony, and, during a two-hour rain delay, the screen at Wrigley Field showed a replay of game six of the NLCS.
Jon Lester picked up a no-decision, he pitched six innings in which he allowed one earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Lester cruised through the first five innings, allowing only two baserunners, Franklin Gutierrez and Yasmani Grandal. Gutierrez was caught stealing in the second, and Grandal never attempted to take another base against Lester. Lester allowed one run in the sixth but the Dodgers were unable to get more runs.
Alex Wood pitched 3 2/3 innings in which he allowed two runs, one earned, and was awarded a no-decision. The Cubs capitalized on errors by Wood and Yasiel Puig. In the third inning with two outs, Kyle Schwarber hit a fly ball down the right-field line. It was in foul territory, but with enough room for Puig to make the catch. It bounced off his glove and Schwarber was given an extra life. He worked a walk, and with two outs, Kris Bryant was coming to the plate.
The inning should have already been over, but instead, Wood had to face Bryant. With Schwarber running, Bryant hit the ball to left field and it bounced off the wall. Schwarber scored and the Cubs had a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Kris Bryant.
In the fourth inning, Addison Russel and Wilson Contreras hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. They advanced to second and third when Wood threw the ball into center field on a pickoff attempt. The Dodgers then intentionally walked Javier Báez and loaded the bases for Lester. With the infield in, Lester hit a ground ball that Justin Turner had to dive to catch. He threw to second and, after review, got Báez out at second with a force play. The Cubs still scored and led 2-0.
The Dodgers scored in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Corey Seager. With runners on first and second, Seager hit a cutter from Lester down the right-field line, scoring Joc Pederson. The Dodgers added another run in the eighth with a bases-loaded forceout by Chase Utley. The Cubs challenged the play to see if Justin Turner had slid illegally into second. If he had, Utley would also have been out and the Dodgers run would have been erased. The umpires ruled that the slide was legal, so the game was tied at 2.
In the ninth inning, Jon Jay led off for the Cubs with a leadoff single against Sergio Romo. Romo then recorded one out that advanced Jay to second. The Dodgers brought in Kenley Jansen to face Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Jansen struck out Bryant and Jay stole third and strike three.
The Cubs had a runner on third with two outs and Anthony Rizzo coming to the plate. Ben Zobrist was on deck. The Dodgers should have taken advantage of the no-pitch intentional walk and faced Zobrist. I’m not saying that Zobrist is a bad hitting, in fact, I think he is a good one, but he is not as good as Rizzo. Well, the Dodgers decided to face Rizzo and with a 1-1 count, he hit Jansen’s cutter into left field for a walk-off single.
The turning point of the game came in the third inning when Puig was unable to catch the foul ball by Kyle Schwarber. Giving Schwarber another chance allowed him to reach base and then allowed Kris Bryant to hit the RBI double. If the run had not been scored, the Dodgers would have entered the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead and Jansen could have come in at the beginning of the inning. He would have faced a different part of the Cubs’ lineup and been able to retire them. Instead, Jansen gave up the hit to Rizzo, but Sergio Romo took the loss because his runner scored.
The Dodgers have a scheduled off day on Tuesday, giving Dodger fans time to forget about Monday’s game. The series will continue at Wrigley Field on Wednesday with Brandon McCarthy facing off against John Lackey. The game will be televised on SportsNet LA, KTLA, and MLB Network.