Kyle Hendricks didn’t stick around long tonight for the Cubs – he left in the fourth inning with a right forearm contusion – but in the time he spent in the game he made quite an impact, singling in two runs with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning. That gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Kris Bryant followed the Professor’s single with a single of his own to score one more run before the inning was finished.
The bottom of the Cubs’ batting order really fueled their offense tonight, scoring four of the Cubs’ five runs. Travis Wood, who came on for Hendricks, smashed a home run to left center field in the bottom of the fourth. It was his first home run since 2014.
The Cubs bullpen took care of the rest. They simply allowed no runs and two hits over 5 1/3 innings. Aroldis Chapman came on in the ninth inning to close it out and already he’s earned the price the Cubs had to pay the Yankees.
Cubs win game two of the NLDS (Box Score) and take a 2-0 series lead to San Francisco on Monday.
Stats that matter
- Hendricks was effective, not quite at his best, up until leaving the game early – 3.2IP, 2R, 4H, 1-for-1, 2RBI
- Wood, Edwards, Montgomery, Rondon and Chapman owned it – 5.1IP, 0R, 2H, 6Ks
- Willson Contreras was solid behind and at the plate – 2-for-3, 1R
- Travis Wood’s home run was icing on the cake
The Cubs battled adversity in this game and they came out smelling like a rose. Honestly, this didn’t feel all that different from the bullpen games the Cubs had coming down the stretch, they basically practiced for this exact scenario. If you were looking to find a strategic advantage to wrapping up the division early, there’s a big one for the Cubs.
Bottom line is that the Cubs did what they needed to do, they held on to home field advantage in the NLDS. Now, they need to steal one in San Francisco and they’ll have Arrieta on the hill to help them.
The Cubs pack it up and hit the road to San Francisco where they’ll play on Monday evening at 8:30 PM CT. Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) will be on the mound for the Cubs.