National League Championship Series Game 2 – Cubs 0, Dodgers 1
WP – Clayton Kershaw (1-0) LP – Kyle Hendricks (0-1) Save – Kenley Jansen (1)
The Cubs were not able to put anything together offensively against Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers needed just one run and Adrian Gonzalez supplied it, a solo homer off Kyle Hendricks in the second inning. The Cubs managed two singles and were shut out in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
Clayton Kershaw was at the top of his game Sunday night. Kershaw pounded the strike zone with pinpoint command. Kershaw took a perfect game into the fifth inning that Javier Baez (1-for-3) broke up with a two-out single. Willson Contreras (1-for-3) followed with a single for the Cubs second and last hit of the night.
The Cubs managed only three baserunners on the night, Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a walk) walked to start the seventh.
The Cubs have to make Kershaw work when they face him again in the series. The Cubs had only two three-ball counts before Rizzo walked to start to the seventh. The Cubs allowed Kershaw to find a rhythm. He did and the Cubs had no shot. The few balls the Cubs squared up Sunday night were routine outs in Game 2.
The Dodgers are now 4-0 in games Clayton Kershaw has pitched in this postseason, 0-3 in the other three games.
Adrian Gonzalez was responsible for the only run of the game. Gonzalez drove a 1-0 pitch from Kyle Hendricks out to left center in the second inning.
Kyle Hendricks did not pitch poorly. Hendricks was not sharp in the third inning when he issued back-to-back walks. Hendricks uncharacteristically walked four batters Sunday but he was able to get out of the jams without allowing the Dodgers to tack on.
Hendricks completed 5 1/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts on 91 pitches, 54 for strikes.
The Cubs pen did its job and kept the Dodgers from adding on. It wasn’t pretty but Mike Montgomery, Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop and Aroldis Chapman hung zeros on the board. The Cubs allowed three hits but walked seven batters. The Dodgers were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
With Sunday’s loss, the National League Championship Series is tied at 1-1.
The Cubs fly to Los Angeles on Sunday night and will work out Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Game 3 is Tuesday (7:08pm CDT) with Jake Arrieta taking on Rich Hill.