The Cubs did what they had to do, win the first two games of the National League Division Series at Wrigley Field. After finding a way to win Game 1 behind Jon Lester and an eighth inning home run by Javier Baez, the Cubs took Game 2 from the Giants 5-2 on a night Kyle Hendricks had to leave in the fourth inning when he took a line drive off his right forearm.
Kyle Hendricks drove in two runs before turning the game over to Travis Wood. And he became just the second relief pitcher in baseball history to hit a home run. The Cubs’ pen pitched 5 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.
Kyle Hendricks said he was okay after the game and does not think he will miss his next start. The Cubs will provide an update on Hendricks Sunday when the team works out at AT&T Park.
The Cubs know they have not won anything and there is a lot of work still to be done. The Cubs are not taking the Giants lightly, especially with Madison Bumgarner starting Game 3. The only thing the Cubs have done by winning the first two games is guarantee the series will return to Wrigley Field if they struggle at AT&T Park.
“Those guys are pros,” Joe Maddon said. “They never panic. They are never concerned. We have to approach this next game as just No. 165 of the season. We just want to keep playing the same game we have played all year. We control the controllables and hand the ball to Jake. They have a nice pitcher. We have a nice pitcher. It should be a fun evening.”
The Cubs made the late-night, early-morning flight to San Francisco and will work out at AT&T Park on Sunday. The Giants decided to stay in Chicago overnight and was scheduled to fly out early Sunday morning. According to Bob Nightengale, the Giants took the advice of a sleep doctor that said it was better for the players to fly to the west coast the next day as opposed to after a late-night game.
Game 3 of the best-of-five NLDS is Monday night (8:38pm CDT) at AT&T Park, Jake Arrieta versus Madison Bumgarner.
NLDS News and Notes
Here’s the news and notes from Game 2 of the NLDS …
• Cubs Pitchers Rake, Bullpen Shuts Down the Giants to Take Game 2 (Includes Video)
• Kyle Hendricks Exits Game 2 with Right Forearm Contusion, X-Rays Negative (Includes Video)
• Travis Wood Hits a Postseason Dinger (Includes Video)
• The Cubs breathe a sigh of relief with Kyle Hendricks forearm according to Comcast SportsNet. ESPN Chicago reported Kyle Hendricks feels okay after getting knocked out by a comebacker. Kyle Hendricks’ bruised arm is no reason for panic in Wrigleyville according to David Haugh.
• Cubs take a 2-0 lead to the West Coast and the Sun-Times asked, where have we seen this before? Kris Bryant said, “We’re too young. I wasn’t born in 1984. I don’t know the history. We’re going to try our best to rewrite our own history.”
• Blast plus sweet relief put Cubs on brink of NLCS according to ESPN Chicago. Cubs get help from unlikely source to gain 2-0 NLDS lead according to ESPN Chicago. And ESPN Chicago reported pitcher hitting gives Cubs their lead in NLDS Game 2.
• Travis Wood and the Cubs’ bullpen came up big in their NLDS Game 2 win according to Sports Illustrated.
• Comcast SportsNet reported the Cubs rose above adversity and took a commanding lead over Giants in NLDS.
• The Cubs are one win from eliminating the Giants … and Travis Wood’s homer speaks volumes according to Bob Nightengale.
• Joe Maddon explained why he went with a defensive-minded lineup for Game 2.
• Bruce Levine reported the Cubs rough up old teammate Jeff Samardzija to take full control of NLDS. Jeff Samardzija’s start is short, not so sweet according to Paul Sullivan. And Comcast SportsNet reported Jeff Samardzija struggles against the Cubs in Game 2 … ‘It wasn’t my night.’
• The Cubs did something that hasn’t been done in 92 years, and nobody wanted to talk about it according to Jeff Passan. This is a great read and further illustrates how tight these Cubs are.
• The Cubs pitching staff has not walked a batter over the first two games of the NLDS. And the only walk for either team in the first two games belongs to Javier Baez.
• Javier Baez pimped what he thought was a home run in the sixth inning. Baez did not hustle out of the box and Respect 90. The ball hit off the ivy and had to turn it on around first base. Baez slid in headfirst and took a hard hit to his head on the tag by Joe Panik. Baez was safe but replays showed he came off the bag as Panik held the tag. The Giants challenged and Baez was out. Unacceptable anytime, in any game. Baez told the beat writers after the game no matter what he will run the next time, even if he knows he hit a home run.
Dexter Fowler did it again Saturday night in Game 2 of the NLDS. Fowler jump-started the offense and helped give the Cubs a lead in the first inning of game.
Fowler worked a nine-pitch at-bat against Jeff Samardzija that ended with a double off the ivy in right center. Fowler just missed hitting a home run. Fowler scored on a two-out bloop single from Ben Zobrist. And the Cubs took a 1-0 lead.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 9, 2016
Dexter Fowler had just the one hit in Game 2, but it was a big one and he scored the first run of a game the Cubs won 5-2.
Fowler hit .390/.483/.720 with eight doubles, two triples and seven home runs in 118 plate appearances leading off games in the regular season.
News and Notes
• Game 2 of the NLDS posted an 18.1 Chicago market rating, the peak audience was over 744,000 homes according to Jeff Nuich.
• The Giants had three chances with runners in scoring position and two outs against Jon Lester in Game 1, the Giants were 0-for-3. Ken Rosenthal pointed out, opponents were 4-for-62 (.065) against Lester during the season with two out and runners in scoring position.
• Young Cubs, like Willson Contreras, are responding to playoff pressure according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Make Someday Today … An excellent T-Shirt for an excellent rookie catcher
Willson T-shirt: "Make Someday Today." pic.twitter.com/nlkPhC2tNK
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) October 9, 2016
• The Tribune explained why play halted in Game 1 as the umps made Anthony Rizzo switch gloves.
• Kyle Schwarber performed running drills at Wrigley Field … and the Tribune caught his rehab on video, click here.
This Day in Cubstory
2004 – Cubs granted free agency to Calvin Murray
1996 – Red Sox selected Mike Campbell off waivers from the Cubs
1989 – Cubs dropped the fifth and deciding game of the NLCS to the Giants, 3-2.
1982 – Jason Jaramillo, born
1947 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Randy Jackson
1946 – Cubs released Billy Jurges
1946 – Jim Qualls, born
1940 – Joe Pepitone, born
1938 – Yankees completed the four-game sweep over the Cubs with an 8-3 victory at Yankee Stadium to win the World Series. The Yankees became the first team to win three straight World Series titles.
1928 – Cubs crushed the White Sox 13-2 at Comiskey Park and won the City Series, four games to three
1925 – Cubs selected Hack Wilson in the Rule 5 Draft from the Giants’ Toledo farm team for $5,000.
1907 – Cubs beat the Tigers behind Jack Pfiester 3-1 in the second game of the World Series at West Side Grounds
1906 – Mordecai Brown lost 2-1 to Nick Altrock and the White Sox in the first game of the All-Chicago World Series at a snowy West Side Grounds. The Cubs and White Sox played in the first one-city Fall Classic.
1886 – The Chicago National League Ball Club clinched the pennant with a 12-3 victory over the Braves in Boston. The game was called after seven innings due to darkness. John Clarkson pitched a complete game and collected two hits.