Ben Zobrist’s bunt in fourth inning of Game 4 of the NLCS led to a 10-2 victory over the Dodgers
After being shutout in back-to-back games, the Cubs found themselves in a 2-1 hole entering Game 4 at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs offense was non-existent against Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 and Rich Hill in Game 3. And rookie left-hander Julio Urias had not allowed a hit through the first three innings of Game 4.
John Lackey kept the Dodgers off the scoreboard in his first three innings of work. But the Cubs were struggling and barely resembled the team that won 103 games in the regular season and beat the Giants in the NLDS. That all changed in the fourth inning of Game 4. The Cubs scored 23 runs over the next three games and won the NL Pennant.
Ben Zobrist led off the fourth inning with a perfectly placed bunt up the third baseline. Justin Turner did not have a chance. Zobrist not only did his job by getting on base, he relaxed his teammates and The Bunt led to a four-run inning and the Cubs tying the NLCS at two games apiece.
Theo Epstein said after the NLCS, “Zobrist lays down that bunt, all of a sudden our at-bats got so much better. Our approach was back. We put on a masterpiece performance.”
Javier Baez followed Zo’s bunt with a single to left. Willson Contreras singled in Zobrist for the first run of the game. Baez scored on a Jason Heyward groundout, 2-0 Cubs.
Addison Russell gave the Cubs all the runs they would end up needing. Russell launched a two-run homer off Julio Urias and gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Anthony Rizzo, using Matt Szczur’s bat, started the fifth inning with a solo homer off Dodgers’ reliever Pedro Baez.
The Dodgers scored their only two runs of Game 4 in the fifth inning and cut the Cubs lead to 5-2. Justin Turner singled off Mike Montgomery and drove in Andrew Toles and Andre Ethier.
The Cubs responded with a five-run sixth inning and put the game away.
Addison Russell and Mike Montgomery singled with one out. Dexter Fowler drove in Russell and both Montgomery and Fowler scored on a single from Anthony Rizzo. Javier Baez plated Kris Bryant with a sac fly and Rizzo scored on a throwing error.
The Cubs put a five-spot on the board on five hits and two Dodgers errors.
Mike Montgomery pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth. With all of the momentum, and a 10-2 lead, Joe Maddon used Carl Edwards Jr., Travis Wood, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon over the last three innings to close out the victory in Game 4.
The Cubs tied the NLCS at 2-2, setting up for a pivotal Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.
And it was a bunt that jump-started the offense and got the Cubs back on track to The World Series.