After failing to protect an early lead in each of their three NLCS games against the Dodgers so far, the Cubs managed to pull it off tonight with a 3-2 victory to stave off a sweep.
Every run in the game came via the dinger, with Chicago boosted by one from Willson Contreras and two from Javier Baez. Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta struck out nine in 6.2 innings in what has the potential to be his last start as a Cub with free agency pending.
Joe Maddon’s record of, ah, interesting decision-making in this series continued with the move to bring Wade Davis out for a six-out save, something he didn’t do at all in the regular season. (He only worked a five-out save once, and a four-out save twice, and was kept from going two innings—or going at all—in Game 2.) He got things started by throwing three balls to Justin Turner before delivering a perfect, belt-high fastball that got smashed. He proceeded to walk Yasiel Puig. Then, after a foul pop-up by Andre Ethier became the first out of the inning, Maddon got himself ejected—after getting extremely worked up over a third-strike call on Curtis Granderson that was, bizarrely and seemingly pretty clearly incorrectly, reversed to a two-strike foul ball.
On one more pitch, Granderson struck out, and Davis made it out of the 34-pitch inning without further incident. The top of the inning, at least—because in the bottom of the inning, the Cubs sent him out to bat. (While he struck out, as expected, he did manage to foul off three balls with two strikes first.)
Clayton Kershaw stands between them and a Game 6—a scary set-up, sure, but Kershaw’s single start against the Cubs in the regular season was his worst of the year.