For the first time since 2003, the Chicago Cubs have won an NLCS game. You didn’t really think this team was going to be swept, did you?
We’ll have to dig into the particulars tomorrow, as I’m completely exhausted from that one, but a few short thoughts:
Jon Lester was once again completely equal to the moment, and, were it not for a hey-let’s-talk-about-that-tomorrow decision to remove him after just six innings, he may well have cruised just as well as he did in Game One of the NLDS. The only blemish on his night was an Andre Ethier pop fly that caught the breeze and sailed out, as balls sometimes do at Wrigley.
The Cubs built a lead on the strength of Javy Baez being the magical being that he is, Jason Heyward rocking a triple, and Kris Bryant doubling off the wall. That lead did not hold in the 8th inning when some tough breaks for Pedro Strop loaded the bases, and Aroldis Chapman couldn’t quite pull off three straight strikeouts.
With the game suddenly tied at three, it may have been easy for the Cubs of old to roll over and let the moment dictate the rest of the night. But not this team. This team immediately loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, and watched as Miguel Montero crushed an 0-2 oopsie far up into the right field bleachers. Dexter Fowler followed with a homer of his own to serve as the punctuation.
Cubs win. Cubs lead the series 1-0. It was incredible.