Remember when Albert Almora hit that two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw? That was nice.
That was also really the only positive moment you’ll take away from that game, as the Cubs’ bats failed to cash in with several other early opportunities against Kershaw, and then could mount nothing of note against the Dodger bullpen.
Jose Quintana was very good for four innings before fading in the 5th, losing his command, and giving up a couple runs in the inning on two walks, a double, and a sac fly. The bullpen took over from there, and Hector Rondon gave up a homer, Mike Montgomery gave up a flurry of hits (including a homer), and John Lackey wound up coming in to finish things off. It was kind of a strange set of usage for the relievers, though obviously there hasn’t been much consistency in production this postseason, so, well, somebody has to pitch. We’ll have to look at this a little more closely tomorrow.
Joe Maddon was ejected in the 7th inning after a beautiful throw from Kyle Schwarber resulted in an out at the plate … that was turned into a safe call after a review determined that Willson Contreras blocked the plate without the ball. It was close, and Contreras had to move into the lane to receive the throw (which is legal), but I’m guessing the determination was that he didn’t need to jut his leg out wide to block the plate.
That run made the game 5-2, which was also the final score. It was a disappointing, quiet opener to the NLCS, and although perhaps an outcome you might expect against Kershaw … not so much when you’re hitting him hard for five innings.
And Kershaw wasn’t even the pitching story for the Dodgers …