On this NLCS version of “Dugout Blues,” Jared and I recap a frustrating yet satisfying Game 2 of the NLCS that ended with a Justin Turner walk-off homer.
It was frustrating early on because the Dodgers were getting plenty of runners on against Jon Lester, but they couldn’t cash them in. Enrique Hernandez had a chance with runners at second and third with two outs, but he flied out. That was after a Cody Bellinger double that advanced Turner to third. Some wondered about trying to send Turner there, but the Cubs have excellent arms in the relay and it probably would have nailed Turner at home. He’s not the fastest runner anyway.
But the Dodgers did make Lester work, as they have every pitcher this postseason. That helped get lifted after 4 2/3 innings.
Rich Hill was really good on the night. He had the fastball and curveball working, except in the fifth inning when he grooved a fastball to Addison Russell and he launched it for the game’s first run. Even then, though, it didn’t seem like the Dodgers were out of it. The Dodgers responded with a Turner RBI single in the bottom half.
Hill was then removed and Dave Roberts unleashed his bullpen. Brandon Morrow pitched two innings, Josh Fields got an out and Tony Watson got two before Kenley Jansen came in and pitched an almost clean ninth inning — he hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch. It was the first baserunner the bullpen had allowed in this series, but it didn’t come back to hurt them. Roberts managed the pitching staff to perfection in Game 2.
In the bottom half, Yasiel Puig — as locked in as he’s ever been — walked. He got to second with two outs. John Lackey relieved Brian Duensing and he battled before walking Chris Taylor to get to Turner. Smrt baseball? And, well, you know what happened. On the 29th anniversary of Kirk Gibson‘s home run to beat the A’s in Game 1 of the World Series, Turner deposited a 1-0 Lackey fastball over the center field wall to give the Dodgers the win.
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