It’s been awhile since there was a dramatic walkoff win at Dodger Stadium, but tonight’s was historic, and well worth the wait. Justin Turner hit the first walkoff home run in Dodgers‘ postseason history since Kirk Gibson‘s in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, 29 years to the day.
Once again, the starting pitcher only went five innings, and the bullpen took over and kept the door shut. The hit by pitch to Anthony Rizzo was the only base runner allowed by this bullpen in eight innings so far in this NLCS.
Rich Hill allowed his first hit to John Jay then retired the next six batters, walking Javier Baez in the top of the third who then stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch. Hill got Jay to ground out to first, and struck out Kris Bryant, stranding Baez at third.
In the top of the fifth inning, Hill gave up a solo home run to Addison Russell. He allowed a hit to Jon Lester, but escaped the frame without any further harm.
Charlie Culberson led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to right center. Curtis Granderson then pinch hit for Hill. He popped out. Chris Taylor grounded out to advance Culberson to third, and Turner singled him home for a 1-1 tie. A walk to Cody Bellinger chased Lester from the game after 103 pitches. Carl Edwards Jr entered the game to face pinch hitter Chase Utley, who stuck out to end the inning. Edwards would stay in the game to get a 1-2-3 sixth, striking out Puig for the final out.
Brandon Morrow entered to pitch the top of the sixth, and had an eight pitch inning to take down the Cubs in order. He would need only nine pitches to retire the side in the seventh.
Josh Fields entered to pitch the eighth inning and induced a fly out to Baez, and was replaced by Tony Watson to face the same two batters he was brought in to face in Saturday night’s game, Ben Zobrist and Jay. He quickly retired them both on three pitches.
Brian Duensing took over for the Cubs in the bottom of the eighth. Cody Bellinger beat out an infield single, and pinch hitter Joc Pederson bunted him over to second, but Austin Barnes grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen took over in the top of the ninth inning. He struck out Kris Bryant, and then hit Rizzo. Jansen then struck out Willson Contreras and got Al Almora Jr to ground out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Puig was handed a four-pitch walk. Culberson bunted him over. Duensing got Kyle Farmer to chase a pitch for a strikeout, and Joe Maddon called in John Lackey from the bullpen. Chris Taylor worked a walk, and then it was all Justin Turner. He took a 1-0 pitch from Lackey and sent it into the right-center field bleachers for a 4-1 walk off win, and a commanding 2-0 lead in the NLCS.
On Tuesday, Game 3 in Chicago will feature Yu Darvish facing off against Kyle Hendricks. Game time is 6:00 p.m. PST.
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