- Travis Wood is really good:
After having a very up and down season in which many Cubs fans were nervous every single time he came in (including myself), he proved himself worthy of a playoff roster spot last night, which is something that was up in the air until it was announced. After Cy Young hopeful Kyle Hendricks was forced to leave the game after taking a comebacker off his forearm (more on that in a minute), Travis Wood came in and pitched an inning and a third of scoreless baseball, struck out 2, didn’t allow a single baserunner, and hit a solo home run. That was the first home run from a relief pitcher in the playoffs since Rosy Ryan did it was back in 1924. It was nice to see Wood prove that he deserved to be on the playoff roster by getting the win and contributing to the run scoring.
- Our bullpen is really good:
After Hendricks left with 2 outs in the 4th, the bullpen needed to step up in a big way, and that is exactly what they did. Wood (1.1 IP, W), Edwards Jr (1 IP), Montgomery (1.1 IP), Rondon (.2 IP), and Aroldis Chapman (1 IP, S) contributed to throwing 5 and 1/3 scoreless innings, only giving up 2 hits, 0 walks, and striking out 6. They were dominant and it was great to see.
- Kyle Hendricks appears to be fine:
After getting hit by a comebacker off the bat of Angel Pagan (98 MPH exit velocity), Hendricks was forced to exit the game. At that point he had pitched 3.2 innings, given up 4 hits and 2 runs, but looked to find his rhythm. After Maddon came out and talked with him, he tossed a couple of warm ups, which didn’t look right, and came out of the game. The good news is x-rays came back negative, he was diagnosed with a right forearm contusion, and he is not expected to miss his next start which would take place in the NLCS. Maddon said it was more of a precaution, didn’t want to risk it since it was tightening up on him, and he should be fine. Hendrick’s bat also played a big role in the game, as his only at bat resulted in a 2 RBI single in the 2nd inning. It was great to beat up Samardzija like that!
- Javier Baez is incredible:
Through 2 games he is 3-6 with a walk, a home run (which was the only run scored in game 1), and 2 runs scored. He did pimp what he thought was a home run last night and got thrown out at second (on a stupid rule) after replay, but he also has played incredible defense, and scored on a ball that no one else on this team would have had a shot at. Hendricks floated a single to center field, and Baez read it better than I thought was humanly possible, he took off, got right on Jason Heyward’s heels, and scored. It was a fantastic base running play, and things like this are huge when trying to win a world series.
- Cubs take a 2-0 lead:
The Cubs going up in this series 2-0 is huge. It is a totally different situation if we are tied at 1-1 and heading back for 2 games in San Francisco with Bumgarner pitching in game 3. The guy is an absolute post season monster, but with a 2 game lead, I am very confident that Jake Arrieta can come out and push MadBum to his limits. Game 3 will take place Monday at 8:30 central.
Here is game 1’s Javy Bomb:
Here are some highlights from game 2, including the Travis Wood homer: