Down But Not Out! CUBS Force Game 5

19 Oct, 2017

The defending champs aren’t going down without a fight.

The Chicago Cubs extended their season Wednesday with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2017 National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field. Los Angeles still leads the series 3-1, but two home runs from Javier Baez, a homer from Willson Contreras and clutch pitching from Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis kept Chicago alive.

The Cubs put their season on Arrieta’s shoulders, and he delivered with a vintage performance, allowing just three hits and five walks while striking out nine in 6.2 innings.

The only run he gave up was Cody Bellinger’s solo homer in the top of the third, although he ran into trouble in the seventh when he walked Yasmani Grandal and Chris Taylor. Brian Duensing entered to face Bellinger—who represented the go-ahead run—and induced a fly out to end the frame and ensure Arrieta finished with an impressive stat line.

Willson Contreras, the second batter of the second inning, hit the Cubs’ fourth home run of the series. Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal asked for a fastball away to Contreras, which it wasn’t, and on contact Wood recoiled at his mistake. Dodgers left fielder Andre Ethier hardly moved, other than to turn to see just how far the ball would travel. It struck the scoreboard that hangs over the left-field bleachers, turned out, which is a very long way from home plate. The estimated distance was 491 feet.

In a quirky inning in which he struck out every other batter, starting with Anthony Rizzo, Wood also allowed a home run to Baez, who on his way to 0 for 20 also had struck out eight times. Wood’s curveball was low, but Baez tracked it, pulled it down the left-field line and into the street.

The Cubs had scored first in each of the series’ first three games, and so in all four of them. They, of course, held none of those first three leads. And Arrieta responded to the offensive outburst by hanging a slider to Cody Bellinger in the third inning. Bellinger lined it to right field for a home run.

Baez homered again in the fifth inning, this on a curveball that arrived beneath the zone. Baez attacked it, and it soared low and hard into the bleachers.

 Bleacher Report/LA Times
Photo: Bleacher Report

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