NLCS: Turner’s Historic Homer Gives Dodgers 2-0 Lead
The Los Angeles Dodgers were firing on all cylinders on Sunday night as the team played a complete game to take a 2-0 lead to Chicago. For the second straight night, the Dodger pitching staff absolutely shut down the 2016 world champion Chicago Cubs.
The NL West champs sent revitalized starter Rich Hill to the mound to take on the Cubs’ Jon Lester. The starting pitching from both sides was phenomenal as both hurlers did a good job of keeping their clubs in the game. The game would remain scoreless all the way until the fifth when both starters would allow their first and only run.
Addison Russell went deep in the fifth for the visitors as he supplied the only run and one of only three Cub hits on the night. Justin Turner tied things up when he singled home Charlie Culberson in the home half of the frame. After that, Hill turned things over to the Dodger bullpen who, for the second night in a row, didn’t allow a single hit.
While the home team’s bullpen was busy frustrating the opposing lineup by allowing just one baserunner through the final four innings of the game, the Cubs pen was doing their best to try and give the offense a chance to even the series at one a piece. They would get four innings of shutout, one hit ball from the relievers before Joe Maddon made the call to bring in John Lackey out of the pen.
Lackey was set to face Justin Turner with two out in the bottom of the ninth, with runners on first and second. Lackey would only toss two pitches before Turner launched a three run homer that would walk it off and give the Dodgers a very strong lead in the series. It is a home run that will go down in Dodger history and one that took place on the anniversary of another iconic Dodger playoff homer, the Kirk Gibson World Series shot.
While the story of game two is Turner’s dramatic walk off homer, the big takeaway in this game is the way the Dodgers pitching staff, the bullpen in particular, has been able to silence a Cubs offense that was one of the best in the National League coming down the stretch. At this point it looks like the Cubs are going to have their work cut out for them as we head to Wrigley for game three on Tuesday.
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