Both NLDS were in game 2, and both of them are now tied at 1-1 as the Chicago Cubs use a rare double sacrifice, back-to-back bunt sequence to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3, while the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t let a couple of early home runs phase them tie things up with the New York Mets, beating them 5-2.
Chicago Cubs Win @ St. Louis Cardinals 6-3, Series tied at 1-1
The Cubs bounce back quite well from the “warm” welcome they got in the NLDS opener. Experience didn’t matter all of a sudden. The Cardinals looked shaken, while the rookies and young players from Chicago, playing in their first postseason, didn’t seem bothered by the whole situation. Not even when Matt Carpenter hit a homerun on his first at bat. Kyle Hendricks didn’t have a great day, but he and the team didn’t fall apart after that.
The Cubs scored five runs in the second inning, beginning the lead taking sequence thanks to a couple of sacrifice bunts, something the Cubs didn’t do much during the regular season, but turns out they’ve been working on pulling off. Hendricks followed by Addison Russell started things, followed by a Dexter Fowler infield single RBI and then Jorge Soler hitting a two-run homer before Miguel Montero, who scored on one of the bunts, grounded out and allowed Anthony Rizzo to score.
The Cardinals hit two more home runs in the fifth inning off of Hendricks, twice in a 2-out situation, but that just got the Cardinals close. Travis Wood came on and picked up the win, followed by Trevor Cahill and Hector Rondon who completed the job. This wasn’t a great hitting day for the Cubs (Kris Bryant with 0-for-4, 3-for-34 with no RBIs in his past nine games.) but the Cardinals couldn’t get anything past the bullpen and more importantly, see that this very young team isn’t overwhelmed by where they are.
Los Angeles Dodgers beat New York Mets 5-2, Series tied at 1-1
We got another split series after two games in the “other” NLDS happening, as the Dodgers don’t get too worried about the opening loss or the Mets scoring two runs in the second inning. Zack Greinke pulled off another solid 7-inning appearance while the bats of Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner did the work with some extra base hitting to give the Dodgers a win as the series moves on the Queens.
The Mets started well, with two second inning home runs. One from Yoenis Cespedes, who is always hard to keep track of because of all of the teams he switches. Michael Conforto was next to take Greinke deep, but the Mets just had three more hits the entire game after that, all of them facing Greinke, who also struck out 8 batters. Chris Hatcher and then Kenley Jansen had no problem closing out the game, as the Dodgers took over in the 7th inning.
Ethier, Gonzales and Turner all hit RBI doubles, with Gonzalez’ shot scoring two. Chase Utley, who scored in that case, turned out as the villain of the game, as his vicious slide hit Ruben Tejada and injured him. This isn’t the first time Utley and the Mets have had bad blood run between them, and it’ll be very interesting to see the kind of reception he gets in New York, and how much this affects in how he’s treated on the field and pitched to.