Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs lead Giants 2-0 in NLDS as series heads west

rkagan
Oct 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood (37) high fives manager Joe Maddon (70) after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning during game two of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood (37) high fives manager Joe Maddon (70) after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning during game two of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs are now up 2-0 in their best of five games series versus the SF Giants. The Cubs did their part by winning the first two games at Wrigley Field.

Now the scene shifts to San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs will face lefty ace Madison Bumgarner, the premier pitcher of the post-season.

The Cubs did a lot of right things in their defeat of the Giants in game two, winning 5-2. The only down spot being the apparent injury of Kyle Hendricks who took a wicked liner hit by Angel Pagan back to the mound.

Hendricks was hit on the right forearm and taken out of the game in the fourth inning. He did not figure in the decision. However, X-rays were negative and he likely will be sore for a few days.

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He was interviewed post-game and did not appear to be in discomfort.

Travis Wood relieved him and hit a home run. A solid hit to the bleachers in left field that shook the stands at Wrigley Field. It was the first home run by a reliever in the playoffs since 1924.

Wood is the third Cub pitcher to hit a playoff home run. In a post-game interview on MLB-TV, he talked about being thrilled as he got to the dugout and felt the love from his teammates. That hit gave the Cubs a 5-2 which the bullpen held nicely.

Ace Showdown

Now, it’s on to Madison Bumgarner, one of the best pitchers in post-season history. The Cubs will counter with Jake Arrieta, 18-8, for the year and last year’s Cy Young Award winner.

Arrieta has been off his game in September with an ERA over 4.50 in recent starts. If we see the “on” Arrieta, this game will be a classic pitching duel.

Do the Cubs have the staying power and the depth to withstand a tough team to beat facing elimination? The Giants don’t go down easy. This is where we will see the Cubs’ mettle. Can they stand up to the elements at AT&T Park? It’s a challenge and good teams need to face them.

Next: Early runs result in 5-2 win over Giants

As someone who has followed the Cubs for years, it is better to be up 2-0 in a best of five series than not. However, memories flash back to 1984 when the Cubs had a 2-0 lead before heading to San Diego to face the Padres on the road. We all know what happened then.

If Chicago can win this series on the west coast that would be a great achievement. It’s one game at a time, and so far, the Cubs are looking good.

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