On Monday, the Chicago Cubs entered Game 3 with an opportunity to sweep the San Francisco Giants. However, the Giants had other plans in store for the visiting team by making life difficult.
Since the Chicago Cubs claimed the first two games of the series, experts have pointed out that the Giants have been in a hole before. In fact, San Francisco is now 10-1 when faced with elimination in the postseason.
What stood out tho, was how well Matt Moore pitched against an offense that had a massive run differential during the regular season. Moore looked sharp tonight, cruising through Chicago’s lineup. Despite giving up a home run to David Ross, he put in eight innings of hard work.
The man nicknamed Grandpa Rossy became the oldest catcher in postseason history to hit a home run. Rather impressive for someone who is in his final year as an active player.
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Yet while Moore was fantastic for his team, veteran right-hander John Lackey was the opposite for his. Lackey surrendered three earned runs on seven hits while issuing two walks and recording four strikeouts.
Skipper Joe Maddon pulled Lackey after an inning in which he slipped and fell while attempting to complete a double-play. John stepped on the bag with Span hustling down the line, and fell, allowing a run to score.
Most thought that maybe, just maybe, it was Lackey who would shut down the Giants. It did not go that way.
Reliever Justin Grimm was charged with two runs on two hits in only a 1/3 of an inning. Grimm gave up a single to Hunter Pence and was nearly taken deep by Brandon Crawford. Crawford lifted a pitch out to right-center field that bounced off the top of the wall.
Although Crawford’s at-bat stood as a double, the Giants extended their lead to 5-2 on a single and sacrifice fly. San Francisco managed to string together over 10 hits and looked to be in charge until the ninth inning.
Chicago has rallied from multiple deficits this season but this one in San Francisco has to be the best in franchise history. Kris Bryant got things going with a single out to left and Anthony Rizzo worked a walk.
Giants skipper Bruce Bochy brought in multiple relievers but the lead was quickly erased on a Willson Contreras single. Infielder Javier Baez lifted the Chicago Cubs to yet another victory by tallying the go-ahead run on a single out to center field.
Closer Aroldis Chapman, who blew yesterday’s lead, redeemed himself with a 1-2-3 inning to help the Chicago Cubs reach the National League Championship Series.