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NLCS: Chicago Cubs’ offense comes alive in must-win Game 4

Oct 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) reacts after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning during game four of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) reacts after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning during game four of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs offense had been scary quiet the past two games prior to Game 4. Tonight in Los Angeles, it was a different story as multiple players who have struggled at the dish, finally found their groove.

Final. 2. 71. 10. 9

Yet while the past two days have been frustrating, tonight’s win over the Dodgers has to feel good for the Chicago Cubs. Just when it looked as if they were going belly up and fall flat, they come alive.

This ballclub never seems to amaze its fans. Both starting pitcher’s looked solid early on as you had Julio Urias on one side and John Lackey on the other. Lackey made his first postseason appearance as a big leaguer when Julio was only six-years-old.

Pretty crazy when you think about that. The Cubs started off slow but slowly began to zone in on the 20-year-old southpaw. In fact, it was Julio’s first postseason start which made him the youngest starter in playoff history.

Rather impressive, if you ask me but tonight seemed to be a little too much for the rookie lefty who made an early exit.

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Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts decided to pull his starting pitcher after just 3 2/3. Something the Chicago Cubs needed to do if they had any hopes of tying the series. Getting to that bullpen as quick as possible.

And when it came to the run support, well, the struggles of Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo appear to be over. Russell capped a four-run fourth inning with a two-run homer out to center field — his first of the postseason.

Coming Alive

Utility man Ben Zobrist started the frame with a bunt single and came around to score on a Willson Contreras RBI single. Speaking of Willson, he made a few defensive plays that turned out to be key moments in the game.

He threw out Justin Turner, who was standing on first and later applied a tag to Adrian Gonzalez who attempted to score. A controversial play that looked as if Gonzalez got his hand in before the tag was applied to his chin.

Later on in the game, Rizzo stepped to the box and nearly launched a solo homer of his own with the count at 3-1. Instead, he launched his first postseason big fly of the year with the count at 3-2 in the fifth.

Slumps No More

Anthony finished 3-for-5 with three RBI. A huge sigh of relief for Chicago’s lineup. Russell and Rizzo combined 6-for-10 with a pair of homers and five RBI.

And then you have another huge inning in which the Cubs scored more than four runs. Only this time, they managed to push five across, extending their lead to 10-2 in the sixth.

Moments after Justin Turner cut into Chicago’s lead with a two-run single off Mike Montgomery‘s glove, the Cubs poured it on. Dexter Fowler lined a pitch down the first base line, scoring Russell to make it 6-2.

Both runs scored by the Dodgers were charged to Lackey who was pulled in the fifth. He walked the first two batters of the inning, which brought in Montgomery.

Next: Cubs facing a must-win Game 4

Following Rizzo’s two-run single, Javier Baez blooped a pitch out to a diving Joc Pederson who made the play. Pederson attempted to throw a tagging Bryant out at the plate but was charged with an error instead.

As a result of his throwing error, two runs scored. Los Angeles was charged with four errors tonight — two less than the Cubs. Tonight’s win swings the momentum back in the Cubs favor who will send Jon Lester to the mound in Game 5.

And most importantly, the series will return to Wrigley Field this weekend. Let’s make sure it’s nice and loud for Clayton Kershaw who is expected to start Game 6.

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