Chicago Cubs bullpen implodes as Washington Nationals take Game 2
By Jake Misener
For much of Game 2, the Chicago Cubs appeared firmly in control. But by the time the eighth inning drew to a close, things felt very different.
After Jon Lester turned in six innings of one-run ball, the Chicago Cubs bullpen imploded in spectacular fashion, as part of a five-run eighth inning that gave the Washington Nationals a 6-3 win in Game 2 Saturday night.
Carl Edwards Jr, who turned in a scoreless frame in Game 1, took over for Pedro Strop in the bottom of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Adam Lind singled to get things started. After Edwards got Trea Turner swinging, Bryce Harper dug in.
The Washington slugger unloaded on a hanging breaking ball, sending one deep into the right-field seats to tie things 3-3. Anthony Rendon drew a walk, ending the night for the lanky Chicago right-hander. Mike Montgomery came in from the pen – but fared no better.
Daniel Murphy dropped a ball down the left-field line to put two on with only one away. Then, the Washington Nationals’ first ever draft pick, Ryan Zimmerman, delivered the back-breaking blow – a three-run home run that snuck over the fence in left.
A strong start wasted
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
After Kyle Hendricks turned in an outstanding effort in Game 1, Jon Lester followed with a strong performance of his own. Over six innings, he allowed just one earned run. Lester worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to preserve the 3-1 advantage.
Chicago went just 1-for-2 on the night with runners in scoring position, and failed on multiple occasions to pad the lead. Willson Contreras got the Cubs on the board in the top of the second with a solo blast – answering Anthony Rendon’s opposite-field shot in the first.
In the top of the fourth, it was Team Bryzzo again. Kris Bryant got things going with a double to left. First baseman Anthony Rizzo followed with a wall-scraping two-run shot to give the Cubs the lead they held until the bottom of the eighth.
Next: Cubs' hitters not only reason for high strikeout totals
Chicago and Washington continue this contentious NLDS on Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Jose Quintana (0-0, 0.00) makes his postseason debut against Max Scherzer (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is at 3:00 p.m. CT.