Chicago Cubs: Looking at the numbers behind critical Game 2 decisions
By Jake Misener
There’s no doubt that the eighth inning of Game 2 won’t soon be forgotten by Chicago Cubs fans. The team made history – and not in a way you want to see.
With just five outs to go in Saturday’s Game 2, the Chicago Cubs fell to pieces. The combination of Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Montgomery allowed a pair of home runs that plated five runs – erasing a 3-1 advantage and evening the series at one game apiece.
In the wake of the loss, fans and pundits alike have been tearing Joe Maddon to pieces for his bullpen usage. Why? Because Game 2 marked the first time ever in MLB postseason history a right-handed pitcher allowed a homer to a left-handed batter and a lefty allowed a long-ball to a right-handed batter in the same inning.
After the loss, Maddon remained insistent he made the right call.
"“C.J. was the right man for the job,” Maddon said. “Harper is good, C.J. is really good. C.J.’s numbers against left-handed hitters are among the best in all of baseball.”"
During the regular season, Edwards held left-handed hitters to a .119 average. They slugged just .193 against him and he had allowed just two homers in the season against such batters. The right-hander had not allowed a run since Sept. 5 nor a hit since Sept. 10. In the last month, Edwards owned a sub-2.00 ERA and a 0.909 WHIP.
In other words, having him face a left-handed hitter can be justified, to say the least.