Chicago Cubs go down 2-0 after Turner’s GW home run

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Justin Turner
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Justin Turner /

It’s not ideal. It’s not what the Chicago Cubs were hoping for. But when you score just one run again against the Los Angeles Dodgers? That’s simply not going to work.

Let’s be real. The Chicago Cubs bullpen hasn’t been good in the playoffs. But you can’t roll into Los Angeles against the best team in baseball, and score one run each of the first two games and expect to win. Leaving John Lackey in to face Justin Turner instead of putting in Wade Davis? That’s indeed a head-scratcher. But the Cubs have to find an answer at the plate if they hope to come back in this series.

After Addison Russell gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the fifth, Turner was able to come up with a big hit to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. With two out, Turner went the other way with a ground ball, scoring Charlie Culberson. But here’s the other problem. Just like in Game 1, after the home run, the Cubs offense pretty much shut down. Jon Lester got a hit in the fifth as well, and it was over from there.

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The usage of the bullpen for Maddon will be a question no matter how he handles it. I get why he didn’t go to Wade Davis; I just don’t agree with it. Not because it was Lackey. But because it was Lackey on two consecutive days for the first time in his career. Davis would have been the better call in that case. But here we are, headed back to Wrigley Field for Tuesday’s game, down 2-0.

Is this an impossible deficit to come back from? Not at all. But if this current team is the one you’ll see in Chicago, it won’t happen. The Cubs bullpen has been put under a microscope in recent weeks because the offense isn’t scoring. Kris Bryant seems to have forgotten how to put the ball in play. Javier Baez is playing great defense, but his bat is 0-for-the series, and outside of Albert Almora and Russell’s home runs? Nothing. There’s no small ball because no one is ever on base.

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All season, while the Cubs bullpen was pitching well and the offense was a no-show, I stuck with them. The issue here is that the Cubs are running out of time. The Cubs are only guaranteed two games at Wrigley Field, so they better figure out a way to get the bats going. A Maddon rant. A Jason Heyward speech. Anything.