Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s gamble didn’t pay off and his team paid for it with a 4-1 loss in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday night. The skipper opted to bring in John Lackey in the ninth inning rather than Wade Davis to pitch to Chris Taylor and Justin Turner. Lackey ran the count full before walking Taylor, then served up the three-run dinger to left-center field on a 1-0 fastball.
The game was a low-scoring affair otherwise, with each team managing just one run through the first eight innings. Dodgers starter Rich Hill went five innings, giving up one run on an Addison Russell solo home run in the top of the fifth. That was one of three hits he allowed along with a walk and eight strikeouts. Brandon Morrow pitched two innings of scoreless relief followed by Josh Fields for one out, Tony Watson for two, and Kenley Jansen for three.
On the Cubs side, Jon Lester didn’t escape the fifth inning, when he yielded a run when Turner drove in Charlie Culberson with a single to right field. Lester overall gave up three hits, walked five, and struck out two. Carl Edwards, Jr. got the final out of the fifth and then managed a scoreless sixth. Pedro Strop put up a zero in the seventh. Brian Duensing got through the eighth with no issue, then started the ninth but was lifted after striking out Kyle Farmer for the second out. That set up Lackey for Turner’s walk-off moment.
Turner’s walk-off homer is the Dodgers’ first since Kirk Gibson against Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.