A Tip of the Recap -NLCS Game 4 (Cubs 10, Dodgers 2)

Cubs Record: 2-2

W: Mike Montgomery (1-0, 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 6.23 ERA)

L: Julio Urias (0-1, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 9.82 ERA)

MVP’s: Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell (combined 6-for-10 with 5 RBI and two home runs)

The Cubs and the Dodgers played game four of the NLCS in LA, and the Cubs came out swinging.

The Cubs offense finally had the breakthrough they were looking for. After being held scoreless through 21 innings, they put together a 13-hit night in which they routed the Dodgers 10-2 to tie the series at two games each.

The first of the action came in the 4th inning when the Cubs were able to put up a four-spot. Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a beautifully executed bunt single. Javier Baez followed up with a hit of his own, another single. Willson Contreras checked into the batter’s box and lined a single to left to put the Cubs up 1-0 and snap a dreadful scoreless streak. An error by Dodgers left fielder Andrew Toles led Baez to third and then he came home on a Jason Heyward RBI ground out. That would make it 2-0 and it was Addison Russell’s time to shine.

He reminded us all why we call him Addison “Muscle” as he broke two streaks with one swing. Russell’s two-run homer snapped his 1-for-25 skid this postseason. That bomb also snapped Dodgers starter Julio Urias’ string of facing 167 batters without allowing a home run at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs led 4-0 after their half of the 4th.

Yet another breakthrough came in the 5th, as Anthony Rizzo launched a solo shot to put the Cubs up 5-0.

The Dodgers answered with two runs in their half of the 5th. They loaded the bases with nobody out and Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery came in to replace John Lackey and struck out Seager. Justin Turner was up next and he singled in two runs.

The Cubs just kept on hitting and scoring as they exploded for five more runs in the top of the 6th inning. Russell got a one-out single then went to second on an error. Montgomery took the at-bat for himself and hit a single that sent Russell to third. With that single, Montgomery became only the second Cubs relief pitcher ever to collect a postseason hit and win in the same game, joining Travis Wood.

The other runs came on hits by Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo, as well as a sacrifice-fly by Javier Baez that turned into two runs after a throwing error by Joc Pederson. The Cubs led 10-2 heading into the bottom of the 6th and that would be the final score as Cubs relievers pitched five scoreless frames.

The Good

There were (finally) so many good things about last night.

Anthony Rizzo had been uncharacteristically quiet this postseason, batting only .063 with no RBI. Last night, he went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored. It was the breakthrough the Cubs, and certainly Rizzo, were looking for.

Addison Russell had a breakthrough night as well. Sometimes all it takes is one swing to finally get you going. After that two-run bomb in the 4th, Russell went on to get two more hits and scored two of the Cubs’ ten runs.

Matt Szczur’s bat may not even be on the NLCS roster, but his bat played a vital role in the Cubs’ win. Anthony Rizzo borrowed one of Szczur’s bats after striking out in his first two at-bats and that proved to make a difference as Rizzo had a great night.

Jason Heyward shut down what could have been a disastrous 2nd inning for the Cubs. After an Andrew Toles single, Heyward lofted a throw to Willson Contreras, who tagged Adrian Gonzalez for the out at home. It was a real momentum-changer.

The Bad

Dodgers bullpen got lit up last night. Five relievers pitched a combined 5 1/3 innings. They gave up six runs on nine hits. The Cubs just kept on slugging and took advantage of any defensive miscues made by the Dodgers.

The Ugly

Errors galore! The Dodgers had four errors last night, which made for a sloppy game. Combined with the Cubs, there were six errors in the game, most in NLCS history.

Coming Attractions

It’s time for game five! This is vital for both teams, as the winner will go up 3-2 and push the other to the brink of elimination Saturday at Wrigley.

It’ll be Jon Lester for the Cubs in his third postseason start this year. He started game one of the NLCS against these Dodgers and held them to one run over six innings in a no-decision. His last time out at Dodger Stadium was in late August and he held LA to three hits over six scoreless innings. For the Dodgers, it’ll be 28-year-old righty Kenta Maeda. He’s been shaky this postseason, lasting only three innings against the Nationals and four against the Cubs in Chicago, allowing a combined seven runs. Game five is scheduled for 7:08 CT on FS1.

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