Chi. Cubs 5, San Francisco 2
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
CHICAGO — (Wire Service Report) – It was a scary moment in an otherwise triumphant Saturday night for the Chicago Cubs. Starter Kyle Hendricks, a 16-game winner with a major league-low 2.13 ERA, was hit on his pitching arm by an Angel Pagan liner in the fourth inning and departed the game. Hendricks was not seriously hurt and the Cubs went on to claim a 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants and a 2-0 lead in their National League Division Series.
“Apparently, there’s nothing wrong as we know it right now,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for him to be well to be able to pitch, but he’s fine.”
Chicago rocked San Francisco starter Jeff Samardzija for four early runs en route to the victory, which leaves the Cubs needing just one more win to secure their second straight trip to the NL Championship Series and a meeting with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals.
Travis Wood, the second of six Cubs pitchers, picked up the victory and belted a solo home run before a raucous crowd of 42,392 at Wrigley Field.
“(The homer) was a special moment for me,” said Wood, who also struck out two and didn’t allow a hit in his 1 1/3 innings. “But just to be able to pull off the win was huge.”
The home run was only the second by a relief pitcher in the postseason since the New York Giants’ Rosy Ryan hit one in the 1924 World Series. Aroldis Chapman worked a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two, for his second save in two NLDS games. Samardzija, who pitched for the Cubs between 2008 and 2014, took the loss. He lasted two innings — the shortest outing of his career — before being pulled for a pinch hitter.
“I think it’s fair to say he was a little bit off tonight, he didn’t get the ball where he wanted to and mixed in a couple of soft serve hits, too,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He made some mistakes, that’s fair to say. He just couldn’t limit the damage.”
Hendricks delivered a two-run single to ignite the Cubs’ three-run second inning. Chicago’s Dexter Fowler fouled off three pitches before ripping a leadoff double to right in the first inning. He scored on Ben Zobrist’s two-out bloop single to right. The Cubs hastened Samardzija’s departure as Jason Heyward belted a leadoff double, Javier Baez walked and Willson Contreras lined a base hit to right to load the bases with none out in the second. Hendricks, a .138 hitter during the regular season, singled to shallow center to bring home Heyward and Baez for a 3-0 lead. Contreras reached third on Fowler’s sacrifice and came home on Kris Bryant’s base hit to right.
The Giants replied with two runs in the third while pulling Samardzija early for a pinch hitter. Joe Panik doubled to lead off and scored on pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco’s two-base hit to center. Blanco later scored on Brandon Belt’s two-out sacrifice to center. Samardzija allowed four runs and six hits with one walk and one strikeout in two innings. Right-hander George Kontos entered in relief in the third.
Hendricks’ outing ended with two outs in the fourth. He threw several warm-up pitches after being struck but was deemed unable to continue and was replaced by Wood. Hendricks worked 3 2/3 innings and gave up two runs and four hits.
“I just knew the feeling in my fastball wasn’t there,” Hendricks said about the warm-up tosses he made. “I was cutting my sinker, couldn’t feel where it was going. So after the last (warm-up) I pitched, I knew it wasn’t going to work out.”
Wood launched a first-pitch home run with one out in the fourth inning for a 5-2 Cubs lead. Wood, a one-time starter who switched to relief roles, has repeatedly been relied on by Maddon with 77 appearances in the regular season.
“He’s been outstanding,” Maddon said. “We lean on him a lot as you can see just based on his appearances. When he goes out there to play even in the tightest situation, he’s very comfortable with it. He takes his batting practice, he looks for those opportunities and then he seized it today.”
NOTES: Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Cubs was the Giants’ first postseason setback by that score since Game 6 of the 1987 NLCS in St. Louis. … San Francisco has won 11 consecutive postseason series. … Giants RHP Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA in 2016, 1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason) and Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) are scheduled to pitch in Game 3 on Monday as the NLDS shifts to AT&T Park in San Francisco. … Bumgarner and RHP Johnny Cueto this week became the first Giants to throw back-to-back complete games in the postseason since Carl Hubbell and Hal Schumacher in the 1933 World Series. … With a major league-most 103 regular-season wins in 2016, the Cubs eclipsed the century mark for the sixth time in franchise history and first since 1935 (100-54). … Chicago RHP John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) starts Tuesday — if necessary — against Giants LHP Matt Moore (12-12, 4.08 ERA). Lackey has the most postseason starts (20) among active big league pitchers.