Russell becomes hero with homer in NLCS win


by - Senior Editor -
Discuss on Cubs Boards   Print   | CubsHQ Facebook ChicagoCubsHQ Twitter CubsHQ RSS Feed
Addy Russell drills a two-run homer (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
Addy Russell drills a two-run homer (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES -- HOLY COW! Cubs win another breathtaking game in the postseason that was very close and tense early on. However, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell hit a go-ahead two-run homer off of reliever Joe Blanton in the sixth inning to put the Cubs up 3-1 in game five of the 2016 NLCS playoff series. The Cubs ended up winning 8-4 in the critical game. It was the second consecutive game that Russell has homered against the Dodgers, and he becomes the second Cubs player alongside Kyle Schwarber to hit homers in consecutive games at the age of 22 years or younger. Russell missed last season's NLCS with a hamstring injury.

Rizzo started the scoring in the first inning with a RBI double on a line drive to right fielder Yasiel Puig to score Dexter Fowler. Rizzo's hit was 111.1 MPH which is the third hardest hit ball by the Cubs in the playoffs. He was also 4-for-4 in his first four at-bats since borrowing Matt Szczur's bat.

The next two inning was a pitching affair as both starting pitchers looked a little flustered over the inconsistent strike zone but did not give up any runs.

In the fourth inning, Javier Baez smoked a double that hit the left field wall and became the third Cubs player with Ryne Sandberg and Mark Grace to have three doubles in a single NLCS. Kenta Maeda was pulled after getting David Ross to fly out with two outs in the inning after only 76 pitches. It was a strange move by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to take out Maeda because Jon Lester was up with two outs in the inning. However, the move worked as Lester hit a deep fly to left field for the out to keep the score at 1-0 Cubs.

The Dodgers tied the game in the fifth inning with a RBI groundout by Adrian Gonzalez that scored Howie Kendrick.

Kris Bryant had a double in the bottom of the inning which gave him ten postseason extra-base hits in his career which is the most in Cubs history. The ball off of his bat was struck 107 MPH and went 383 feet to center field. However, the Cubs left him stranded on second base with Rizzo striking out and Zobrist smacked a ball to right field but was caught by a running Puig who got a fantastic jump on the ball. After that at-bat, the Cubs were 0-7 with runners in scoring position.

So everything was tense, and then the play of the game happened for the Cubs. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell crushed a crucial two-run homer in the sixth inning to put the Cubs up 3-1.

Lester pitched a gem going seven strong innings giving up only five hits, one run, one walk, and six strikeouts on 108 pitches. In the postseason, he has a 0.86 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in 21 innings. He also has a 0.96 ERA in four starts this season against the Dodgers.

Dexter Fowler got a RBI single for an insurance run to put the Cubs up 4-1 in the eighth inning. He beat a foot race with Adrian Gonzalez to the first base bag with the infield hit up the middle. Then the offensive floodgates opened as Baez crushed a three-run double to right field to put the Cubs up 8-1 as the Dodgers fans left the game in massive numbers. He is 13-for-35 in the 2016 playoffs.

Baez appeared to feel his hamstring tighten up when he put on the brakes after settling for a double. However, he stayed in the game after a quick look from the trainer.

Pedro Strop gave up a run in the eighth inning and then the 'Cuban Missle' Aroldis Chapman gave up three runs in a non-save situation in the final stanza.

Pivotal game six of the series in which the Cubs can clinch a World Series berth for the first time since 1945 will feature righty Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs while the Dodgers will pitch Clayton Kershaw.



Thanks for visiting CubsHQ.com. Follow our Facebook page to get updates on your news feed!
Rate this Story:
0 votes

Send Feedback to Tony Crumpton: Email | Comment
Discuss on Cubs Boards   Print   | CubsHQ Facebook ChicagoCubsHQ Twitter CubsHQ RSS Feed
Cubs reportedly tried to trade Addison Russell
Cubs reportedly tried to trade Addison Russell
WATCH: Zobrist on finally being healthy
WATCH: Zobrist on finally being healthy
Cubs release minor leaguer involved in accidental shooting death
Cubs release minor leaguer involved in accidental shooting death
WATCH: Cubs release heartfelt Harry Caray tribute
WATCH: Cubs release heartfelt Harry Caray tribute
Russell:
Russell: "It was a tough season last year"
WATCH: Lester learning from young guys
WATCH: Lester learning from young guys
WATCH: Schwarber on his weight loss
WATCH: Schwarber on his weight loss
WATCH: Russell on his foot, shoulder issues last season
WATCH: Russell on his foot, shoulder issues last season
Cubs projected to easily win NL League Central
Cubs projected to easily win NL League Central
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest