Dodgers win Game 1 backed by bullpen and Yasiel Puig

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers defeated the Cubs by a score of 5-2 in game one of The National League Championship Series. For the second consecutive year the Dodgers and Cubs are facing off in the NLCS.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was not sharp, continuing a trend of inconsistency since returning from the DL earlier this year. Kershaw 5 IP 2 ER 4 H 4 K 1 BB, with the 2 ER coming on a homer by Albert Almora Jr.

The Dodgers struggled off Cubs starter Jose Quintana, up until the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Dodgers had only one baserunner.

In the fifth, back to back walks by Logan Forsyth and Austin Barnes brought Yasiel Puig to the plate. Puig delivered a booming RBI double to the gap in left-center field, scoring Forsythe and advancing Barnes to third. Barnes scored to tie the game at 2-2 on a Sacrifice Charlie Culberson, who is replacing the injured All-Start shortstop Corey Seager, who is expected to miss the NLCS with a back injury. Quintana was able to escape the inning after getting pinch hitter Kyle Farmer to ground out. Quintana's day was done after the 5 IP 2 H 2 ER 4 K 2 BB.

In the top of the sixth, the Dodgers looked to their bullpen, first LHP Tony Cingrani got his job done retiring Anthony Rizzo, the Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought in his RHP Kenta Maeda, who has taken on the role of a right handed specialist.

The Dodgers added another run in the bottom half of the sixth on a homer by Chris Taylor. After a base hit by Cody Bellinger and a two out walk by Forsythe, the Cubs escaped the jam after Mike Montgomery got Austin Barnes to fly out on the first pitch of the at bat.

In the seventh, the Dodger bullpen continued to dominate, Maeda was replace by RHP Brandon Morrow after getting Addison Rusell to fly out. Morrow made a quick two outs getting Kyle Schwarber to fly out to center field, and striking out Javier Baez.

The Dodgers added more in the bottom of the seventh, a lead off homer by Puig, made it 4-2. Culberson followed with a hustle double, a failed sacrifice bunt by Morrow left Culberson at second. An infield single by Taylor still wasn't enough to move over Culberson. Justin Turner followed with a single to left field, Schwarber made a good throw to get Culberson at the plate, however the play was reviewed to see if catcher Wilson Contreras had blocked the plate prior to catching the ball. After reviewing the play, it was determined that Contreras did block plate and Culberson was ruled safe, which extended the Dodgers lead to 5-2.

In the top of the eighth the Dodger bullpen continued to dominate, LHP Tony Watson entered the game and retired Ben Zobrist and John Jay. With reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant coming to the plate, the Dodgers brought in closer Kenley Jansen to attempt a four out save, Jansen struck out Bryant to end the eighth. The Dodgers went three up and three down in the bottom half of the eighth.

Jansen returned to finish his job in the top of the ninth by striking out the side, and earning his third save of the postseason. Dodger pitching retired the last 18 batters of the game, the homer allowed by Kershaw was the final hit of the game by the Cubs.

Game two of the NLCS will take place on Sunday, the Dodgers are sending LHP Rich Hill to the mound to face off against Cubs LHP Jon Lester.