Justin Turner's walk off home run gives the Dodgers a 2-0 series lead
Rewind to the 1988 World Series, Kirk Gibson hit a walk off home run to win Game 1 of the World Series, fast forward exactly 29 years to the date, Justin Turner hit a walk off home run to win Game 2 of the National League Championship series.
The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 4-1 in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. Justin Turner delivered his own historic three-run walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Cubs pitcher John Lackey. The Dodgers now have a two game to none lead in the best of seven series against the Cubs.
Yasiel Puig started off the ninth inning after drawing a four pitch walk off of Cubs pitcher Brian Duensing. Charlie Culberson moved Puig to second base with a sacrifice bunt, Duensing responded by striking out pinch hitter Kyle Farmer. Duensing's night was over as the Cubs looked on John Lackey to end the inning, Lackey was pitching on consecutive days for the first time in his 15 year career. Chirs Talyor stepped up to the plate and worked a great at bat, ultimately drawing a six pitch walk off Lackey and bring up Justin Turner to the plate. The rest was history, on a one ball no strike count, Turner blasted a three run homer over the center field wall to win Game 2 of the NLCS.
The Cubs started the scoring, a solo shot by Addison Russell off Dodgers starter Rich Hill in the top of the fifth inning. HIll went 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Curtis Granderson pinch hit for Hill in the fifth inning after a lead off double by Charlie Culberson. Cubs starter Jon Lester got Granderson to pop out and Taylor to ground out. Turner stepped up to the plate and delivered a RBI single to tie the game at one. Lester's day was done after 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K. RHP Carl Edwards Jr. replaced Lester and struck out Utley to end the fifth.
The Dodgers sent RHP Brandon Morrow into the game in the sixth and he retired the side on eight pitches, Edwards Jr. responded with his own 1-2-3 inning. Morrow remained in the game for the seventh inning and recorded another dominant 1-2-3 inning. The Cubs sent RHP Pedro Strop in for the seventh, Strop forced Culberson and Granderson to ground out, followed by a two out walk to Logan Forsythe. Forsythe was left stranded after Turner flied out to center.
The Dodger bullpen continued to shut down the Cubs offense, RHP Josh Fields replaced Morrow in the eighth, Fields forced Javy Baez to flyout and Fields' night was done after the lone batter, LHP Tony Watson replaced Fields and retired Ben Zobrist and John Jay to end the inning. In the bottom half of the seventh, the Dodgers looked to be in business, a leadoff single by Cody Bellinger was followed by a Joc Pederson sacrifice bunt. The Cubs intentionally walked Forsythe to set up the double play, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon's decision paid off, Austin Barnes grounded into an inning ending double play.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sent Kenley Jansen into the game for the ninth inning and he started off the inning by striking out reigning MVP Kris Bryant. Jansen followed the K by hitting Anthony Rizzo with the pitch, Jansen followed the HBP by striking out Wilson Contreras and getting Albert Almora Jr. to ground out to end the inning.
"I think it's the first walk-off homer I've ever hit in my life," said Turner. His walk off home run in the ninth inning was the first Dodgers walk off postseason victory since the Gibson homer 29 years ago.
The hometown kid from Long Beach, California and Cal State Fullerton product grew up a Dodger fan, one of his first baseball memories was watching the Gibson homer on the floor of his grandparents house.
The Dodgers will head into Chicago with a 2-0 series lead in the best of seven series. Game 3 of the NLCS will take place Tuesday. The Dodgers will send Yu Darvish to the mound, the Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks as the look to avoid falling behind three games to none.