NLDS Game 1 Final Score – Cubs 1, Giants 0: Lester Dominates, Baez Comes Alive for Cubs (HR VIDEO)

Wow. That was, well…amazing. In a huge game one against the San Francisco Giants, Jon Lester pitched a masterpiece. Hitting the corners – even when they weren’t called strikes – and taking all the Giants could dish. They tried to bunt – a dink and a dunk – they tried to play with fire – Ross came out WAY ahead – and in the end, Jon Lester had his way.

The Giants had runners on base in each of the first four innings. Two of those times, David Ross picked the runner off. Ross was on his game and had Lester’s back all the way. Think you can run on Lester? Think again. Meet Mr. David Ross.

Neither team could get much going off the opposing pitcher. As good as Jon Lester was, Johnny Cueto was right there, step for step. Combined the teams were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs left a mere two men on base while the Giants left only three men on base.

It was a one swing game and that one swing belonged to Javier Baez.

That one hit seemed like it took forever to come down, and when it did, boy did it just barely make the basket. On a ball that seemed like it would end up on Waveland Avenue, the Cubs took the one run lead that resulted from the basket-shot and the crowd (and me) went nuts. A huge hit for the Cubs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

That was the moment that – as if it wasn’t before – it became obviously apparent why the Cubs gave up so much to acquire Aroldis Chapman. I felt calm going into the ninth. It was an amazing feeling. And even though Buster Posey nearly ruined the moment – his two-out hit went off the left center field wall – it just felt right. And that’s how it ended, exactly as it should’ve.

The Cubs pull out game one of the NLDS by the score of 1-0 (Box Score).

Stats that matter

  • Lester was incredible, plain and simple – 8.0IP, 0R, 5H, 0BB, 5Ks
  • Javier Baez’ performance was amazing, deserving of a start tomorrow – 2-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 1 HUGE HR
  • David Freakin’ Ross. I particularly loved when he threw out Hernandez trying to steal 2nd base in the first inning – by about five feet – and then stared down the entire Giants dugout. Priceless.

Bottom line

Well, I hope you were ready for that. Man, it’s just crazy how intense the playoffs are. Over a 162 game season, it’s easy to forget this feeling. Heck, sometimes as a Cubs fan it’s easy to forget this feeling.

Tonight the Cubs won a huge game one. To me, it was as much of a must-win game for the Giants as a game that’s not really a must-win could be. They now will have the task of facing the Cubs top pitcher at home, Kyle Hendricks, in what certainly will be much more of a must-win game for the Giants.

Stay tuned. This is just getting good.

Next up

Look for the Cubs to come out swinging the lumber tomorrow, looking to give the ‘Professor’ plenty of run support. Game time tomorrow is 7:00 PM CT with Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA) on the hill for the Cubs.

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