By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cubs got to their former teammate early in Game 2 of the National League Divisional Series on Saturday evening, scoring once in the first inning and three times in the second off of Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who played for Chicago from 2008-’14.
Throwing 47 pitches and allowing four runs on six hits in two innings, Samardzija registered his shortest outing of the season.
That paved the way for the Cubs to win 5-2 at Wrigley Field, and Chicago is now up 2-0 in the series and one win away from advancing to the NLCS.
The victory came after the Cubs saw the Giants cut an early 4-0 deficit in half and then knock out starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks when he took a line drive off Angel Pagan’s bat off his throwing arm. Hendricks left the game with a right forearm contusion with two outs in the fourth inning and took a no-decision.
“It feels all right now,” Hendricks said afterward. “When I tried a few warmups. My fastball did not have the same feel. It began to swell up on me. It actually feels pretty good now.”
Travis Wood relieved Hendricks and pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to record the win. He also hit the first home run in the postseason by a relief pitcher in 92 years.
“I did not know that,” Wood said. “It feels good to contribute with the bat and on the mound. We were able to pick Kyle up. That is what we have done on this team all year long.”
With the win, the Cubs assure themselves of at least returning to Wrigley Field at least once more this season. Of course, they hope they can finish the series off in San Francisco in Game 3 on Monday and make their next home game in the NLCS. Jake Arrieta will take the ball for the Cubs against Madison Bumgarner.
“Those guys are pros,” Maddon said of the Giants. “They never panic. They are never concerned. We have to approach this next game as just No. 165 of the season. We just want o keep playing the same game we have played all year. We control the controllables and hand the ball to Jake. They have a nice pitcher. We have a nice pitcher. It should be a fun evening.”
After Sunday’s off day, the Cubs on Monday will try to advance to the NLCS in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history.
After another big win Saturday, one Cub yelled out “nine more to go,” a reference to how many wins remain for the Cubs to break their 108-year championship drought.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.