(CBS) When Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish stepped up to the plate against Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. in the sixth inning Tuesday evening, Chicago pitching coach Chris Bosio knew exactly what was going to happen.
Darvish would stand at the plate and hold the bat on his shoulder, and Edwards would have to throw him strikes with the bases loaded and two outs. It presented a unique situation. Edwards threw four straight balls to Darvish and walked in a run. That gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead en route to their eventual 6-1 victory in Game 3, which gave Los Angeles a commanding 3-0 lead in the National League Championship Series.
The struggles of the 26-year-old Edwards –relied on all season in high-leverage situations – have been an issue for the Cubs this postseason.
“Well, he’s a young pitcher,” Bosio said on the Mully and Hanley Show on Wednesday morning. “This is going to happen to some guys. It even happens to veteran pitchers. C.J.’s been a huge part of our year. He’s had a good season, a season that I’m sure he’s going to learn from. He’s a resilient kid. He’s starting to understand his role a lot better. This is a humbling game. One minute, you’re on top. The next day, you’re trying to get there again.
“He’s learning his craft. He’s done a great job embracing that role and being that eighth-inning go-to guy. It’s really only his second full year doing this. He’s gotten better. I’m sure this year has been one heck of a learning experience for him.”
The Cubs were forced to move to the bullpen in the sixth inning after starter Kyle Hendricks wasn’t sharp. He surrendered four runs, three earned, in five innings of work, which included a pair of solo homers.
Bosio saw the Dodgers’ aggressive at the plate against pitches from Hendricks that didn’t play to his usual strengths down in the zone.
“They took advantage of some balls that cut a little bit,” Bosio said. “They weren’t so much up in the zone. They just didn’t have the normal action that we’re used to seeing from Kyle, always getting the ball on the ground. When the ball’s cutting over the plate, they put some good swings on it. If they didn’t get a good swing on it, they were getting a break.”
The Cubs are counting on right-hander Jake Arrieta to stave off elimination in Game 4 on Wednesday night.
“Let’s win one tonight,” Bosio ssaid. “Let’s watch Jake out there, go to Q (Jose Quintana) and take this thing back to L.A.”