The piece previewed here, written by BP Wrigleyville’s Jared Wyllys, forms part of the main site’s comprehensive coverage of the playoffs, “Playoff Prospectus.” Additional Game Two and NLDS coverage, exclusive to BP Wrigleyville, can be found here and here, under the name “Second City October”.
For the observer, to be traded away from a team on the cusp of success after miring for years in their rebuild seems the stuff of Langston Hughes. But we are usually not privy to these private thoughts of baseball players, and it’s possible that Jeff Samardzija doesn’t care.
Or, at least, he didn’t. Saturday night’s result might be a scab he’s left to pick at for a while. It’s unlikely that Samardzija envisioned his night ending so quickly, but the environment of the postseason forces managers to go to their bullpens sooner than they would on a lazy afternoon in the heat of the regular season.
As a whole, Game 2 was somehow mundane while it was eventful. Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks had to leave the game in the fourth inning with a bruised forearm–the product of an Angel Pagan liner squared up right to him–and his initial replacement, Travis Wood, hit the first home run by a relief pitcher in the postseason since 1924 just before he faced Madison Bumgarner, Giants pinch-hitter. It’s no secret that baseball amplifies the weird in October.
But before all of this, Chicago paired a leadoff double from Dexter Fowler and a single punched to right field by Ben Zobrist to score in the first inning, and Fowler’s at-bat proved prescient of Samardzija’s night. After getting an 0-2 count, Fowler drew it full and then rifled his double on the ninth pitch. From there, the tone was set, and the San Francisco starter’s night was probably over several batters before he was ready to accept that it was.
To read the rest of the piece, please head on over to the main site.
Lead photo courtesy Jerry Lai—USA Today Sports