The Chicago Cubs won a hard fought battle in the N.L.C.S., winning in six games over the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1945. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was way back in 1908!
The Cubs didn’t exactly rip the cover off of the ball in this series, but they outscored the Dodgers by a combined score of 31-17! They were shut out twice in this series! The Cubs’ hitters combined to go 48 of 202 (.238 avg, .723 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 29 RBI and 3 stolen bases. They walked 16 times while whiffing 50 times in this series! Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler set the table pretty well in this series as he played in all six games in which he was 9 for 27 (.333 avg, .889 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 4 RBI. Lefty swinging 1B Anthony Rizzo started slowly in this series, but he finished very strongly! He played in 6 games in this series in which he was 8 for 25 (.320 avg, 1.010 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 2 homers, 5 RBI and 1 stolen base. 2B Javier Baez (co-MVP) was outstanding both at the plate and in the field in this series! He played in 6 games in which he was 7 for 22 (.318 avg, .833 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers, 5 RBI and 2 stolen bases. 3B Kris Bryant was rock solid as he played in 6 games in which he was 7 for 23 (.304 avg, .842 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 3 RBI. Catcher Willson Conteras was solid, as he played in 6 games in this series in which he was 4 for 14 (.286 avg, .786 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBI. SS Addison Russell played in all 6 games in this series and he was 6 for 22 (.273 avg, .864 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 2 homers and 4 RBI. Backup catcher Miguel Montero played in 3 games in this series and he was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, 1.250 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 4 RBI!
Only two regulars didn’t help much with the bats in this series. Left fielder Ben Zobrist played in 6 games in this series and he was 3 for 20 (.150 avg, .480 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 1 RBI. Right fielder Jason Heyward continued to stink, just like he has all season long! He played in 6 games in this series and he was 1 for 16 (.063 avg, .354 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers and 1 RBI.
The Cubs got outstanding work from their starting rotation in this series. Lefty Jon Lester was the Co-MVP in this series for the Cubs. He started 2 games in which he was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. Righty starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks was even better than Lester, as he started 2 games in this series in which he was 1-1 with a 0.71 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. Righty John Lackey was not too good in his 1 start, as he was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Righty Jake Arrieta also was not effective in his 1 start, as he was 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. The starting pitchers for the Cubs combined to go 2-2 with a 2.34 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.
The Cubs’ bullpen had three pitchers that were outstanding, one that was so-s0 and three that were pretty bad in this series. Righties Carl Edwards, Justin Grimm and lefty Travis Wood were the good contingent of relievers, as they combined to go 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Lefty closer Aroldis Chapman was the so-so guy, working in 4 games in which he was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Righties Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and lefty Mike Montgomery was the bad relievers in this series for the Cubs as the combined to go 1-0 with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The bullpen combined to go 2-0 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in this series. The Cubs’ pitching staff was 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP overall in this series!