The Cubs take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five National League Division Series against the Giants to San Francisco for Monday's Game 3 at 9:30 p.m. ET on FS1.Before Chicago tries to punch its ticket to a second consecutive NL Championship Series, here's what to know about Saturday night's
The Cubs take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five National League Division Series against the Giants to San Francisco for Monday's Game 3 at 9:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
Before Chicago tries to punch its ticket to a second consecutive NL Championship Series, here's what to know about Saturday night's 5-2 Cubs victory at Wrigley Field in Game 2:
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• Three of the Cubs' five runs -- the difference in the game -- were driven in by pitchers: starter Kyle Hendricks looped a two-run single into center field in the first inning, and reliever Travis Wood smashed a solo home run to left-center in the fourth.
Two pitchers have recorded an RBI in the same game for a team during the postseason only four other times in Major League history, the most recent being the Braves' Steve Avery and Mike Stanton in Game 2 of the 1992 NL Championship Series against the Pirates. Avery hit a sacrifice fly and Stanton hit an RBI double. No team has ever had more than two pitchers drive in runs in the same postseason contest.
• Wood became a somewhat unlikely hero when he entered after Hendricks left the game when a comebacker injured his forearm (contusion, X-rays negative). Wood tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He also provided heroics at the plate when he hit his homer, the first hit by a pitcher in the postseason since then-Phillie (and current Dodger) Joe Blanton went yard in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series. It was also the first home run hit by a relief pitcher in the postseason since the New York Giants' Rosy Ryan went deep in Game 3 of the 1924 World Series.
Wood's home run -- his first since July 25, 2014, against Joe Kelly of the Cardinals -- came off his bat at an exit velocity of 101.5 mph, according to Statcast™, which measured as his second hardest-hit ball of 2016. It also traveled a projected 393 feet into the left-field stands at Wrigley Field, making it the second-longest home run by a Cubs pitcher this season. Only Jake Arrieta (440 feet) hit a longer home run this year.
• The Giants' Ángel Pagán reached in the second on a catcher's interference call on Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. It was only the 11th instance of catcher's interference in postseason history, and the first since an interference call on the Dodgers' A.J. Ellis allowed the Cardinals' Jon Jay to reach in Game 4 of the 2013 NLCS. Contreras was the first Cubs catcher to be called for interference in the franchise's postseason history.
• In his third career start against the club that drafted him, and for whom he played the first seven seasons of his career, Jeff Samardzija surrendered four runs on six hits in two innings of work. That brought his overall record against the Cubs to 0-2 with a 9.75 ERA (13 earned runs in 12 innings pitched). Saturday's outing was his first career postseason start -- he had pitched one inning in relief during the 2008 NL Division Series for the Cubs against the Dodgers (1 earned run in 1 inning pitched).
• The Cubs were 71-1 during the regular season when they built a four-run lead during a game, and that trend continued Saturday after they took a 4-0 lead in the second inning.
• With the victory, the Cubs took a 2-0 advantage in a playoff series for the second time in franchise history (also the 1984 NLCS, in which the Cubs took a 2-0 lead over the Padres and lost the series in five games).
• With the loss, the Giants were facing elimination in the postseason for the 10th time since '12. They faced elimination in last week's NL Wild Card Game against the Mets; Game 7 of the 2014 World Series against the Royals; the 2014 NL Wild Card Game against the Pirates; three times in the 2012 NL Championship Series against the Cardinals; and three times in the 2012 NL Division Series against the Reds. San Francisco has won 11 consecutive postseason series dating back to '10.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyRsports