CHICAGO -- First, there was the weather: A sudden, sharp drop in temperature from the upper 70s to the low 40s seemingly in a flash -- and that was before the rains moved in to delay the start of the proceedings nearly two hours.Then there was the choice of rain-delay
CHICAGO -- First, there was the weather: A sudden, sharp drop in temperature from the upper 70s to the low 40s seemingly in a flash -- and that was before the rains moved in to delay the start of the proceedings nearly two hours.
Then there was the choice of rain-delay entertainment on the Wrigley Field scoreboard: A replay of the decisive Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and Cubs.
Then, finally, roughly four hours after watching the Cubs raise their championship banners, the Dodgers had to watch them celebrate again -- this time as Anthony Rizzo's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth gave Chicago a 3-2 victory in its home opener on Monday night.
"It was a tough one," manager Dave Roberts said.
The Dodgers also lost a couple of players to injury along the way. Left fielder Franklin Gutierrez had to leave in the second inning with a left hamstring injury, and Justin Turner left in the eighth with a quad issue.
"Franklin strained his hamstring a little bit -- I don't know the severity of it -- and later on in the game, JT had something going on with the quad," Roberts said. "Probably minor, but in this weather, you've got to get him out of there."
• Gutierrez, Turner exit with injuries in opener
And in the bottom of the ninth, with Jonathan Jay on second base and one out after the Dodgers tied it in the eighth, Roberts turned to closer Kenley Jansen to prolong the game. Jansen struck out Kristopher Bryant for the second out -- as Jay stole third -- before Rizzo fought off a 1-1 up-and-in cutter down the left-field line for the game-winning hit.
"Anthony really worked a veteran, mature at-bat against Jansen," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "If you just try to attempt to do what you normally do against that fellow, he's going to eat you alive. [Rizzo] stayed inside the ball, hit the ball the other way, didn't try to pull it, got the fatter part of the bat on the ball."
"I executed my pitch, he fought it off; he was strong enough, and he put it in play," Jansen said. "How many times you gonna see him do that? Not a lot, so I executed my pitch, and he got me. I can't let that stuff get in my head."
That's probably good advice for all the Dodgers. Their first visit to Wrigley following that defeat in Game 6 last October was one to forget -- including an inability to score after loading the bases with none out in the seventh.
"We take a lot of pride in coming back and making a push and staying in it," shortstop Corey Seager said. "To lose like that hurts, for sure."
John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.