Cubs Observations: David Bote's walk-off takes down Dodgers

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Observations: Báez, Bote's late heroics take down Dodgers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs won Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Dodgers 4-3, improving to 14-16 on the season.

Here’s 10 observations from the game.

1. The Cubs were down two with two outs in the eighth inning, facing their last chance to tie things up. Javy Báez did what Javy Báez does, drilling a two-run home run to even the score at 3.

Two innings later, David Bote's walk-off single ended it to cap off the doubleheader sweep.

2. Craig Kimbrel's impressive streak is over. Kimbrel went 19 straight appearances without allowing an earned run, dating back to last September. That ended when Max Muncy hit a game-tying home run off him in the seventh inning Tuesday.

3. Kimbrel was charged with his first blown save of the season, but the Cubs offense shoulders some responsibility. They failed to capitalize on too many great scoring chances, going 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position.

In the sixth inning alone, they loaded the bases with no outs and scored zero runs.

4. Keegan Thompson faced a tough challenge Tuesday, getting the Dodgers in his first career big league start. Heck, LA scored 11 runs off the Brewers' Alec Bettinger in his MLB debut Sunday.

But Thompson, 26, was up for the challenge and delivered a promising outing, tossing 3 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks, striking out a pair.

5. Double plays have come up big for Thompson in his two big league appearances. In his MLB debut Sunday, he erased a leadoff walk to Joey Votto with a double play. He induced two on Tuesday, in the first and second innings, to work around traffic.

6. Bryant has been the Cubs’ MVP to start the season, but he may want two of his at-bats back from Tuesday night. He struck out looking with the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth. He did tally a double in the third, however.

7. Willson Contreras and Báez, both of whom started Game 1, were not in the starting lineup for Game 2. Joc Pederson and Jason Heyward sat vs. lefty Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 but joined the lineup in Game 2.

Báez pinch hit in the sixth and remained in the game.

8. Tuesday was Pederson’s first appearance since April 20 (left wrist) and he also led off for the first time this season. The 29-year-old has started there in his career more than any other lineup spot. 

He worked Trevor Bauer for 17 pitches his first two plate appearances — walking and striking out — and was hit his third time up.

9. Anthony Rizzo had a few viral moments this spring touting his speed as a base runner. He walked the walk in the fifth, legging out a leadoff triple to left-center field on a fly ball Chris Taylor couldn’t corral. 

Rizzo took a moment to gather himself after sliding into third. He was thrown out on an infield ground ball two batters later.

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10. Dillon Maples gave up the lead in the eighth but recovered to keep the Cubs in striking distance. His wild pitch brought in the go-ahead run and Justin Turner took him deep moments later. But Maples stranded Mookie Betts at second, striking out Corey Seager and Taylor, to keep it a 3-1 game.

We know what happened next.

Bonus: In the doubleheader sweep, the Cubs beat two pitchers with a combined four Cy Young Awards in Kershaw and Bauer.

On deck: The Dodgers and Cubs finish their three-game series Wednesday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is 6:40 p.m. CT. Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16 ERA) and Adbert Alzolay (1-2, 4.71 ERA) are the probable starters.

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