Kershaw came back out for the seventh, which is typically when the trouble has started for the three-time Cy Young victor.
Kershaw said that based on the number of pitches he threw - taking into account warmups and the game - his workload was about the same. "But as I went out there and looked him in he eye, just the confidence that Clayton has to get a hitter, I went with my gut". He only needed 84 pitches to get 21 outs, and he struck out six without walking a batter.
On Sunday night, he took the ball again on short rest with his team down 1-0 in the series.
"I felt really good about it", said Roberts of his 8th inning strategy. "And it was just another fun ballgame". John Lackey, who threw more innings than anyone on the Dodgers and posted what would have been their second-best ERA+, is the Cubs' fourth starter and hasn't pitched yet. "I talked my way into (staying in the game)".
"I feel fine. I feel good", Kershaw told reporters.
Now, with the NLCS tied at one, Cubs fans are starting to worry.
Somewhere down the line, Kershaw might reflect on that ball and that moment, but the Dodgers ace had little time for such thoughts as he prepared for his quick turnaround Sunday against the Cubs in Game 2 the NL Championship Series.
Meanwhile, the Cubs' playoff malaise at the plate continues. He was just 3-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 16 career postseason games coming into the series. "It's just unbelievable to see him pitch, it's unbelievable to see him compete". He was primarily in the Dodgers' Game 2 lineup because of his slugging success against right-handed pitchers, such as the Cubs' Kyle Hendricks.
After successfully mounting a comeback in their previous series against the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the eighth inning to tie the game. The Dodgers emerged 4-3 victors of that game and earned the right to advance to the NLCS to face the Cubs. "Tonight we played great defense as well and we couldn't score".
Kershaw pitched three times in the five-game division series against the Nationals, throwing 101 pitches in Game 1, 110 pitches on three days' rest in Game 4 and seven pitches in a two-out save two days later.
Adrian Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with 1 run, 1 HR and 1 RBI. Gonzalez also had a tying two-run single in the eighth inning of the series opener, but Miguel Montero's pinch-hit grand slam was the big blow in a dramatic win for Chicago.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before the game that it would be "interesting to see" how Kershaw looked given his workload thus far in the playoffs. Did Kershaw's two-out save in Game 5 of the NLDS finally jumpstart his postseason prowess? But Kershaw established early that both his command and velocity were intact.
Slumping slugger Anthony Rizzo just missed a home run with a foul drive in the fourth, and then bounced out.
The crowd of 42,376 at Wrigley Field roared as Montero rounded the bases and kept cheering until the veteran catcher popped out of the dugout for a curtain call.
Kershaw made it a moot point, catching Zobrist looking at strike three then retiring Addison Russell on a routine fly to left.
"Every team's going to try to get any advantage they can", Roberts said. A lead-off walk, a stole base, and a sacrifice bunt put Pederson on third with one out. Kershaw or Kenley Jansen have recorded 80 of them. It was the third go-ahead homer of his postseason career. They had originally made a decision to move him to the bullpen in an attempt to limit his innings, but he has been on hand as a fourth starter since the postseason started.
Rizzo batted.292 with 32 home runs and 109 RBIs during the regular season.
That would not be the Chicago Cubs' way, however.
Josh Reddick got Los Angeles' last hit of the night in the sixth, putting runners on first and second.
Wednesday.: at Los Angeles, 5 p.m.
"He did wonderfully at keeping it at two runs and giving us a chance", Maddon reiterated.