CHICAGO — Kyle Schwarber had the fans roaring, thinking the Chicago Cubs just might be ready to tighten the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Turns out, his first-inning was about all they had to cheer.
Yu Darvish shut down Chicago after Schwarber went deep, and the Cubs are on the verge of being swept in the NLCS for the second time in three years after Tuesday's night's 6-1 loss.
After knocking out Los Angeles last fall en route to their first World Series championship since consecutive titles in 1907 and 1908, hopes of another parade are just about dashed.
"Tomorrow is a Game 7. We have three or four Game 7s in a row coming up right now," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Jake Arrieta will try to keep the series going for the Cubs when he opposes Alex Wood on Wednesday night. But unless the Cubs get their hitting and bullpen in order, this season could come to a close.
The Cubs have been in tough spots before, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to beat Cleveland in seven games for the title last year. They also pulled out a wild victory at Washington in Game 5 of the Division Series this month after failing to close out the Nationals at Wrigley Field.
But they are hitting just .160 with four extra-base hits through three games.
"Of course we expected more," Maddon said. "It's somewhat surprising. I don't want to use the word disappointing."
And the Cubs bullpen is struggling, too.
Batting second, Schwarber hit an opposite-field drive to left-center for a 1-0 lead in the first. From there, the offense stalled again.
Chicago managed just one run and six hits in 6⅓ innings against Yu Darvish.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks gave up four runs and six hits, including solo homers to Andre Ethier and Chris Taylor.
Los Angeles led 3-1 with runners on first and second and none out in the sixth when Carl Edwards Jr. relieved Hendricks and walked Austin Barnes with one out. Joc Pederson flied out and Edwards walked Darvish on four pitches. After Taylor struck out to end the rally, boos came ringing from the Wrigley Field stands.
Mike Montgomery gave up two more runs in the eighth. With runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson struck out but the pitch to ricocheted off catcher Willson Contreras' arm for a passed ball that allowed Logan Forsythe to score from second. With runners at the corners, Kyle Farmer followed with a sacrifice fly.