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Must Win TV: NLDS Game #3, Cubs vs. Dodgers, Saturday 10/4, 9:00 CT

Next Game

Chicago Cubs
@ Los Angeles Dodgers

Saturday, Oct 4, 2008, 9:07 PM CDT
Dodger Stadium

Rich Harden vs Hiroki Kuroda

Mostly cloudy with a 40-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 65.

Complete Coverage >

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hope that it's right.
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me tired with joy.

-- Snow Patrol, "Hands Open"It never rains in California? It just might, today and tonight:Today: Rain likely, mainly after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 67. South southeast wind 8 to 11 mph becoming west southwest. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. West southwest wind between 5 and 8 mph.

The Dodgers have played in Dodger Stadium for 47 seasons (since 1962). There have been 17 rainouts -- the last one was on April 17, 2000. You can bet that if it's still raining at game time, they will wait forever to play this game, rather than disrupt the entire postseason schedule.

There's not much more to say here that hasn't already been said. Win or go home with an extremely bitter taste. I'm a Cubs fan. I feel better than I did after Thursday's disaster, and won't give up until there are no more chances. Seven times in 54 five-game MLB playoff series, a team has done what the Cubs must do to win -- come back from an 0-2 deficit. That's 13% of the time.

I do have one more set of numbers which may be of interest. Remember how the Cubs were blowing everyone down at home all year, and how big the home-field advantage seemed to be? Not any more. Including the game of July 23, when the Cubs stopped a losing streak by winning at Arizona, the Cubs went 21-8 in their last 29 road games. In their last 29 home games (including the two NLDS losses), the Cubs are 16-13.

Maybe playing on the road will be better.

The mojo of the Gratuitious Geo Photos appears to have run out... so he won't be appearing today.

Just win, baby. Just win this one, and onward to tomorrow. Keep the faith. I will never lose mine.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Harden
R. Harden
vs. Hiroki Kuroda
H. Kuroda
10-2 W-L 9-10
2.07 ERA 3.73
181 SO 116
61 BB 42
11 HR 13
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs

2008 - Rich Harden 5-1 12 12 0 0 0 0 71.0 39 17 14 6 30 89 1.77 .97

2008 - Hiroki Kuroda 9-10 31 31 2 2 0 0 183.1 181 85 76 13 42 116 3.73 1.22

On June 6 at Dodger Stadium, Hiroki Kuroda threw a four-hit shutout against the Cubs and struck out 11 -- the only hits were singles by Soriano, Theriot, Lee and Edmonds. He gave up only one earned run to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 27, in a game the Cubs won. So naturally, with a 0.59 ERA vs. the Cubs this year, Dodger fans will be expecting him to shut down our team. However -- in all other games this season besides those two, Kuroda's ERA is 4.13. Someone is hitting him (Soriano is 3-for-7 in the two games). Why not us?

Rich Harden has never faced the Dodgers. This, of course, got the national media saying things like, "Well, he's facing hitters who have never seen him before." Wrong. Manny Ramirez faced him quite a bit in the AL. This isn't necessarily a good thing for Harden; Manny is 3-for-11 against him, but all three hits are homers. The only other Dodger Harden has faced who is likely to start tonight is Casey Blake; Blake is 0-for-8 vs. Harden with five strikeouts. That's the kind of performance we need out of Harden against all the Dodgers, in order to win.

I'll be watching on TBS with the rest of you, the first Cubs postseason game I haven't attended in person since game five in Atlanta in 2003. And before you suggest that if they win, I don't go to other road games, keep in mind that I also went to Miami in 2003, where the Cubs won two of three. Gameday game preview

Once again, a reminder that you can find the overflow comment threads, including the first pitch thread, on the right sidebar of both the front page and any interior page in the box headed "RECENT STORIES IN GAME THREADS". As for the other two NLDS games, the first pitch thread goes up shortly before the first pitch -- tonight at 9 pm CT -- then overflow threads will post every 45 minutes after that, at 9:45, 10:30, 11:15 and midnight CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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