While "past performance does not guarantee future results," you know I'm a student of baseball history, so I thought I'd give you some leading into tonight's game.
The Cubs have been in three previous National League Championship Series, the first when it was still best-of-five, the others best-of-seven.
In 1984, the Cubs won the first two games and looked even better against the Padres than the Mets did last weekend. You know what happened next.
In 1989, the Cubs got blown out of Game 1, had almost as big a blowout win in Game 2 (starting with a six-run first inning), then lost three straight.
In 2003, the Cubs split the first two games, won Games 3 and 4 and... well, enough of that one, I think.
The point is, this is a very different position for a Cubs team in the NLCS, and for us as fans. Let's hope that provides a different series result from the other three as well.
One more thing: today is the latest calendar date that baseball has ever been played at Wrigley Field. I look forward to seeing the ivy lit up in color... and the bleachers lit up with Cubs home runs.
Here are the rest of today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Soler RF, Montero C, Hendricks P, Baez SS
#NLCS Game 3. At our place. #LetsGo Preview: https://t.co/WjplflBDCl #FlyTheW pic.twitter.com/1LeFe6d6Kt— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 20, 2015
Granderson RF, Wright 3B, Murphy 2B, Cespedes CF, Duda 1B, d'Arnaud C, Conforto LF, Flores SS, deGrom P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Kyle Hendricks had a rough outing in his one Division Series game, against the Cardinals. He'll have to be better than that for the Cubs to win.
His one start against the Mets this year, June 30 at Citi Field, was excellent: six innings, three hits and a walk, no runs, six strikeouts. This was similar to the stars he had at the end of the regular season against the Royals and Brewers. He'll have to keep the ball down to be successful tonight, with the wind expected to be blowing out. If he can do that, the Cubs can win this game.
Jacob deGrom started two games against the Cubs this year, May 11 at Wrigley Field and July 2 at Citi Field. The Cubs hit him hard in both games, and all told he has a 6.10 ERA and 1.742 WHIP against the Cubs this year, with three home runs allowed (Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and, of all people, Jonathan Herrera). His lifetime ERA in two starts (granted, small sample size) at Wrigley Field is 7.20 (10 innings, eight earned runs) and three home runs -- one allowed last year to Travis Wood.
As noted, the wind should be blowing out. Hopefully Hendricks keeps the ball down and the Cubs hitters take advantage.
Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Cal Ripken, Sam Ryan and Matt Winer.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward. (And a reminder that a "Rapid Recap" will be posted here by Josh shortly after the game ends, with my own recap at the usual time, 8 a.m. CT tomorrow.)
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.