LOS ANGELES --This is a most interesting position to be in, one we have not seen before as Cubs fans in a seven-game National League Championship Series.
The Cubs have been in three of those. Two of them were over by this point, as the Cubs lost the 1989 NLCS in five games, and got swept last year.
The Cubs led the 2003 NLCS three games to one after four, and we all know how that one worked out.
Tied at two games each, with (theoretically) the better pitcher going in Game 5. I am hopeful and optimistic that the Cubs will go home after tonight's game leading three games to two, with a chance to win the National League pennant at Wrigley Field Saturday.
How does that feel to you? What are you feeling leading into tonight's game? I'll just leave the rest of those thoughts and feelings to you in the comments.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Baez 2B, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Ross C, Lester P
Hernandez 2B, Turner 3B, Seager SS, Ruiz C, Kendrick LF, Gonzalez 1B, Puig RF, Pederson CF, Maeda P
Today's game is a pitching rematch of Game 1 of the NLCS, last Saturday at Wrigley.
A repeat of the pitching performances would be perfect: Lester threw six innings and allowed one run (a wind-aided homer by Andre Ethier) on four hits. Maeda departed for pinch-hitter Ethier after four innings in which he allowed four hits, three walks and four runs. Maeda did not throw more than six innings in any start after the All-Star break and hasn't thrown more than five since September 11. Over his past four starts (including the postseason), he's posted a 9.88 ERA. More of that, please.
Meanwhile, Lester posted an 0.60 ERA and 0.600 WHIP in two starts (15 innings) against the Dodgers this year. This included just seven hits and two walks allowed, with 15 strikeouts.
More like that, please, Jon.
Today's game is on FS1. Announcers: Joe Buck, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal.
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
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.