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2017 National League Championship Series Game 5 preview: Cubs vs. Dodgers, Thursday 10/19, 7 p.m. CT

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The Cubs go for their second straight win over the Dodgers.

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Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It’s another beautiful day in Chicago, sunny, light winds, temperatures near 70, dropping into the 60s at game time, perfectly gorgeous for late October.

I’d say it’s a great day for the Cubs to win another baseball game.

Notes for Game 5:

  • Javier Baez became the fifth Cub to have a multi-homer game in the postseason with his two-homer game in Game 4. The others: Gary Matthews, Game 1, 1984 NLCS, Eric Karros, Game 4, 2003 NLDS, Alex Gonzalez, Game 3, 2003 NLCS, and Aramis Ramirez, Game 3, 2003 NLCS.
  • With Jake Arrieta’s great outing in Game 4, Cubs starters are still throwing exceptionally well in this year’s postseason. Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 2.25 ERA (12 ER/48 IP) in nine postseason games. The 2.25 ERA is second among all starting rotations this October.
  • Wade Davis used 48 pitches to pick up last night’s save. He is just the second pitcher in the LCS era to throw at least 48 pitches while earning a save, joining Madison Bumgarner (68 pitches in five innings, Game 7 of the 2014 World Series).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Almora CF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Russell SS, Baez 2B, Zobrist RF, Quintana P

Dodgers lineup:

Taylor CF, Turner 3B, Bellinger 1B, Puig RF, Forsythe 2B, Hernandez LF, Barnes C, Culberson SS, Kershaw P

Jose Quintana vs. Clayton Kershaw

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This is a pitching rematch of Game 1, in which Jose Quintana and Clayton Kershaw basically fought to a draw. Albert Almora Jr. homered off Kershaw with a man on base for the Cubs’ two runs off the Dodgers lefty, and Quintana himself got a hit off Kershaw, the only hit by a pitcher off Kershaw in the postseason.

Q threw four really good innings, then got in trouble in the fifth with a pair of walks before a double and a sac fly tied the game.

Kershaw has been human this postseason. In addition to Almora’s homer, he served up four homers to the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of their division series. And you all know how the Cubs hit Kershaw hard the last time he pitched in Wrigley, in Game 6 of last year’s NLCS. Kershaw now has a lifetime 4.57 ERA in 100⅓ postseason innings, with 15 (!) home runs allowed.

Meanwhile, I think Quintana has a Wade Davis-like zen to him. Nothing seems to bother Q. I think he’s ready for a big game tonight.

Today’s game is on TBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Ron Darling and Sam Ryan.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday (classic mode) (Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.