This is one of the better pitching matchups you'll see anywhere in baseball this year, matching last year's No. 2 and No. 5 finishers in N.L. Cy Young voting.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the Cubs are going to have to do better than they did the last two days against lesser pitchers.
Fun Lester/Kershaw facts:
Lester/Kershaw 282-148 career record, 2.93 ERA (in 602 games/599 starts),3,915 K's, 10 All-Star Game nods (Kershaw 6, Lester 4).— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 28, 2017
Today is 1st time #Cubs Lester opposes LA's Kershaw. Lester is 2nd among active LHP with 149 career wins; Kershaw 4th with 133 wins— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 28, 2017
Kershaw also is 10 Ks away from 2000 for his career. He's looking to become the 3rd fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2000— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 28, 2017
#Cubs Lester is 2-2 with 2.82 ERA in 6 regular season Gs vs LA. Faced them April 10 and gave up 1 R over 6 IP in no decision— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 28, 2017
Here are today’s particulars.
Baez 2B, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ LF, Heyward RF, Contreras C, Russell SS, Almora CF, Lester P
Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw
Jon Lester has a 2.76 ERA and 1.102 WHIP in May, with 38 strikeouts in 32⅔ innings.
That's good! He's going to have to be good, and maybe even better than that, to win this game. Current Dodgers are hitting .200 (25-for-125) against Lester.
Please throw the best game of your life, Jon. Thanks in advance.
The Cubs did defeat Clayton Kershaw in Game 6 of last year's NLCS. Different time, different park, different team. Kershaw's last four starts: 1.19 ERA, 0.758 WHIP. Kershaw has walked only eight hitters in 71⅔ innings so far this year. The last time any Cubs team defeated him before Game 6 was nearly two years ago, June 22, 2015 at Wrigley Field.
Clearly, we are doomed.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.