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Chicago Cubs travel to San Francisco for pivotal NLDS Game 3

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Apr 10, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta reacts against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta reacts against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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A matchup like Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) and Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA) on the playoff’s grand stage is one comparable to Bob Gibson versus Sandy Kaufax, according to Chicago Cubs (103-58-1) skipper Joe Maddon.

Arrieta said Bumgarner is “beatable,” when asked by reporters prior to the NLDS.

“We have a challenge ahead of us… he’s been one of the best in the postseason for the past several years,” he added.

During the regular season, Arrieta led the Cubs starters with 11 wins and a 1.04 WHIP in 97.2 innings on the road.  He held opponents to a .203/.333/.608 slash line, also best in the starting corps.

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Against the Giants, Arrieta is 4-2 with a 1.89 ERA in six career starts.

Run support for Arrieta has been one of his saving graces this year. The Cubs averaged 5.97 runs per game in his starts during the regular season.

In the postseason, however, they only average 4.33 runs per start for Arrieta. Maddon looks to overcome this by playing Jorge Soler in right field and batting him fourth, behind Anthony Rizzo.

Last year, Soler started the playoffs on a nine at-bat hit streak, and has hit well at AT&T park, slashing .300/.700/1.117, in his young career. Against lefties, he hits .257/.415/.764 with six home runs, 27 RBI’s, and 22 walks.

Batting him behind Rizzo gives the top of the Cubs lineup a powerful right-handed presence. Bumgarner allowed a .220/.367/.642 slashline to righties, but allowed 22 home runs and 32 doubles during the regular season.

Coming into the game, the San Francisco Giants (87-75) are unbeaten in their last nine elimination games, riding a dominant 23 1/3 inning scoreless streak by their ace.

In his eight-year career, Bumgarner has put up some of the best postseason numbers of all time. So far this postseason, he’s allowed a .133/.133/.321 slash line to the New York Mets in the Wild Card Round.

He’s one shutout away from tying Christy Mathewson for most career playoff shutouts with four. Bumgarner also set single-season records for most innings pitched (54.4) and games started (6) in the 2014 championship campaign.

Against the Cubs, Bumgarner is 8-2 in his career with a 2.25 ERA. His .800 winning percentage is tied for second-best against any opponent, and his 96 career strikeouts are fourth most.

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The Giants know how to overcome a deficit. In 2012 and 2014, they fought their way out of the Wild Card to win the championship.

“This club has a history,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s what you like about what’s going on now, of finding a way to win that game they had to win and moving on. And that experience, that’s so vital to draw on.”

The lineups for tonight’s game are as follows:

Be sure to check back during the game for more coverage of the game. Then come back afterwards for the postgame recap.

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