The Chicago Cubs took the first two games over the San Francisco Giants and managed to survive the road trip. Now they will make their second appearance in the National League Championship Series. Against a team that swept them in 2008.
Well, it’s finally time. Another chance for the Chicago Cubs to clinch the pennant and reach the World Series. This time around, there is no Daniel Murphy in their way.
From first base to shortstop to third base, to the pitching staff — the Dodgers could be Chicago’s biggest threat in the postseason. Matching Chicago blow-for-blow in this National League Championship Series showdown.
Chicago’s offense received run support from multiple pitchers and hardly anything from their position players until Game 4. They put together a strong rally, overcoming a three-run deficit to beat the Giants.
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Now, taking the mound for the Chicago Cubs to begin the series will be southpaw, Jon Lester. Lester was strong in 2016, ending the year with an impressive 19-5 record, 2.44 ERA, and a 197/52 K/BB ratio.
Not to mention, Lester lowered his hits allowed to 157 and earned runs to 53 this season. A lot better compared to his first year with the Cubbies where he was tagged for 183/76 in 205 innings of work.
When it was time for the Cubs to begin their postseason journey, Jon was lights out against the Giants. Even veteran catcher David Ross helped him out early, throwing out a running and picking one off at first base.
Game 1 Ace
Despite the Cubs having to score late, Lester managed to pick up the win over the Giants. In Game 1, he struck out eight batters and yielded only five hits in eight innings of fantastic work. Tonight, he’s hoping to duplicate that outing against a Dodgers lineup that includes both young and veteran stars of the game.
Starting opposite Lester will be 28-year-old right-hander, Kenta Maeda. Maeda made his postseason debut on Oct. 10th against the Washington Nationals and it was a short outing for the Japanese-born hurler.
Washington chased him out of the game in just three innings, hammering him for four earned runs on five hits and one home run. If he’s unable to rebound with a stronger performance and the Cubs lineup is red-hot, he’ll be in trouble again.
First pitch of tonight’s series opener is set for 7:00 P.M. CT and will air live on FS1, 670 The Score. Here is a look at how both teams will matchup, later on, tonight at Wrigley Field.