All is good on the North Side of the Windy City after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. Joe Maddon and his group of relentless players pulled ahead of the Dodgers in the LCS. Now, it’s time to return to Wrigley Field.
And what an important weekend it is for both teams competing for the National League Pennant. At first, it looked like the Dodgers were getting ready to shut down the Chicago Cubs when they claimed a 2-1 lead over Chicago.
Little did they know, a sleeping giant would wake up in Game 4. Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo have played a huge part in the Cubbies regaining the series lead. Russell homered in back-to-back nights — one in the 10-2 win and the last coming in yesterday’s 8-4 victory.
Now, with that being said, they still have one game left before moving onto the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. One man stands in their way.
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In fact, Clayton Kershaw is responsible for putting this Cubs lineup in a slump. Following his dominating 1-0 win over the Cubs last weekend at Wrigley, Chicago’s offense went quiet.
From the leadoff hitter down to the nine spot, the Cubs struggled to score runs. But it appears the momentum is back in Chicago’s corner. Saturday’s matchup will put Kershaw in another rematch with Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks didn’t pitch all that bad. The only run given up was a solo homer off the bat of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Kershaw and closer, Kenley Jansen did just enough to tie the series up at one before it moved out to the West Coast.
Hopefully, the Chicago Cubs will go back to swinging heavy bats. They scored a combined 18 runs in only two games — proving that their regular season route was not a fluke. This team is for real.
It’s Not Over Yet
While it feels good knowing the Chicago Cubs are up by a game, the Dodgers bit into Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Granted it was the first time Chapman had pitched in a few games. Either way, Aroldis cannot continue to pitch that way with the series on the line.
It’s either advance or stay home. Chicago is not going to want to drop a second consecutive LCS in front of their home crowd. Surely, the heartbreak would be too much for those in attendance and the rest of us watching at home.
Kyle is going to have to bring his very best. The young Cy Young candidate emerged as one of the best pitcher’s in the league during the regular season and carried his performance over to the postseason thus far.
This club got a good look at Kershaw in their first encounter. He made a few mistakes that he was not happy about, including what could have been a two-run homer off the bat of Javier Baez late in the game.
If they are unable to get the job done on Saturday, Game 7 will take place at Wrigley Field on Sunday. That matchup should put Jake Arrieta and Rich Hill together for the second time this week. Things didn’t work out so well for Arrieta while Hill looked like a Cy Young candidate himself.
Here is to hoping the Cubs can take a huge bite out of Kershaw on Saturday and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1945.