Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to NLCS Game 6, in which the Cubs can capture the franchise’s first pennant in 71 years with a win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Just don’t let the pressure exceed the pleasure, OK?
What a difference a few days makes as the Cubs’ odds of winning the NLCS are now strongly in their favor. Predictably, winning a game in which Jon Lester started against Kenta Maeda changed things rather drastically. And because of Thursday’s win, the Cubs aren’t facing Clayton Kershaw in an elimination game at home in Game 6.
Starting for the Cubs tonight is Kyle Hendricks, who allowed only one run (a measly second-inning solo homer to Adrian Gonzalez) in 5.1 innings, as he held his own against Kershaw in Game 2. Hendricks issued an uncharacteristically high number of walks (four) in his start, but also struck out five. If he can limit walks while continuing to do what he does best in getting ground balls and coaxing weak contact, he (and the Cubs) will likely be in good shape.
Hendricks recently drew comparisons to Greg Maddux (again) from Clayton Kershaw and (believe it or not) Maddux himself. It’s all detailed here in Brett’s bullets.
Clayton Kershaw provides the opposition as he and his Dodgers teammates look to stave off elimination. Michael took an in-depth look at Kershaw’s shortened, yet astounding season prior to Game 2 and it’s worth looking at again. As we know, Kershaw went out and tossed seven shutout innings – though, it wasn’t without some seventh-inning drama.
It’s not an easy match-up, but as David Ross said as he channeled his inner Ric Flair: “To be the best, you have to beat the best. Woo!”
Los Angeles Dodgers at Cubs (Cubs lead series 3-2) – 7:08 pm CT on FS1, 670 The Score, ESPN Radio
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 2.13 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 3.86 K/BB
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (L): 1.69 ERA, 1.80 FIP, 2.28 xFIP; 15.64 K/BB
Los Angeles Dodgers:
- Andrew Toles, LF
- Corey Seager, SS
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
- Josh Reddick, RF
- Joc Pederson, CF
- Yasmani Grandal, C
- Chase Utley, 2B
- Clayton Kershaw, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Albert Almora Jr., RF
- Kyle Hendricks, P