National League Championship Series Game 4: Cubs (103-58-1, 4-3) vs. Dodgers (91-71, 5-3)
- Game Time – 7:08pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FS1 – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844(Cubs), 89, 853(Dodgers)
- Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
John Lackey, RHP (11-8, 3.35/1.05/3.81) vs. Julio Urias, LHP (5-2, 3.39/1.45/3.17)
The National League Championship Series – Game 4
Dodgers lead Best-of-Seven Series 2-1
The Cubs look to get even in the best-of-seven NLCS tonight behind John Lackey.
The veteran John Lackey has been talking about ‘Big Boy’ games all season. Tonight is by far the biggest game he’s pitched in this year and it will be up to Lackey to hold the Dodgers in check, especially early in the game, and give his teammates a chance to build some confidence.
John Lackey will be on a short leash. Joe Maddon will not have the luxury of allowing Lackey to work through any early command issues or struggles. If Lackey is off, look for Maddon to go to Rob Zastryzny.
Julio Urias makes the start for Dave Roberts tonight. Urias is one of the best young pitchers in the majors. The teenager turned 20 on Aug. 12 and the lefty had a sensational season with the Dodgers. Urias will become the youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason game, passing the great Bret Saberhagen (1984, Royals).
The Cubs will press the issue about Julio Urias’ pickoff move to first base. Urias balks when he throws to first keeping runners close. Maddon started pointing out Urias’ issue with his pickoff move Tuesday. The Cubs could use that to their advantage to take him out of his game. But first, the offense will have to get on base which has been quite the challenge against Dodgers’ lefties the last two games.
An early hit or two and a run to snap the scoreless skid will relax the whole team. And once the Cubs remember how to have fun and just play the game, Maddon’s team will be able to avoid its first three-game losing streak since early July.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey started Game 4 of the NLDS at AT&T Park and was not sharp. Lackey allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Lackey was making his first start in two weeks which is why the Cubs feel he struggled. The Cubs are expecting, and needing, more from Lackey tonight.
Lackey gets another ‘Big Boy Game’ and the Cubs could really use for him to outpitch the 20-year old rookie lefty of the Dodgers.
Lackey was 4-3 in his last 11 starts of the season with a 2.76 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. And over his final five starts, Lackey was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
John Lackey was 4-4 in 13 road starts this season with a 4.37 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. And he takes on the Dodgers for the first time this year tonight.
John Lackey is 6-3 in 12 career games, 11 starts, against the Dodgers with a 1.75 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Lackey did not face the Dodgers this season and has only made one start against the Dodgers the last two seasons. Lackey is 1-2 in six career games, five starts, at Dodger Stadium with a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.
Dodgers Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Adrian Gonzalez: 7-for-23 with one double and one walk
- Andre Ethier: 4-for-19 with one double and one walk
- Howie Kendrick: 5-for-21
- Chase Utley: 2-for-13 with one triple and two walks
- Carlos Ruiz: 3-for-13
- Yasiel Puig: 1-for-6 with one triple
- Josh Reddick: 0-for-4 with one walk
- Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Joc Pederson: 0-for-2
- Justin Turner: 2-for-3
The Cubs get their third look at rookie left-hander Julio Urias. The Cubs numbers against Urias are rather deceiving and should be taken with less than a grain of salt. Urias is not the same pitcher the Cubs saw at Wrigley in what was his second start in the majors.
Urias pitched two shutout innings in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals. Urias picked up the win after allowing just one hit with two walks and a strikeout.
Urias has not completed at least six innings in a single outing since he faced and beat the Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 27. Urias was 4-0 over his last 10 games, seven starts, in the majors with a 1.99 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. And over his final four appearances, three starts, Urias did not have a decision and allowed three runs on 11 hits with six walks and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings (1.93 ERA, 1.21 WHIP).
Urias’ second big league start came at Wrigley Field on June 2. Urias struggled and allowed six runs, five earned, on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Urias showed steady improvement and by the time the Cubs faced him again on Aug. 27 at Dodger Stadium, the maturity and adjustments were obvious.
Urias beat the Cubs 3-2 after allowing one run on six hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in six innings.
Julio Urias was 1-1 in two starts against the Cubs with a 4.91 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.
In the majors this season, Urias was 5-2 in 18 games, 15 starts, with a 3.39 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. At Dodger Stadium, he was 3-0 in nine games, seven starts, with a 3.05 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
Cubs Numbers against Julio Urias
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Jorge Soler: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Addison Russell: 0-for-5
- Javier Baez: 2-for-4 with one home run
- Jason Heyward: 2-for-3 with one home run
- Ben Zobrist: 1-for-2
- Willson Contreras: 1-for-2
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …