National League Championship Series Game 5: Cubs (103-58-1, 5-3) vs. Dodgers (91-71, 5-4)
- 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
Jon Lester, LHP (19-5, 2.44/1.01/3.41) vs. Kenta Maeda, RHP (16-11, 3.48/1.13/3.58)
The National League Championship Series – Game 5
Best-of-Seven Series tied 2-2
It’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. Jon Lester makes his second start of the series in a Game 1 rematch with right-hander Kenta Maeda. The Cubs appear to have the upper-hand in the series just 24 hours after many were counting them down and out. That’s how quickly things can change in a short-series in the postseason.
The Cubs have a lot of work to do and a win tonight behind Lester would increase their chances of advancing to the next round of the tournament.
David Ross is starting his final game at Dodger Stadium tonight for the organization in which his career started back in 2002. The Dodgers selected Ross in the seventh round of the 1998 draft and he made his debut four years later against an Angels team that had Joe Maddon on its coaching staff.
David Ross has his work cut out for him tonight. The Dodgers plan to make Lester field his position and throw to bases. And once on the bases, the Dodgers plan to run, run and run some more. Ross and the Cubs’ infield will have to pick-up Lester defensively.
The Cubs allowed the Dodgers to dictate the pace of Game 1. Lester could not find a rhythm and gave up a lot of hard contact. Ross and Lester must not allow the Dodgers to slow the game down again.
Joe Maddon is expected to use his Lester Lineup tonight, just in a slightly different order from Game 1.
If Maddon is able to enjoy Meat Loaf on the flight back to Chicago tonight, the Cubs will be one step away from reaching their next goal.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester was rather effective in Game 1 of the NLCS. Lester allowed one run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Lester was a lot better against the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. And the Cubs could use the NLDS version of Jon Lester tonight.
Lester has allowed one run on nine hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in 14 innings over two starts this postseason (0.64 ERA, 0.78 WHIP).
Jon Lester was 9-3 in 17 road starts this season with a 3.17 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Lester faced the Dodgers twice during the regular season, once at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 28. Lester pitched six innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers and allowed three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. The Cubs lost the game 1-0.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Howie Kendrick: 7-for-43 with four doubles and two walks
- Carlos Ruiz: 0-for-16 with one walk
- Justin Turner: 0-for-14 with one walk
- Chase Utley: 2-for-12
- Adrian Gonzalez: 2-for-10
- Josh Reddick: 2-for-10
- Corey Seager: 2-for-9 with one walk
- Yasiel Puig: 1-for-6 with one walk
- Andre Ethier: 3-for-5 with one home run
- Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-5 with one double
- Joc Pederson: 0-for-5
Kenta Maeda gets the ball tonight instead of Clayton Kershaw on short-rest. The Cubs faced Maeda in Game 1 at Wrigley last Saturday. And the Cubs put three runs on the old scoreboard before Dave Roberts could get him out of the game.
Maeda settled in somewhat as the Cubs’ bats went quiet. The Cubs allowed Maeda to keep the Dodgers in the game. Maeda gave up three runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings. The Cubs won the game in dramatic fashion on a pinch-hit Grand Slam by Miguel Montero in the bottom of the eighth … and Dexter Fowler added a solo shot to cap the Cubs scoring in the 8-5 win.
The Cubs must score early and often against Maeda tonight. Maeda has not pitched past the fifth inning since Sept. 11 and the Dodgers are not sure what he has left. Roberts will have a short-leash on Maeda. It’s imperative the Cubs score first and give Jon Lester a little breathing room.
Maeda was 7-5 in 15 starts at Dodger Stadium this season with a 3.22 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. And he makes his second home start of the postseason tonight. Maeda is 0-1 in two starts (Nationals, Cubs) with a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. Maeda has allowed seven runs on nine hits with five walks and six strikeouts in his last seven innings.
Dexter Fowler (1-for-3), Javier Baez (1-for-2 with one double), Kris Bryant (1-for-2 with one double), Jason Heyward (1-for-2 with one triple), Jon Lester (two walks), Anthony Rizzo (0-for-2), David Ross (0-for-2), Addison Russell (0-for-2) and Ben Zobrist (0-for-1 with one walk) all started and faced Kenta Maeda in Game 1 and are expected to be in the starting lineup for Game 5.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …