The American League Championship Series started Friday night. And the Royals are a step closer in returning to the Fall Classic. Kansas City shutout Toronto 5-0 and took a 1-0 lead in the ALCS.
The Cubs spent Friday afternoon at Citi Field in the last workout before Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night (7:07pm CDT). Both teams have to turn in their rosters on Saturday morning and the starting lineups should be posted by midday.
Major League Baseball announced Friday the umpiring crew and start times for the National League Championship Series.
MLB announced the umpiring crew for the NLCS. Rob Drake (home plate), Tim Timmons (first base), Ted Barrett (second base), Paul Emmel (third base), Eric Cooper (left field) and Bill Miller (right field) will be on the field for games one and two in New York.
Mark Wegner will be the replay official in games one and two with assistance from Mike Estabrook. Wegner is scheduled to move to left field for Game 3 and Drake will be replay official.
NLCS Start Times/Schedule
Major League Baseball announced the starting times for the League Championship Series on Friday afternoon. Here are the starting times for the NLCS, click here for the starting times for the ALCS.
- Game 1 – Saturday, Oct. 17 – 7:07pm CDT
- Game 2 – Sunday, Oct. 18 – 7:07pm CDT
- Game 3 – Tuesday, Oct. 20 – 7:07pm CDT
- Game 4 – Wednesday, Oct. 21 – 7:07pm CDT
- Game 5 – Thursday, Oct. 22 – 7:07pm CDT
- Game 6 – Saturday, Oct. 24 – 3:07pm CDT
- Game 7 – Sunday, Oct. 25 – 7:07pm CDT
If the ALCS is over on or before Oct. 23, Game 6 of the NLCS will start at 7:07pm CDT instead of 3:07pm CDT.
NLCS Starting Pitchers
The Cubs will release the NLCS roster on Saturday morning and that should give a pretty good indication of which way Joe Maddon is leaning for his starters in games three and four.
Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta are going in the first two games. Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel are expected to start Tuesday and Wednesday at Wrigley.
The Mets would not commit Friday to Noah Syndergaard starting Sunday’s game.
Terry Collins said Friday the team is waiting until Saturday to see how Syndergaard is feeling before deciding if he will face Jake Arrieta in Game 2. Syndergaard warmed up four times Thursday and the Mets want to see how he feels. If Syndergaard is sore at all on Saturday he will not start Sunday and the Mets will likely go with Steven Matz instead.
News and Notes
• Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson said Friday that it is not a given that Matt Harvey will make more than one start in the NLCS. The Mets are going to “take it start by start.” Harvey told the New York media he is expecting to start twice in the NLCS.
• Mike Vorkunov posted five reasons the Mets will beat the Cubs in the NLCS.
• Jayson Stark explained how the Cubs went from a mostly average team to a powerhouse. The difference shifting Addison Russell to shortstop is pointed out in this report, and the numbers are rather eye-popping.
• Jim Callis looked at why the Cubs selected Kyle Schwarber with the fourth overall pick in the draft. And what the Cubs saw in Schwarber that other teams didn’t.
• Kyle Schwarber leads the 2015 post-season in batting average (.538), on-base percentage (.600), slugging (1.231) and OPS (1.831) through 15 plate appearances. Schwarber is 7-for-13 with three home runs and two walks.
• The young Cubs are self-aware, self-assured and self-motivated according to a report from Jon Greenberg.
• According to Miguel Montero, Cubs have to believe #WeAreGood
• Comcast SportsNet reported Jorge Soler is showing Cubs why he thrives on playoff pressure.
• Joe Maddon met Mike Ditka and had dinner with Da Coach according to ESPN Chicago.
• Theo Epstein talked to ESPN Chicago about being in New York in October again with his team in the post-season. Epstein did not realize how big a deal the ’69 team was to Cubs’ fans before he was part of the organization. He has his own reasons from the past for wanting to beat the Mets.
• Jake Arrieta and Matt Harvey are pushing the limits in the NLCS according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• Joel Sherman asked 14 executives and scouts would they take the Mets young starting pitchers or Cubs young hitters for the next five years.
• According to Bruce Levine, Starlin Castro shines on and off the field.
• ESPN Chicago reported the Cubs’ NLCS kryptonite could be Mother Nature.
• The White Sox congratulated the Cubs for making it to the NLCS.
• Moises Alou is a candidate to be the Padres’ next manager.
• The Sun-Times reported Jon Lester was sold on big money, big power and ‘arrogance’ of Cubs’ vision.
• Sammy Sosa, through an email sent by one of his representatives to the Tribune, said he would be honored to throw out a first pitch at Wrigley if the Cubs make it to The Series.
• According to Chris Cotillo, RHP Brian Schlitter has elected free agency. The Cubs acquired Schlitter from the Phillies as the player to be named later in the Scott Eyre trade in 2008. Schlitter appeared in 10 games for the Cubs this season and was 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and 1.91 WHIP. At Triple-A Iowa, Schlitter was 2-3 in 45 games with 23 saves, 1.61 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
This Day In Cubstory
2009 – Cubs released So Taguchi
1997 – Cubs granted free agency to Mark Dalesandro, Bry Nelson and Rich Sauveur
1981 – Edwin Maysonet, born
1979 – Cubs traded Donnie Moore to the Cardinals for Mike Tyson
1978 – Cubs released Davey Johnson
1978 – Cubs released Cookie Rojas
1970 – John Mabry, born
1962 – Cubs traded George Altman, Don Cardwell and Moe Thacker to the Cardinals for Larry Jackson, Lindy McDaniel and Jimmie Schaffer
1885 – The Chicago National League Ball Club lost to St. Louis 3-2 and the Browns took a two games to one lead in the Championship Series.