The National League Championship Series shifts to Wrigley Field as the Dodgers fly into Chicago on top of the world. Justin Turner’s heroic and historic walk-off home run in game 2 has given the Dodgers a 2-0 series lead putting them only two wins away from their first pennant in 29 years. The Dodgers only have to win two out of three in Chicago to punch their ticket to the fall classic.
The Dodgers will give the ball to Yu Darvish in game 3. Darvish was pretty dominant in game 3 of the NLDS against Arizona tossing five innings of one-run ball with no walks and 7 strikeouts. Darvish has 18 career postseason strikeouts and has issued just one free pass over 16.2 innings.
Dodgers @ Chicago-NLCS Game 3
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 17, 2017
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 17, 2017
Yu Darvish vs. Kyle Hendricks
Game time – 6:01 PM PST- TV-TBS
Darvish has faced the Cubs only once in his career. That was back in July of 2016 as a member of the Rangers. In that outing he allowed two earned runs across 4.1 innings and struck out 9. In 50 career plate appearances Darvish has limited the current Cubs to a .195 batting average (8 for 41) with a .584 OPS against. The Cubs have just two extra-base hits against Darvish and he’s struck out 18.
Darvish vs. Cubs
|Tommy La Stella||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.500||.667||1.167|
Chicago will send right hander Kyle Hendricks to the mound as they try to get back in the series. Hendricks was great in the opening game of the NLDS against Washington throwing seven scoreless innings. However he scuffled in game five lasting only four frames and allowing four runs on nine hits. If you remember Hendricks pitched 7.1 shutout innings in last year’s NLCS game 6 against the Dodgers. He’s generally been a thorn in the Dodger’s side.
Hendricks is still a tough pitcher but he’s not as good as he was in 2016. His ERA rose from 2.13 to 3.03 and his hits per nine rate rose from 6.7 in 2016 to 8.1 in 2017. He’s giving up more hits this year and his walk rate has lowered as well.
This is mostly due to injury as he dealt with a hand injury earlier in the season. He didn’t face the Dodgers this year but in 3 career regular season starts he has a 2-1 record with a 3.15 ERA. He’s very tough at home. Hendricks is 19-9 with a 2.48 ERA at Wrigley Field.
The current Dodgers are hitting just .133 (8 for 60) against Hendricks with a .383 OPS against. The only extra-base hit is a Justin Turner home run and they’ve drawn five walks. The stingy right hander has struck out 18 and given up just three earned runs. Adrian Gonzalez homered off of him in game 2 of last year’s series and that’s about all he gave up.
Hendricks vs. Dodgers
With a right hander on the mound will Andre Ethier get some reps? Will Austin Barnes be behind the dish again? Has Yasmani Grandal fallen into an abyss? All of those questions should be answered once lineups are released.
This should be the toughest test for the Dodgers in the series. The boys in blue will be looking to stomp on the Cubs throat. A win would give them an almost insurmountable 3-0 series lead. I would love to see the Dodgers clinch at home, but how cool would it be to see them celebrate at Wrigley Field in front of all the Cubs fans? Seeing the looks on the Chicago fans faces as the Dodgers are presented with the National League championship trophy would be priceless.
I WANT THAT……….
Oh wait, the curse is over. It’s still funny anyways. I can taste the World Series. Go Blue!