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NLCS Game 1 Starting Lineups, Game Thread


The NLCS begins tonight as the Dodgers and Cubs battle for the National League pennant. The Dodgers will be attempting to erase a nasty 28-year World Series drought. Meanwhile the Cubs are trying to erase a century of mythological losing. It’s the Dodgers job to steal the show and make sure the Cubs and their fans are miserable. Hopefully for another 108 years. I know that many people will be pulling for the Cubs to break the curse and the longest championship drought in professional sports. They’ll be doing it mostly because people want to see something they’ve never seen before, and nobody has seen the Cubs win a world series unless you were old enough to be on the titanic.

Unfortunately for Chicago and Cubs fans the Dodgers are going to have to keep the curse of the billy goat alive. That’s what I am counting on here, for the curse to come into play. Something hopefully will go wrong and the Cubs will Cubs this series up. When that happens it will benefit the Dodgers and they will advance to the World Series.

Embed from Getty Images

Tonight’s starting lineups sees the return of the putrid all-righty lineup against Jon Lester. For some reason the Dodgers added Mendoza line hitter and automatic out Kike Hernandez to the roster. The guy was atrocious all season long and I am still at a loss as to why they would put him on the roster or play him over Chase Utley. However if he does well then I will give him his kudos. Carlos Ruiz gets the start behind the plate in place of the slumping Yasmani Grandal. The Dodgers have Yasiel Puig in right field and batting cleanup. Howie Kendrick is in left field batting lead-off and Joc Pederson hits eighth.

The Dodgers will give the ball to Kenta Maeda. The Japanese right hander got roughed up in his only postseason start in the NLDS against Washington. The Dodgers are hoping he can give them something better this time around.

Here are the lineups for both clubs

NLCS Game 1

Dodgers Lineup

Kendrick LF

Turner 3B

Seager SS

Puig RF

Gonzalez 1B

Ruiz C

Hernandez 2B

Pederson CF

Maeda P


Cubs Lineup

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Baez 2B

Ross C

Lester P

Kenta Maeda-16-11 vs. Jon Lester-19-5

Game Time – 5PM PST – TV-FS1

Lester career vs. Dodgers 2-2 3.06 ERA-Postseason record -7-6 2.63 ERA

Lester vs. Dodgers

Howie Kendrick 42 40 7 4 0 0 5 2 8 .175 .214 .275 .489 0 0 0 0 1
Carlos Ruiz 16 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000 .125 .000 .125 0 0 0 1 1
Justin Turner 12 11 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000 .083 .000 .083 0 0 0 0 0
Chase Utley 12 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .167 .167 .167 .333 0 0 0 0 0
Josh Reddick 10 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 .200 .200 .200 .400 0 0 0 0 0
Adrian Gonzalez 8 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .125 .125 .125 .250 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Seager 7 6 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .167 .286 .167 .452 0 0 0 0 0
Yasmani Grandal 5 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .200 .400 .600 0 0 0 0 0
Joe Blanton 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Andre Ethier 4 4 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Yasiel Puig 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0 0 0
Joc Pederson 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Charlie Culberson 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Luis Avilan 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 130 123 17 5 0 0 7 6 33 .138 .185 .179 .363 0 0 0 1 2


The Dodgers have been feckless against Lester in the past. I think a key for the Dodgers may be the running game. If they can get guys on base they need to move them. Lester has a serious problem with throwing to first base or picking off base runners.

Please don’t be feckless Dodgers.

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

65 thoughts on “NLCS Game 1 Starting Lineups, Game Thread

  1. Hello Guys from the Uk.

    Artie, Pete, MJ, Bobby, Badger, Quas, Truth, Roger, Mark & all the rest of the gang,

    Just wanted to wish all of you the very best of luck tonight along with the Boys In Blue.
    I know how long you have waited to get back to a World Series & it’s now in touching distance.

    What a Rollercoaster the last week has been. Haven’t been so tired in a long, long time.
    Trying to watch all the games from my time zone is difficult, but I watched all 5 live & game 5 (which started at 1am here) meant that I went straight to work without a wink of sleep. That was a long day.
    I’m going to bed now, but will record the game & get up early and watch it.

    Fingers crossed tonight. Baseball is a funny game & littered by unexpected victories. Heroes are often not the most obvious & some teams choke when given the favourite tag.

    There is a lot of Baseball to be played yet.

    So, wishing you all the best tonight & let’s hope I have a good start to my Sunday.

    1. Watford great to hear from you! Hopefully we are treated to a wonderful series culminating in our boys making it to the fall classic.

      Keep posting Watford…. Cheers!

    2. Watford
      It is so good to hear from you!

      Wasn’t that last game unbelievable?

      That one person that accused you of something, hasn’t posted here, for a long time.

      Please don’t be a stranger!

      I bet you were nervous in those last two games, Kershaw pitched in, as well as with Kenley in that last game.

      I know I was.

  2. I was reading a synopsis of the Cubs-Dodgers on Bleacher Report.

    On Corey Seager, they wrote this:

    The 22-year-old is a lock to win NL Rookie of the Year honors and is a dark-horse MVP candidate. The power and plate discipline leap out, but Seager was also among the top-10 defensive shortstops in either league this season, according to the metrics. (He checks in at No. 7, Russell at No. 4.)

    It’s interesting to think some believe he’s not a SS.

    They ranked the teams like this:

    C- Dodgers
    1B – Cubs
    2B – Cubs
    SS – Dodgers
    3B – Cubs
    LF – Cubs
    CF – Dodgers
    RF – Dodgers

    On starting pitching they said this: We’re tempted to give this to the Cubs because they’re better-rested and have one more reliable arm than L.A.

    After watching Kershaw do what he did Thursday, however, we’re allowing for the possibility that he’s about to shed his postseason demons, go full Madison Bumgarner and take the Dodgers on his back.

    Advantage: Push WOW!

    I’m sure some of you will set these guys straight as to how horrible the rotation is.

    Then they proceeded to give the bullpen advantage to the CUBS. GO FIGURE!

    In the manager department they said this: Maddon is the pick because of his pedigree and experience, but Roberts should be able to hold his own in the clubhouse-steadying and wits-matching departments.

    They predict the Cubs in 6! Should the Dodgers just go home? NOT!

    This is what it is all about. It’s who gets hot and when. Goats last series can be heroes in this one.

  3. The wind is blowing out tonight, so I hope Maeda, can pitch tonight, like he did in Colorado, against that good Rockie’s offense.

    Nomar and Jerry didn’t like leaving Barnes off the roster, like I didn’t.

    Because that takes away Ruiz’s bat, later in games.

    I don’t understand why Kike is playing second.

    Wouldn’t it be better to put Kike in leftfield, and put Howie at second?

    Kike can cover more ground then Howie in left, and Kike has a better arm for the outfield, then Howie does.

  4. Hey Watford! Good to see you! You still using the planet as you treadmill? Wish I could.
    Scott, you really want the Cubs going a 216 year drought? I just want their dry spell to go another year or so. Well, this season’s Cubs haven’t seen our three starting pitchers, so if Maeda brings his ‘A’ game those odds will start taking a strong shift. This game tonight is the BIG one! Go Dodgers!

  5. Contrary to some who say I call people who disagree with me names, I say it’s purely subjective about Culberson and Kike. Just mark me in the court of liking the moves. I also like Barnes, but we don’t need him. Just opinions and no one said anything stupid.

    1. As far as Barnes, we went with 2 catchers most of the year anyway, so we should be used to playing that way. Kike Culberson. Charlie Hernandez. Whatever. Let’s hope we picked the right one this time and he gets a big hit for us.

      Gametime, kids. You know, as much as we all love to bitch about our team, this is our 4th NLCS in 9 years. Still, not good enough!!!

  6. Kendrick has to catch that ball. He’s horrible going back on the ball. He should be at 2B. I’d have played Toles in LF and Kike in CF.

    1. Hawkeye

      It Just doesn’t make sense, to have a guy that covers more ground, and has a better arm, that plays the outfield then sticking a team second baseman in the outfield.

      Nothing makes sense about this.

    2. Hawkeye
      That is because Howie backed peddled.

      When a outfield back peddles, they don’t have as good mobility , and they don’t have the same reach, with there glove.

      And can easily trip that way.

      1. Oh I know, I’m on the kids I coach all the time to drop step and sprint. Howie had done an admirable job out there but he’s horrible going back on the ball. Toles speed against Lester made sense to me but the chose to ride the hot hand with Joc.

        Rick Monday said that they gave Kendrick the choice between LF and 2B and he chose LF.

  7. Dodgers need lightening in a bottle, about a six-pack. Because the Cubs have a pack.

    The play at the plate was clean. Ross had to make the catch and hold on to the ball, while giving Agon the passage way — and he did. Agon is slow, but he was counting on something going wrong in the throw, catch, and tag. Cubs won that play.

    1. We had two runners on base, and Joc once again, swings from his heels with two strikes.

      Joc needs to just try to get his bat on the ball, and try to hit it just over the infielders, like Baez on the Cubs did and make something happen.

      1. Joc has needed to that since he came up. Strike one you can come out of your shoes. Strike two you better shorten your swing. After that – choke up and protect. Only a few in the league do that.

        Cubs look pretty good.

      2. Speaking of broken records MJ, there you go again. Joc did not swing from the heels. He took three healthy cuts. He wasn’t fooled. He just missed the ball.

        1. Bum
          I will stop saying that, once Joc stops swinging from his heels with two srikes, with runners in scoring position!

        2. Bum
          Did you see what Baez on the Cubs did, with two strikes, and a runner in scoring position?

          He just got his bat on the ball.

  8. Anyone see Miller pitch lights out in the earlier game today? 6 outs and 5 by Ks. And all I remember was he did not want to play for a western team. Does not money fix that concern !!!

    In this game — the Dodgers have the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings only because the 9th belongs to you know who. So that does leave only 3 innings to get to work.

  9. Oh well. You saw that coming with those first two sliders to Montero that didn’t slide. He didn’t miss the third hanging one in a row.


    Robert’s moves worked out great when Blanton’s sliders were down against aggressive hitters, but that last at bat was bad

    1. I have no idea whatsoever what that pair of sentences means. Can someone deconstruct it for me?

      MJ, AGon was great. I was probably over-stating a case. Won’t be the last time.

      1. Meaning, simply because Chapman is ‘their’ closer is why Roberts forced the issue of Montero pinch hitting in his place. The 2nd sentence meaning Chapman’s deal with the Dodgers was all but a done deal that still shoulda been done.

          1. That, and the potential effects the lack of such could have on team chemistry.

            That decision was made. Can’t rue it now

          2. I said back then that Chapman obviously committed a crime and that he should still of been signed to Dodgers. If a woman hasn’t caused you to be insane at some point in your life………….what weighs more, some past incident or a ring? And Chapman really screwed up the chemistry with the Cubs clubhouse.

          3. I think the Dodgers have made some personnel decisions with an eye towards building a different culture, a winning professional culture. Hiring Roberts was one, and I think he’s done a good job with that. Last year, though, without a manager and with Puig being Puig, I just don’t think the FO thought it was wise to bring in a potentially disruptive presence.

            The Cubs have the nucleus of their team and its culture established. They could perhaps better absorb bringing in a scumbag.

            And as Bluto alluded to, there’s also something to be said for an organization that just doesn’t want scumbags on its team.

          4. Morality and ethics. Interesting topic. Can’t have immorality in house can you.

            There was an incident in his own home and as I remember no charges were filed. He fired a weapon in his garage. Yes, a round did leave through a window, and it’s possible to get 96 years in prison for that, but again, cooler heads prevailed. The cops got a few autographs, the girlfriend didn’t press charges against her bling ticket, and Chapman has pitched well and not shot anybody since. The Cubs don’t seem to mind he had an “incident”. It’s Chicago. And has Trump has reminded us, in Chicago they are used to gun violence.

            So we sign Blanton and the Cubs get Chapman. It could still work out.

          5. Immorality is never a good thing, contrary to popular opinion, and I am speaking from experience. I would think you, Badger, of all people would be appalled that Chapman didn’t get some jail time. Looks to me that jail these days is only for the little people.

            I would have liked to have seen our 21st Century “virtuous and moral” government moving towards equal justice for all, but sadly, the criminal activity of the “important people” is accepted more and more by an immoral people. I guess that is the way it has always been in corrupt third world countries.

          6. It’s be nice to have Chapman’s fastball on the team. The Dodgers might be favorites. I’d probably be ok with it if they were winning, but I’m also ok with the decision not to trade for him. Once you start overlooking the true fundamental character of a person when building organizations, choosing spouses or choosing Presidents, it leads to negative consequences later.

            Good to see Adrian getting in Puig’s face and giving him that pep talk. Solid people make others around them better.

            I can just imagine Chapman showing off his gun collection to Puig after a night of club hopping.

      2. Everyone there was so much to like about this game.

        The guys hit the balls hard, and they just didn’t fall early, because of good defensive plays.

        And actually the Cubbies should have never got that third run.

        The Cubs had to win this game, because they went with there ace, and they are at home.

        We almost had them, and we got to there closer.

        And because of that, we got into Chapman’s mind.

        What hustle from Toles, and Toles had two hits.

        Agone also had two hits tonight, and his second hit was against Chapman, with the bases loaded.

        And Ethier had a pinch hit HR.

        I can’t fault Roberts at all, especially after Dayton allowed that HR, in the last game.

        And even though John Smolth said that Blanton was better against righties this year, that isn’t true.

        Orel corrected that, on the post game show.

        I don’t understand why Blanton didn’t try a different pitch, after seeing he hung his previous pitch.

        But Blanton has been good this year, and he can’t be always perfect.

    1. I assume you mean the series. Of course its not over. It’s baseball. But Kershaw HAS to win his game tomorrow. They have yet to win a game in which Kershaw has not pitched in.

      Can he start 4 games?

  10. Throw a fastball out of the zone after already hanging 2 sliders. F the Cubs.! I hate them and their stupid fans.

    Toles must play LF every game and hit lead off against Lester instead of watching Joc take weak swings. We can’t have Kendrick in LF giving away runs.

    1. Hawkeye

      Kike covers much more ground, and has a better arm for the outfield, and he has been an outfielder.

      And Howie is a second baseman.

      1. Yes but I play Kike in CF, Toles in LF, Kendrick at 2B. Let’s say we are up a run. We don’t have to walk Couglan.

        Anyways, I thought Dave made a great move. Blanton just blew it.

        1. I don’t think Hendrick has really played second all that much this year. I think the staff thinks or realizes that his defense there has slipped, so putting him in left is less of an overall defensive liability.

          I thought the moves by Dave were great in that inning, too. It just came down to execution.

          1. dodger patch

            Howie has played second more then Kike.

            I like Howie, but he is a liability in left, mostly because of his arm.

            So almost any hits he gets, that hit in a run, he is in danger of giving the run right back, because of his arm.

        2. Hawkeye

          You know I love Toles, but they don’t play him against lefties.

          I know Toles first hit was off a leftie, I can remember for sure if his second hit was.

          And who knows where he would be now, if he would have got more playing time.

          He can make such an impact, in so many ways.

          Arm, and over all defense, his speed, and he actually makes more contact then most young players.

          Once he plays more, and sees more off speed pitches, I think he will be even better.

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