The Chicago Cubs and their rising stars have found themselves in California once again. In a city where celebrities from around the world call home. But for the next three days, it’s the home of the National League Championship Series.
And boy, the City of Angels is in for a massive treat. The first two games of the NLCS has been a battle for both the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. Chicago got things started with a bang, rallying late which was highlighted by a Miguel Montero grand slam.
Then you have Game 2. Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts called upon Clayton Kershaw in hopes of evening the series before it hit the road and that’s exactly what he did. Kershaw was strong through seven innings of work, handing things over to Kenley Jansen.
Jansen recorded a six-out save, shutting down the Cubs in a 1-0 win at Wrigley Field. Joe Maddon‘s one through three hitters were 0-for-11 that night.
Tonight, the Chicago Cubs are hoping to turn things around offensively. With Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell struggling at the dish, they are going to want to come alive with former Cub Rich Hill on the mound.
Starting for Chicago will be right-hander, Jake Arrieta. Jake ‘The Snake’ battled Madison Bumgarner in his first postseason start — in California. Not only did he limit the Giants to two earned runs on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.
He also managed to help out his own cause by launching a three-run homer off Bumgarner — his first career postseason long ball. Jake gave himself an early 3-0 lead but San Francisco later rallied in the eighth and walked off shortly after.
Familiar Face, Different Club
Taking the bump to begin the game will be 36-year-old southpaw, Rich Hill. Hill, the former Cub of four seasons, hasn’t had the best of luck as a postseason pitcher. In three career playoff starts, Rich is 0-3 with a whopping 7.20 ERA.
However, he was removed early while in Washington despite allowing one earned run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. He issued two walks, hit one batter but struck out six, nearly matching his 2016 postseason high of seven.
Which means the Cubs are going to need to get ahead of him in the count and turn in solid at-bats if they have any hopes of winning tonight’s game. Los Angeles is going to want to chase Arrieta early. They hit better against right-handers than they do southpaws, so scoring early and often is going to be a key for the Chicago Cubs in Game 3.
First pitch for tonight’s contest is set for 7:00 P.M. CT and will air live on FS1, 670 The Score. Now, here is a look at how both teams will set up.