Cubs @ Giants: Lackey vs Moore (Game 166; NLDS Game 4)

Cubs 6, Giants 5
W: Rondon (1-0); L: Smith (0-1); S: Chapman (3)
Cubs def. Giants 3-1; advance to NLCS

CHC (2-1): RHP John Lackey (0-0, —-)
SF (1-2): LHP Matt Moore (0-0, —-)
First pitch: 7:30pmCST

Lackey (11-8, 3.35 for the season) won his last game in Pittsburgh, giving up 1 ER in 5 innings. He had a no-decision against the Giants early in September, doing the same thing. He went 4-4 with a 4.37 on the road this season. Overall, the Giants are 8-40 (.333) against him. Nunez is 5-15.

Moore (13-12, 4.08) won his last game against the Dodgers, going 8 innings and giving up 1 ER. He didn’t pitch against the Cubs this season. Only Fowler (1-1) has faced him.

In his 23 postseason appearances, Lackey is 8-5 with a 3.11 ERA and two championship rings (LAA in 2002 and BOS in 2013). In four postseason games with the Rays, Moore went 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA and no rings.

It’d be Lester versus Cueto on Thursday at Wrigley, if we have to. Let’s not.

Go Cubs!


It looked like Jason Hammel, Rob Zastryzny, and one other guy I couldn't identify arrived via cab at the Cubs UAPC at Riverview Park about 20 minutes ago. They were carrying luggage and their Cubs gear bags.

You are the man Phil!

According to Bosio on WSCR this morning there was also Smith and Cahill throwing simulated stuff.

To get it off my mind, I'm going to attempt to give my opinion on how the NLCS matchup will turn out. Feel free to give your opinion. In a Dodgers vs. Cubs series, Dodgers rotation will probably be as follows: Game 1 (Saturday): Maeda Game 2 (Sunday): Urias if Dodgers win Game 1, Kershaw if Cubs win Game 1 Game 3 (Tuesday): Kershaw if Urias starts Game 2, Hill if Kershaw starts Game 2 (4 days rest assuming Hill starts NLDS Game 5) Game 4 (Wednesday): Urias (would be 3 days rest for Maeda, maybe he's an option if Dodgers down 2-1 in the series), obviously Hill starts this game if he hasn't started yet in the series Game 5 (Thursday): Maeda / Possibly Kershaw if he starts Game 2 (would be 4 days rest) Game 6: (Saturday): Kershaw (3 days rest) / Maeda if Kershaw started Game 5 / Hill (unlikely with Kershaw / Maeda likely available) Game 7: (Sunday): Hill / Maeda (if he didn't pitch in Game 5 or 6) / Kershaw (obvious choice if available) Nationals: Game 1 (Saturday): Roark Game 2 (Sunday): Gonzalez Game 3 (Tuesday): Scherzer Game 4 (Wednesday): Ross / Roark a possibility on 3 days rest if the Cubs lead the series 2-1 Game 5 (Thursday): Roark if he didn't start Game 4, otherwise Ross likely starts this game / Gonzalez on 3 days rest is also a possibility Game 6 (Saturday): Gonzalez / Scherzer on 3 days rest if Nats are facing elimination / Ross (far less likely than the first 2) Game 7 (Sunday): Gonzalez / Scherzer - Whichever doesn't start Game 6 My ideas for Cubs roster: A. Same roster as used for the NLDS B. Replace Almora with Szczur because Dodger Stadium and Nationals Park outfields are less spacious than AT&T Park and Szczur has a better BA as a PH than Almora in the regular season (although Almora only had 10 PH ABs (1/10) compared to 45 for Szczur (12/45). C. Replace Almora's spot or Miggy's spot with Rob Z. Adding another LHP to the roster could be beneficial against the Dodgers who have a lot of lefties in their lineup and struggle against left handed pitching. Also, the Nats have 2 tough left handed hitters (Harper and Murphy). I thought I read on some article that Jake had a better ERA with Ross catching than with Miggy catching, although Jake has had a lot more starts with Miggy than Ross. Cubs probably keep 3 catchers because they ocassionally get pinch hit for or replaced with one that is better defensively. I probably wouldn't do Option C if we're facing the Nats, but I think they should strongly consider it (with removing Almora) if we're facing the Dodgers. Series Prediction: Cubs in 6 over either the Dodgers or Nationals. Both potential opponents are vulnerable in the rotation outside of their aces (heck neither Scherzer or Kershaw has been 100% sharp either).

Agree with carrying an extra lefty (Rob Z) if the series is against the Dodgers - so many lefties.

Kershaw will pitch Game 2 regardless, it's 4 days rest for him by that point. An extra lefty in the pen would be wise though, Dodgers really struggled against them all year. I would be surprised if it's at the expense of Montero though although with the Dodgers possibly throwing 3 lefties and how well Ross has hit him, they really don't need the 3 catchers, but I just don't see them doing that to Montero as well as enjoying the flexibility of being able to pinch-hit for the catcher late in a game if you do carry 3 catchers.

Maybe instead of Grimm or Edwards Jr. or even Coghlan or LaStella.

LEAVE NO DOUBT! (Please. I could use a good night's sleep).

I have tickets for Thursday (as may a couple of you do) and would be thrilled not to use them.


A client of mine is a former baseball player (college or maybe minor leagues) and a huge Cubs fan. However, when I started talking about the series, he shut me off. Says he is so superstitious that he doesn't watch games, doesn't want to talk about them, doesn't even want to go to a game. Ultimately said the pain of them falling short again is too much to take. After watching last night's game, and feeling a sense of impending doom from the 4th inning on for the next 4 hours...I now can relate to his POV more. I just didn't find it fun to watch and felt physically ill for most of it. The game just didn't feel like it was in the Cubs control after they failed to build on the 3-0 lead when they had the chance. End this series tonight, please.

Yeah, it's tough to explain to those who are casual fans. "Your team is in the playoffs, in a close, exciting game! Isn't that what you want, as a sports fan?" "No. It's the last thing I want."

I confess to that nervousness syndrome. Cub fans are not battle-hardened like fans of many other teams. We've rarely been in pressure situations and go a little weak-kneed. Old as I am, the Cubs were never competitive in my youth. Contrary to myth, the Cubs were not in a tight pennant race with the Mets in '69. We bowed out it in early September. Get us to the WS, and I promise never again to go for a walk around the block when Chapman comes in to protect a one-run lead in a series-clinching game.

I assume it changes when you have sustained success -- MJ's Bulls, or the current Blackhawk run. You think you will win the next game or, if no, you can win next year. Dunno -- maybe baseball is different. And, for me, there is a much different level of passion for the Cubs than the other 2 teams -- nice if they win, but I sleep OK if they don't.

same lineup as game 1 being marched out tonight.

Lackey can earn his entire $32 million tonight.

#Cubs lineup: Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Riz 1B, Zobrist LF, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Ross C, Lackey P Vs. Span CF Belt 1B Posey C Pence RF Crawford SS Gillaspie 3B Panik 2B Blanco LF Moore LHP

My predictions: #1: If Rizzo gets an RBI, Cubs win. If he doesn't, they lose. #2: Lackey gives up 3 runs or less in 6IP, Cubs win. He goes less than 6 or gives up 4+, Cubs lose. #3: If Cubs score more runs than the Giants, the Cubs will win. If they score less, Giants will win. True Nostradamus

Cubs are 105-0 this season when leading after 9.

Actually not true, lost a game in Colorado, extra innings, took a lead after 9th in top of the 10 or 11th and then blew the lead in the bottom of the inning.



Cubs manager Joe Maddon, "Even when a decision doesn't work out it doesn't mean it was wrong. It means the other team has professional baseball players, too."

this WAS/LAD game, though. wow.

Kershaw and Price confirming their reps this post-season.

that's high quality misguided shade towards Kershaw....

8ER in 11.2 innings for Kershaw in 2016. Career post-season ERA 4.65.

6.2 ip, 11k on 3 Days rest....3 of 3 inherited runners scored.  I think the league average is 25-30%.

So, he left with the bases loaded, apparently. Sometimes that results in runs for the other team.

Amazing, incredible, historic on many different levels. Calling this a huge win is an understatement. We may need new words to describe this game. Our current lexicon is failing me. You can't win the NLCS (and get to the world series for the first time in 71 years) without first getting there. That said, the other game played tonight may have impacted the Cubs chances of getting to the world series almost as much as this one did. Because the Dodgers won tonight, they forced Max Scherzer to pitch in game 5. That means, if the Nats advance, he won't be available until game 3 of the NLCS unless Dusty has him go on 2 days rest (not likely). Kershaw pitched tonight extending the storyline of his struggles in the post-season giving up 5 earned runs in in 6.2 innings. He would be ready for game 2 if the Dodgers win tomorrow night. It would be his 3rd start of the playoffs. He's given up 15 hits and 8 ER in 11.2 IP thus far. I subscribe to Joe Maddon's view of "be careful what you wish for", so I'm not hoping for any one team over another. But the Cubs victory tonight allows them to set their rotation exactly the way they want to and the forcing of a game 5 by the Dodgers tonight puts either team at the mercy of the games that came before.

anyone know what channel the broadcast is being moved to?

likely MLB Network

MLB Network it is


I think there's an old UHF frequency outside of Billings that's carrying it tonight.

old UHF frequency outside of Billings is showing hardcore porn, not baseball. this is turrible.

Parachat is open, rally caps are LOCKED.

Dear Cubs Pitchers: Please stop pitching Denard Span low and inside. It makes my stomach hurt. Your bestest buddy, Eric S

I guess Lackey doesn't like throwing to Contreras. But, with Lackey pitching, the Cubs need his bat in the lineup. EDIT: Get me rewrite!

billybucks....who's your granddaddy?

Billy Warbucks


Cueto is looking happy. I am not. Evidently Lackey left his big boy pants in Chicago

Certainly glad Lackey is the big game, tough-man, pitcher getting his $30+ MM or whatever. He left all the good shit with the Cardinals.

Cubs down 5-2 to a lefty (which they crushed all year) and no home runs allowed after spending all season turning batted balls in play into outs at a historic rate.

and Fowler makes a baseunning mistake after being the best baserunning team

fuck baseball

Hopefully, having home field advantage will pay off, because this game has been painful from the start.

Two hits off of Matt Moore in 7 innings. Disgraceful. Hopefully, they can hit in Wrigley, although temps are forecast to be in the 40s.

May be time to drop Addy in the order. He has been terrible for weeks.

Or have someone pinch hit for him when needed

Maybe Lackey did actually come here to get a haircut.

It would really suck if this wonderful, joyful team were to get lumped in with '84 and '03 as teams who were up 2 games but couldn't close the deal. The Giants look like they are playing with house money, the Cubs look pretty tight.


I totally wanted J-Hey to bunt and somehow it worked out

[email protected]#@[email protected]$jr#@qiwafhelfij#@uqr(u#[email protected]$(u#$([email protected]$(@#rqfoq#wfuwa(tf #r%u(@#qu%[email protected](rjfc(qjf(#qtjg#@qaw([email protected]#( @(#%u#qhr(qahf(esagfe(gh(a$w$thq#$th$qwat(wg($wht#@(wth

What elbow did Crawford get hit on last night?


This is a really good question. Gotta wonder if his elbow was still bothering him from getting nailed by Willson's pickoff throw from the night before ... with two throwing errors the next day. I haven't seen any reports one way or the other. However I think his left non-throwing arm was hit by Willson's throw.

Pretty sure it was the left elbow. But Willson was also the baserunner when Heyward bunted and he got to second quickly and slid hard and probably hurried the throw.

Speechless In a good way

I just wet my pants. In a good way.

that comeback, a'ite...let's do the NLCS.

I changed pants. Then wet them again. Amazing!!!!!

That escalated quickly!!!!

that was everything and awesome

"Hey, Derek Law" SUUUUUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just logged in to say that I hate Derek Law's guts with the burning passion of a 1000 suns.

As much as ecstatic/histrionic Derek Law got on my nerves, I refuse to publicly rejoice in sad Derek Law. I would be (briefly) crushed if the Cubs had been eliminated from this series, and I'm just a fan.

Strop has put on some pretty big displays over the years that I would have hated if he were't a Cub. I gained tremendous respect for Brandon Phillips when he smiled and nodded to Strop after Pedro K'd him in a big spot and went nuts.

Different strokes (or Strops), I guess. I have zero problem with guys showing emotion. I just hate the stupid shit like when Oswalt deliberately hit Barrett in the back after a homer to the previous batter, or guys staring down the pitcher when a ball misses hitting them by two feet. Showing genuine emotion during a game is fine with me. As noted earlier, I don't like the pimping of homers, but I guess I've just become somewhat immune to it because it's so common. Law cheering on this team? Also perfectly fine.

I agree with you -- on the Phillips K, Pedro basically stared him down while celebrating -- I thought that was over the top.

Strangely, I had absolutely zero issues with what Law did during the series. I kind of admired his enthusiasm, and I don't think he showed the Cubs up as it seemed clear he was trying to pump himself and his team up.

I think it's more that FS1 seemed to take every possible moment to pan over to him going nuts. I get the emotion and as much as it got on my nerves I can understand it, but was it really necessary to cut to him 14 times in 2 innings?

Listening to the Score today, Lawrence Holmes made an interesting point -- the FS1 broadcast is all about going over the top. It's why they have Pete Rose and A-Rod on the post-game.

Maybe have Skip Bayless on to explain baseball to those guys.

I was a bit irked watching him Monday night and parts of last night's game, but he was really just rooting for his team. Bottom line for me, this SF club is great. No excuses after a game and they always said how good the Cubs were. I never felt as thought it was said just because most believe it's required. Class organization with guys who love to play baseball and who acknowledge great plays, even when they are robbed it. I've seen more than one tip of the hat from one of their players to a defender. Sans their closer, I wouldn't mind seeing any of their players in a Cubs uniform.

Javy going to be the Series MVP? Would think so.

Congrats to the NLDS CHAMPION CUBS! Thank God we dont have to hear about how many straight elimination games the Giants keep winning.

Also sweet that Dodgers/Nats going to game five

Didn't do the Cubs any favor last year when the Mets/Dodgers went 5. Big difference this year is that neither the Dodgers or the Nationals are anywhere close to as deep at pitching as the Mets were last year.

Theo in post-game interview with Ken Rosenthal gets asked whether he feels like a proud father about Javy Baez and Willson Contreras. Promptly, he gives kudos to Jim Hendry, credit for bringing both of them into the Cub organization. "He and his guys did a great job." Nice touch.

Yes.I watched the same comment , and thought how classy that is.

I actually enjoyed the after-game show with the LSD-fueled combination of Alex, Pete, and Frank. I was prepared for Game 5, but Holy Cow, this is a miracle....

Fox in post-game graphics... Pitches/Hits/Runs (9th inning) Derek Law 4/1/1 Javier Lopez 6/0/1 Sergio Romo 5/1/1 Will Smith 4/1/1 Hunter Strickland 5/1/0

Interesting the Bochy yanked his closer (Romo) after only one hitter.

Game 1 on Saturday likely against Kershaw again on 3 days rest, maybe Rich Hill, I guess maybe idea who is pitching Game 5 for them yet. Might be Urias or Hill on 3 days rest.

 or Tanner Roark if Nats win it. Strasburg cut his last bullpen session short so good news on that front. Scherzer wouldn't go until Game 3.

Kershaw said yesterday he was physically and mentally exhausted after the game. After throwing 110 on 3 days rest, I'd be a bit surprised if he pitched game 1 on short rest. ESPN shows Hill starting game 5, so that leaves Urias or Maeda.

Kardiac Kubs (feel free to use that)

I have explained this before to those not "Cubbified", but having experienced gut-wrenching disappointments since 1968, I feel like an abused spouse. Therefore, I have previously waited for the worst to always happen - like Charlie Brown. This is not those teams...

I've had two dicussions with Giants fans who REALLY have a problem with Javy. "He acts like a nine-year-old." "He's a punk." Give me a break, please. Sour grapes much?

Honestly, I would have issues with a guy on another team watching HR's like he did. It may not be reasonable, but I don't think the Giants fans are being completely unreasonable. Cleary it rubbed the Giants the wrong way too because they threw at him.

I don't like it from anyone, but it doesn't bother me THAT much. He's not the only player to pimp homers. One fan was mad that he swore at Romo in Spanish after Romo said something to him after striking him out. Really? Are we offended at players using the F word, and Javy is ground zero for it?

I agree not a big deal in context.

He's young and, as is painfully evident, very passionate (which comes across as cocky to many). He's young and I believe he learned to move out of the box quickly when he got hurt and tagged out on what should have been an easy double. 

I turned off the game after 6 since the game was so ugly. Not just the score, but the way the Cubs were playing. I followed by glancing at my phone through two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Maybe I should do that more often. Better for my health. Pretty epic win.

Cubby Blue/Tim Souers's post on the 9th is great, and this is a great metaphor for what I was dreading about sports media potentially following two losses in a row: "You can see them puff up when the hurricane is coming, just dying to talk about the destruction."

Interesting Javy article: Didn't notice it at the time, but on his game-winning single, he had the leg kick on the first swing and then didn't do it on the next two.

He has really changed his game. Pretty impressive.

I was impressed with John Smoltz color commentary during the series - I think he enjoys his job and does it well.

I thought that both Matt and John did a good job.

Did anyone who was listening to Smoltz close their eyes and hear Brian Billick?

Did anyone catch the comment by Smoltz in the top of the 9th about the "Cubs young hitters temporarily taking the lead" after they scored the go ahead run? I backed up the DVR to check, it was there. Seemed like a bit of a ???. Matt was obviously in love with the Giants with all of the "10 times facing elimination" stuff, of course he is from Oakland. And his time calling Brewer games probably didn't help.

He probably meant that, no matter what trials and tribulations you overcome, death awaits us all.

Matt turned down Cubs gig, Len took it. Thank God!!!!

The video of Javy juggling his gum, catching it, then looking for the camera, pointing and smiling shows a young man who is clearly enjoying the moment.

If it's the Dodgers, I wonder how much Heyward will play -- lots of lefties in their rotation.

not the easiest RF in Dodger Stadium either though

0/4 with 4 K's vs. Kershaw, 2/3 off Urias, 3/9 off Jansen

Never faced Hill or Maeda.

with it looking less likely now that Strasburg will be back, I'm fine playing the Nats now. Roark I think is hittable and Gonzalez should be as well. They don't seem to have a 4th starter, Joe Ross didn't look right at all in that game. Offense is a bit scary though (Turner, Harper, Murphy, Werth, Rendon) all doing pretty well right now. Eh, whatever at this point...they're gonna have to beat 2 more good teams.

I would like to see Soler get a chance against Hill and Kershaw, but I'm not sure that I want to see either Bryant or Zobrist starting in RF in a playoff game. And Almora starting vs. anyone is less than exciting. On the other hand, if it's the Nats, do you bother carrying Soler just to face Gio Gonzalez and maybe get a pinch hit AB or two? He's a top nominee to DH if the team advances, so maybe they want to get him ABs should things take a turn for the better.

they have a few lefties in the pen, I'd certainly carry Soler vs. the Nats.

if it's the Dodgers and their lefty heavy lineup, I'm guessing we're mostly see Heyward out there, but I don't necessarily think Bryant or Zobrist are all that bad out there either. Maddon will get his chance to flop people around quite a bit I'm guessing.

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  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 28 min ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 30 min ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 32 min ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 35 min ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher. 


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    ATL signs cole hamels 1/18m...a'ite then.

    also, z.wheeler 5/100+ to the phillies.


  • Charlie 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    I think without the off-field issues, a front-office might at least be tempted to gamble on Russell's youth and dreams of his upside. But with what we all know about him now, the challenges of improving both on and off the field are too great to gamble on.


  • George Altman 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    This was the easiest non-tender decision, maybe ever. As if there weren't enough off-field reasons alone, there were even more baseball reasons. He became a sub .700 OPS hitter with bottom of the order OBA results. His defense, formerly his strength, became inconsistent due to attention deficit issues. He turned himself into bench infielder with suspect skills which is someone you don't pay more than $1--1.5M/yr.


  • crunch 3 days 24 min ago (view)

    he was due for a 3.5-4m payday (3.4m last year) at a minimum, anyway.

    it's as good of a time as any to cut him loose.  nico hoener's spring just became a lot more important.


  • Craig A. 3 days 41 min ago (view)

    Addison Russell, to no one's surprise, was  non-tendered. I still think he has the talent to excel in the major leagues, but it'll take a new attitude for him to realize his potential. It can't be easy to deal with his baggage in front of millions of fans. I won't forget his contributions in 2016, or that beautiful play that used to be the banner of TCR.


  • crunch 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    keuchel doesn't have draft pick compensation attached to him and he's a decent enough ground ball pitcher...that will be attractive to a lot of clubs.  that would put 3 lefties in the cubs rotation (pending a trade) again, though.  not sure they want to go for that look again.

    that said, i still imagine the cubs are probably looking to make this thing happen via trade.  it's hard to tell what their $$ situation is, but they've done a great job signaling they're not looking to spend $$ this offseason.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Looking for impact starting pitchers, but won't be shopping at the top of the market? So I guess they won't be in the market for impact starting pitching.

    Still hoping they find a taker for Q.


  • crunch 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    "Patrick Mooney of The Athletic writes the Cubs are in the market for impact starting pitchers but won't be shopping at the top of the market."

    darvish, lester, hendricks, Q, (???, a.mills, t.chatwood)...pending trades

    d.keuchel?  r.porcello?  trade target pitcher?


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: I suspect going into his age 30 season and coming off a great year as a pinch-hitter, LaStella wanted a chance to be an everyday player, and since that obviously wasn't going to happen if he stayed with the Cubs, TLS (or his agent) may have asked the Cubs to trade him somewhere he could get that opportunity.


  • crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    dunno any official reasoning, but his D is miserable and they decided to "upgrade" there with descalso for similar loot as well as getting a trade piece back.  the whole a.russell thing was lingering over the team.

    it's not like descalso is great with the glove, but la stella plays a miserable 2nd and meh 3rd.

    i do wonder if things would have turned out differently if russell wasn't due to miss significant time.


  • Sonicwind75 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Was just thinking about this, maybe that isn't a good thing for TLS?  I wonder if Maddon will use TLS differently after seeing his success last year.  That's my gripe with people complaining about Theo trading away a player that turns into an All Star.  If TLS had stayed with the Cubs, Maddon would most likely kept using him in the same manner and with the same results.