Dodgers @ Cubs: Maeda vs Lester (Game 167; NLCS Game 1)

Cubs 8, Dodgers 4
W: Chapman (1-0); L: Blanton (0-1)
Cubs lead series: 1-0

LAD (0-0): RHP Kenta Maeda (0-1, 12.00)
CHC (0-0): LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 0.00)
First pitch: 7:00pmCST

Lester went 8 scoreless to beat the Giants in Game One of the NLDS on Friday. He struck out 5 and walked none. The Dodgers are 20-115 (.174) against him. Ethier is 2-4 with a couple RBIs.

Maeda gave up 4 ER in 3 innings to lose Game Three of the NLDS against the Nationals. He finished the year strong, going 3-2 with a 2.73 in September. He went 9-6 with a 3.74 on the road this year and none of the Cubs have faced him.

The Cubs won the season series against the Dodgers, 4-3. That’ll work.

Hendricks versus Kershaw, the new Dodgers closer, tomorrow at 7pmCST.

Go Cubs!


Tommy LaStella out. Rob Z in. I like this play.

I wonder how Tommy is going to take it.

*cues up morrissey and the smiths on itunes*

LEAVE NO DOUBT! (Please. I'm going tonight.)

Very happy for you Billybucks!! And there was no doubt!* *after the Miggyslam

RIP billybucks's eardrums

I flew my son home from college for this game. Truly one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist LF, Addison Russell SS, Jason Heyward RF, Javier Baez 2B, Ross C, Lester SP

rather quick/boring (yet close) game 2 for TOR/CLE...CLE wins, 2-0 series lead...series moves to TOR

As if you needed to ask, Parachat is happening.

As if you needed to ask, Baez is happening.

As is Dexter Fowler!

Holy Shit Montero!!!


Joe Buck's reaction to the top of the 8th?

That game had Game 3 of the SF series written all over it. Then it didn't.

needed more pitching substitutions.

So that 8th inning was a helluva shitshow of managing on both teams but glad it worked out of course.


probably should have just started with Strop or Chapman, but a mild sin imo

and definitely should have bunted with addison. as much as i hate bunts, getting a guy to third with less than 2 outs is still a good thing


IBB Jason Heyward???!!!!???!!!

Coghlan apparently had decent numbers vs Blanton so I suppose that's okay although never a fan of walking the bases loaded, give you no room for error 

ultimately Montero just came through but I think we've seen the good and bad of over-managing this post season


Still trying to wrap my head around what was most unlikely to happen: - stealing home - pinch hit, go ahead grand slam - IBB to Heyward I'm at a loss (To be fair, impressed with J-Hey's triple. By my count, he has two more extra base hits than both Russell and Rizzo combined so far this post season)

Walking Coghlan also got Chapman out of the game. Addy is a mess at the plate right now -- trying to pull everything. That AB in the 8th was awful -- 2 strikes, low and away pitch perfect for a ground ball to the right side...and he reaches out and pulls it to third. I hope he starts hitting to RF soon. I wonder if that hot HR streak has down more harm than good.

Russell seems to go through some extended cold streaks in which he's an automatic out. I'm hoping Mallee figures out a way to get him out of those streaks faster than he has so far.

Not sure Chapman comes out to get 6 outs in a tie game but I can't say for sure. The first IBB to Heyward was the more egregious offense.

Agreed! Joe says to keep things simple -- so give the 8th to Rondon and the 9th to Chapman.

looks like he's leaning towards Strop now than Rondon but maybe he just liked the matchup

"definitely should have bunted with Addison" There's more count-based swinging or not-swinging going on than is often talked about. On 1-2 or 2-2, with the pitcher having a ball to give, Addison would have expected a slider low and outside and would have held up. But 3-1, you expect the pitcher to throw a strike. That pitch took guts to throw if that was where Blanton wanted it. Then on 3-2, you still expect a strike; so I can sort of forgive Addison for swinging at two pitches that would have been ball four and had a better result than a bunt. Standard count-based swinging.

If you're bunting there, you're bunting at the beginning of the count and Russell has been struggling mightily. Blanton's slider was made to bunt too as it's more a 10-6 slider than a frisbee.

But -- we have seen Addy try to bunt on rare occasions. He's a terrible bunter.

Certainly a consideration

Lots of media ripping Maddon for taking out Lester. I thought it was the right move -- the Dodgers were on him all night. A runner thrown out at the plate, Dexter's two diving catches, and multiple line drives right at Cubs infielders. Although the HR was a wind-blown fly ball, he was very lucky to only give up one run.

Mostly agreed. Lester wasn't fooling many hitters. The frequent pitching substitutions make me nervous, though.

I didn't mind taking Lester out either.  He was getting outs but not really fooling guys either.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 22 min 21 sec ago (view)

    d.ross meets the media at winter


  • jdrnym 4 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Hey AZPhil, when a player is released with money/years still remaining on his contract, does his next team *have* to give him the prorated major league minimum or can they offer more (meaning the original club owes less) to "outbid" other teams that may have had interest? I'm assuming that's what happened with Brad Brach, where the Mets signed him for 2020 at $850,000.


  • crunch 5 hours 22 min ago (view)

    jeremy jeffress agrees.


  • Rob Richardson 9 hours 4 min ago (view)

    It's high time if you ask me.


  • crunch 9 hours 20 min ago (view)

    as awesome as bryant is, it would probably be good for the cubs to find him a new home before his play at 3rd turns him into a corner OF'r...which seems inevitable sooner than later.

    i'm still impressed how much his D improved since he was drafted, but he's already losing a step at the position early in his career.


  • crunch 9 hours 26 min ago (view)

    minor league ballplayers will no longer have to worry about getting suspended for testing positive for's off the prohibited substances list.

    about time.


  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 38 min ago (view)

    3B Alec Bohm and RHSP Spencer Howard would likely be the Cubs asking price and the Phils probably say no, but if they don't say no, that could be a deal. 


  • crunch 23 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
    Cubs have had talks with Phils on Bryant. Nothing there at the moment. Service time grievance still an issue.


  • bradsbeard 23 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Humerous 30 minutes this morning when both Mark Gonzalez and Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted out that the Cubs would be receiving Conor Lillis-White as the PTBNL in the Tommy La Stella trade as if it were just now happening. 


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    marvin miller and ted simmons are part of the next HOF class.

    long time coming for miller.


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    things that are important to good on-field play like buying up all the property around wrigley field, from rooftops to acerage, isn't going to monetize itself.

    i know some people would love to have a top tier pitcher, but i'm looking forward to more control of rooftop advertising and an open air beer garden near the team owned hotel and resturant complexes.

    i know some people want a solid leadoff man, but i'm looking forward to seeing 10-20 concerts on off-days destroying the playing field so that extra revenue can help a polician in Nebraska or Iowa get some ad buys.


  • Hagsag 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Their friend Donald will come through for them.


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    remember when the billionaire owners got a huge double digit tax cut?

    maybe the city should do them a favor and give them more tax savings help to let them buy and build another 2-3 revenue projects outside of the park.  that might help these struggling heroes find some extra loot.

    i know this rant isn't fair, but my "dan winkler got a MLB contract fever" is dying down a bit.


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    f'real.  i don't even know why they're going to bother playing games.  i'm over here printing Cubs 2020 World Series Champs banners while others are sleeping on reality.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Just saw a fun report that the Cubs are telling even budget type free agents they can't currently negotiate until they clear some payroll. So that's a fun start to the winter meetings.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I'm with you 100% on that. Minor league retreads are fine and all but we don't need to be paying premiums for middle relief.