Dodgers Cubs NLCS Game Five

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Oct 15, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of game one of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of game one of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers look to retake a series lead before traveling to Chicago for the decisive games.

The Dodgers picked a weird time for one of their worst games of the season. It seemed like it was going to be a long day early on after a TOOTBLAN, and it got worse with a run called out, four errors and just overall sloppy play.

A 10-2 loss in the postseason is a little extra embarrassing, but it remains just one loss. The best-of-seven is now even at two games apiece, meaning whoever wins two of the next three games travels to Cleveland for the World Series.

Dodgers Starter

This is the same matchup as game one, giving Kenta Maeda his second crack at the Cubs in the postseason. His first didn’t go very well, as he allowed three runs in four innings last weekend. The most frustrating part of that is all the runs came on two-strike counts.

Maeda’s pretty clearly worn down and hasn’t been nearly as sharp as he was early on this season. It’s a shame the end to his rookie year has been rough, but overall he’s still been a very quality rotation piece and should continue to be that in the future. He stepped up when the Dodgers needed him to early on and ended up being the most durable starter.

Cubs Starter

Jon Lester gets his second crack at the Dodgers. If Julio Urias‘ line from last night was much worse than he actually pitched, Lester’s final line in game one was much better than he actually pitched. His location was off, the Dodgers were stinging the ball all game. Yet, he finished with six innings of four-hit, one-run ball.

Lester started a game in the NLDS in San Francisco and threw eight shutout, so he’s on quite the hot streak in the postseason. This will be his 17th career postseason start, and he holds a 2.57 ERA in 112 innings coming into today. This is why the Cubs signed him.

Lester is a lefty, so that doesn’t bode well for the Dodgers. This statement will especially be true in the next section, when you see their lineup.

Dodgers Lineup

Told you.

Enrique Hernandez gets the start at second, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. He’s going to be in the lineup against lefties, and Chase Utley hasn’t only been bad against lefties, he’s been bad in general for a couple months. So has Kiké, but he’s looked at least a little better at the plate in the postseason.

Carlos Ruiz bats cleanup for the Dodgers in the postseason. WATTBA. His bat against lefties has been really good, so I actually don’t hate that decision. It’s still jarring, but it makes some sense.

Adrian Gonzalez moves down to the six spot, with Yasiel Puig starting in right and Joc Pederson getting a rare start against a lefty.

Cubs Lineup

David Ross catches all of Lester’s starts, so there’s no surprise there. Otherwise, the Cubs roll out a normal lineup.

Possibly the most concerning part of yesterday’s game was how the Cubs swung the bat. It wasn’t against the Dodgers’ best, but Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo were hitting bullets yesterday. Their struggles have been an issue for the Cubs, and if they get it going it’s tough to see anyone beating them.

Other Stuff

First pitch is scheduled for 5:08 PST and will be shown on FS1.

Next: Cubs Even Up the Series

No matter what happens tonight, both teams will square off in Chicago on Saturday night. If necessary, game seven would be Sunday night in Chicago.

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