The Cubs need a win tonight in Chicago as they face LA in Game 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks is set to pitch for the Cubs, who are trying to overcome a 2-0 deficit against the Dodgers in their NL Championship Series. Hendricks finished the regular season with a 2.19 ERA over his final 13 starts and opened the playoffs with seven scoreless innings against the Nationals. The Professor, from Dartmouth, has been overpowering at times despite a fastball that averaged just 86.6 mph, third-slowest among pitchers with at least 100 innings this year.
Yu Darvish gets the nod for Los Angeles. The Japanese right-hander tweaked his mechanics after being acquired from Texas in a trade deadline deal, and he’s been dominant with a 98 mph heater this fall. He pitched one-run ball and struck out seven over five innings in NLDS Game 3 against Arizona.
The Dodgers and Cubs are in the NLCS for a second straight year, but this Los Angeles team looks very different. Justin Turner was the only Dodger to start Game 2 of the 2016 NLCS and crack LA’s starting lineup Sunday. The new faces around him have come up big, though, including fill-in shortstop Charlie Culberson, who is 2 for 5 with two doubles while replacing the injured Corey Seager. NL Rookie of the Year favorite Cody Bellinger has also been a key newcomer, going 3 for 7 in the first two games.
A strength of Chicago’s during the regular season, the bullpen has a 7.03 ERA in the playoffs. Manager Joe Maddon has tried to find creative solutions, including using starter John Lackey as a reliever in Games 1 and 2. Lackey allowed Justin Turner’s game-ending homer Sunday night, and he, Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery and Hector Rondon all have ERAs larger than 10.00 this postseason. Meanwhile, closer Wade Davis has yet to appear since a seven-out save in NLDS Game 5 against Washington — Maddon was holding him Sunday in case Chicago encountered a save situation.
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