Last night’s game was a virtual must win for the Chicago Cubs. After losing back to back games in Chicago and Los Angeles to the Dodgers, a win was desperately needed. The Cubs offense bats certainly heard the calling. Joe Maddon, the manager of the Cubs, knew exactly what needed to be done. Letting his batters relax just a bit and not trying to hit a long home run with every pitch, the Cubs went back to what made them dominating in 2016. Scoring lots of runs behind great pitching.
Tonight is the final game in Los Angeles before the National League Division Series head back to the friendly confines in Chicago. Friendly confines unless your name is Steve Bartman, and how dare he try and catch a foul ball. Sorry that might of been inappropriate. No more inappropriate than looking for silly curses or reasons why the Cubs always seem to fall short in big games. Last night’s game certainly loved pictures of the crowds at Dodger’s Stadium. Especially Theo Epstein, who was very active at last night’s game. Epstein being the General Manager for the Cubs, seemed to have a smirk on his face. It was impossible to tell if the grin was a happiness or arrogance. A case can be made for both depending on who you wanted to win the NLCS.
John Lackey was the starting pitchers for the Cubs and he showed the dominance he is known for. He shows a lot of emotion and he is not afraid to express it. He was the emotional leader the Cubs needed. Maddon was just the manager, he needed a player to take control of the players. Lackey was up for the job, and he was very emotional when he left the game in the 7th inning with the bases loaded. Of course he was emotional, he wanted to clean up the potential mess he made. Maybe mess isn’t the best way to describe baseball, but this is the playoffs. The more words to describe baseball to a younger generation might be easier for them to relate to. Maddon did not want to lose another game in L.A. or allow a potential grand slam to ruin the Cubs 5-0 lead. Most mangers would have done the exact same thing. It was time for Lackey to think what is best for the team. Lackey might be over emotional, but so is a child when you take away his favorite toy or put them in the corner.
All joking aside tonight’s game at 8:00pm in Los Angeles is a must win for both teams. Sure the win will not decide who wins the series but the emotional high or low will carry over to Saturday night’s game in Chicago. Clayton Kershaw will get the start in Chicago and the Cubs need to send their pitching ace to the mound. It might be an exciting 1-0 game Saturday night, or it could be another blow out like last night’s game. That’s the fun, we as fans don’t know. Before Saturday’s game, tonight’s game will set the stage for the showdown. Will the Cubs bats continue to swing their hot bats? Who knows? The only thing we do know is that John Lester will get the start tonight for the Cubs and Kenta Maeda will start for the Dodgers. This will be a guessing game and will Kershaw pitch tonight in relief? Who knows again. Will a walk off homerun from Jason Heyward win the game? No one knows, but it will be fun. My coffee pot will be busy tonight, to both teams I wish the best of luck. Enjoy the game!