In the history of baseball, there has been just one team to come back from an 0-3 deficit in the postseason. That would be the Red Sox in 2004, but here’s the wild part: That’s the only time a team down 0-3 in any best-of-seven series has made it to a Game 7.
Which is to say, uh, you should probably win, Cubs.
The Dodgers are trying for a commanding 3-0 lead in the National League Championship Series, and they’ll be sending their deadline prize, Yu Darvish, out to face Kyle Hendricks at Wrigley Field for Game 3. The Dodgers won just one of their three games in Wrigley this season, but that was way back in April, before they were one of the hottest teams in baseball history, before they were one of the coldest teams in baseball history.
So don’t really bring April into anything, I guess.
This live blog will be updated throughout the game, and if you want to read from the beginning, scroll down to the bottom. Enjoy! And refresh often! And, again, click as many ads as your browser will allow.
12:40 a.m. ET — It’s over. The Dodgers are a win away from their first World Series appearance since 1988, when this was a regular on the New York Times bestseller list.
I’m using this gag again because I might not get a chance to use it again. C’mon, Dodgers. Think of my gags.
The Cubs will need to have the greatest comeback in the history of the NLCS. They’ll have Jake Arrieta on the mound, which is a start. But, goodness, this doesn’t look good for them.
12:33 a.m. ET — Ah, you’re still here. The Cubs are stumbling around, asking for brains. They’ll be gone soon, but for now, there’s still baseball on.
It is, of course, dumb baseball. With Alex Avila on first base, Albert Almora hit a double down the left field line. It looked like it should have scored Avila, but he stopped at third for some reason. Almora didn’t see it, and he was busy motoring into third — because, really, it should have been an RBI triple — which led to two runners at third base, and Justin Turner tagging them both, just in case.
Almora’s shoulders slumped, and he started to walk off, except, whoaaa buddy, it looks like Enrique Hernandez raised a hand as he dug the baseball out of the ivy in left field. Replays showed that it was clearly a ground-rule double, and Almora got to return to second base.
Is this the call that gives the Cubs their second World Series championship in as many years????????
Probably not. There’s an out already, and Kenley Jansen is in, which means there will be more outs. The Cubs need two more runners to bring the tying run to the plate, but that’s not especially encouraging.
Two outs now.
You’ll always have Ben Zobrist under Jose Ramirez’s diving glove, though. Never forget that.
12:19 a.m. ET — Yasiel Puig hit a ball into the gap that looked like a double, and he didn’t flip his bat. He was chooglin’ right out of the gate, sniffing a double all the way, except Kyle Schwarber (!) made a fine play, cutting the ball off and making a strong, accurate throw.
Javier Baez would like you to remember that baseball is still fun.
[VIDEO] Javier Baez gives Yasiel Puig the Dikembe Mutombo finger. They have a laugh. https://t.co/iSIXMJB6rw— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) October 18, 2017
Later in the inning, Baez slapped down a patented physics-breaking tag to nab a baserunner, and it has to make Cubs fans remember, just for a moment, that baseball can be fun again. Gosh, in the right circumstances, with the scenario set up just so, baseball can be so much fun. Sniff.
The Dodgers lead, 6-1, and the Cubs are three outs away from needing the greatest postseason comeback in National League history.
11:57 p.m. ET — Siri, show me two tweets that perfectly sum up this series, back-to-back in my feed.
Ah, yes, that will do. Thanks.
11:49 p.m. ET — Okay, Mike Montgomery is in the game, and so far we have :
- line-drive single
- wild pitch
- strikeout (reaches first on wild pitch)
So nobody is out, even though Montgomery struck a batter out, a run is in, the ivy is on fire, and there’s a horned beast emerging from the flaming ivy, collecting babies and stuffing them into a sack as payment for last year.
A sac fly later, and the Dodgers are up 6-1. It’s quiet in Wrigley.
That Kyle Schwarber home run sure was a lot of fun, though.
Dal Maxvill. Which is like a premade spoonerism. Now, friends, I promise you that I’ve spent most of the last decade on Baseball-Reference.com, and I can assure you that Maxvill had the longest career that I’ve absolutely never heard of. I’ve never gotten to a page with 1,423 games played and laughed at my ignorance.
He played 14 years, from 1962 to 1975. His career OPS+ was 57. I am FASCINATED. His Gold Glove in 1968 and dWAR tell the story of why he lasted that long, but ...
Sorry, I’m off track. Anyway, Baez is close to setting a record that’s currently held by the Rey Ordonez of the ‘60s. He probably shouldn’t do that.
11:24 p.m. ET — I approve of this demonstrativeness.
Just as I was looking to see if this was the first bases loaded walk of a pitcher in the postseason, my mind was blown.
If you think THAT was nuts, Jim Palmer walked with the bases loaded in two consecutive innings in the 1971 WS: https://t.co/8ps3e8I02D— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 18, 2017
I’m both sad and relieved that Twitter didn’t exist and I wasn’t on it back then.
11:15 p.m. ET — Yu Darvish threw a breaking ball that snapped over the inside corner against Willson Contreras for a called strike three, and Ron Darling called it a “dastardly pitch.
I am intensely jealous. Because that was the perfect description of the pitch, something that was unfair to the point of being unfeeling and cruel. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the dingers and what’s gone wrong for the Cubs, as well as the sad folktale of Carl Edwards, who couldn’t retire the pitcher who had no interest in being at the plate, but this would probably be a good time to point out that Darvish can split atoms with his stuff when he has command of it.
The Dodgers are 36 outs away from the World Series, and I’m not sure how the Cubs can turn this around.
11:08 p.m. ET — Carl Edwards, Jr. walked Yu Darvish on four pitches with the bases loaded, and we’ll see you in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Is that overdramatic? Perhaps. But probably not. This was the perfect microcosm of the series, with the Cubs wholly reliant on pitchers who shouldn’t be in this position in the first place. It’s hard to see how they can rally from behind against a Dodgers bullpen that has allowed one freaking baserunner in this series.
To review, the Dodgers’ bullpen has allowed one Cubs runner in this series. The Cubs’ bullpen has walked Yu Darvish with the bases loaded in this series. Advantage: Dodgers.
It was a heartbreaking walk off the mound for Edwards, who looked like he wanted to grow a turtle shell on his back and hide in there until baseball no longer exists. I feel terrible for him.
(At the same time, maybe don’t walk Yu Darvish with the bases loaded. But I don’t want to poke the wound.)
11:07 p.m. ET — no carl edwards what are you doing
10:53 p.m. ET — We have our first bullpen appearance, as Carl Edwards, Jr. inherits two runners from Kyle Hendricks, who didn’t record an out in the top of the sixth. Hendricks’ line as of now is 5 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, but there are two runners in scoring position, so gimme a second ...
Edit: 5 IP, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. That last earned run was cruel.
10:31 p.m. ET — Without looking, I’m going to guess that Chris Taylor searches are spiking in Chicago. The Dodgers’ answer to a young Ben Zobrist just hit a triple to drive in another run, putting them up, 3-1.
Taylor is the perfect example of a player millions of baseball fans — like, serious baseball fans -- might not have heard of. He plays in a different division, which means fewer games against the Cubs. Three of those games were in April, before he was a thing. Three of them were in the summer, and, hey, maybe you were vacationing.
Plus his name is Chris Taylor, which is definitely a Bases Loaded name.
It doesn’t matter how many people are aware of him, Taylor is the reason the Dodgers have the lead, and he’s pretty good. Don’t worry, Cubs fans. At least you have the miserable Mariners fans watching to keep you company.
10:20 p.m. ET — It’s time to rank the dingers because this game isn’t offering much in moments or hot-take material.
1. Chris Taylor
2. Kyle Schwarber
3. Andre Ethier
These rankings aren’t controversial unless you care about one of these teams, and if that describes you, I have all the pity in the world for you. Postseason baseball is the absolute worst, and I, for one, am glad the Giants are in the postseason. I don’t need this.
Yes, that’s right. It’s the fable of the sour games, and I’m only half kidding.
Meanwhile in the game, Jason Heyward took a two-out walk to put runners at first and second, which brought up ... Kyle Hendricks. As American League fans pointed and laughed, Hendricks meekly struck out.
Not like he had a chance, though.
It’s still 2-1, Dodgers, heading into the fifth inning.
9:59 p.m. ET — With the score still 2-1 in the top of the fourth, Yasiel Puig singled. Now, I promised earlier that I wouldn’t make a big deal about everything he does, this merits a mention.
Puig hit a single, and then he ran to first without further incident.
I’m looking for a GIF.
Darvish has settled in, and the Cubs are slowly running out of outs. Like outs through the 4-hourglass, so are the innings of their lives.
9:46 p.m. ET — It would appear it’s time to start chomping nails in Chicago. Chris Taylor, who was added to the roster and hit like an All-Star after the Dodgers put an ad on Craigslist, hit a solo home run to give his team a 2-1 lead. That’s the second solo shot for the Dodgers and the third of the game.
Did we mention the wind is blowing out at Wrigley? It is. But Taylor’s home run went 444 feet, so I don’t think we have to blame the wind or the baseball gods. It was a just a fat pitch, and it was punished thusly. But if the wind is blowing out, look for more dingers in this game, even if I could see Darvish having one of those games where he settles down and mows the Cubs down for the next five innings.
Or two innings. It is the Dodgers in the 2017 postseason, after all, and we’re inching closer and closer to their bullpen.
9:38 p.m. ET — Still tied at 1-1, but we did have a little drama when Jason Heyward worked the count to a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the second, looked hard stuff, got a cutter, and ...
... popped it up to shallow right. To be fair, this doesn’t do the movement of Darvish justice:
But it sure seems like Heyward just missed it. As he does. Also, if I misspell his name as Hayward 38 times in this live blog, I hope that you will understand.
9:21 p.m. ET — This is going to be hard pace to keep up. We’ve already had a beef bomb and a Puig bat flip on a foul ball. Now we have Puig showing off his hilariously improbable arm on a throw to third, keeping Kris Bryant at second. It didn’t mean anything, but it was cool.
It didn’t mean anything, but it was cool — A memoir by Grant Brisbee
Ah, yes. Well, with two runners on, a run in, and two outs, Yu Darvish got Jon Jay with a nasty front-door sinker. The inning could have been much worse, but the Cubs still got on the board and oh my goodness Andre Ethier just killed a baseball, and we’re tied at 1-1.
I need to write quicker.
9:15 p.m. ET — And we have beef. On the third postseason pitch of Yu Darvish’s night, Kyle Schwarber hit a beef bomb deep into the Chicago night, and the Cubs lead, 1-0. It was a beauty of an opposite-field swing, and Wrigley Field is not quiet at the moment.
It’s worth remembering that after Schwarber was recalled from Triple-A, his line was very, very Schwarberian: .255/.338/.565. That’s a little contact, a little patience, and a lotta beef.
Quirky Joe’s lineup with Schwarber hitting second has already paid off, it would seem.
9:08 p.m. ET — It begins. More postseason baseball. MORE, WE DEMAND IT.
In the first inning, Yasiel Puig hit a baseball about 694 feet foul, and his bat flip went about 693 feet.
This has been your very important Yasiel Puig update.
More relevantly, Puig struck out looking with a runner on first and two outs, and Kyle Hendricks got through his half of the first unscathed. It was a great pitch from the right-hander — a two-seamer that snuck back over the outside part of the plate. Puig argued, but I don’t blame him. I don’t blame Cubs fans for expecting it to be a strike! The beauty of borderline pitchers is a sonnet for another time.
For now, the Dodgers are scoreless, and the Cubs are coming up.