The Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from clinching the National League pennant, while the Chicago Cubs are simply trying to stay alive in Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field (9 p.m. ET, TBS).
The Dodgers took a commanding series lead with a 6-1 win on Tuesday night in Game 3, looking for their first trip to the World Series since 1988.
The Cubs have scored just four runs in the first three games of this series, all on home runs, including a two-run shot by Albert Almora Jr. in Game 1. Almora gets the start and bats leadoff in Game 3 against Dodgers southpaw Alex Wood.
Almora has hit .320/.377/.503 against left-handed pitchers in his two years in the majors. The 23-year-old center fielder has impressed his manager.
“Albert hits lefties. He really does a nice job of that. He's been swinging the bat really well,” Joe Maddon said. “He's slowed the game down. Albert moving forward is going to be a really good everyday major league baseball player.”
NLCS Game 4 time, TV and streaming info
- Teams: Cubs (92-70) at Dodgers (104-58)
- Series: Los Angeles leads, 3-0
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- First pitch: 9:01 p.m.
- Location: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
- TV: TBS
- Streaming: TBS.com and the Watch TBS app
- Announcers: Brian Anderson, Ron Darling, Sam Ryan
Dodgers vs. Cubs news & notes
Chris Taylor started the season in the minors for the Dodgers but has proven to be an integral part of their team:
In six playoff games, Taylor is hitting .280/.379/.640 with four extra-base hits.
This is a culmination of a breakout season for Taylor, one that saw him hit .288/.354/.496 with 21 home runs, 34 doubles, and 17 stolen bases. He is a vastly different hitter than the one who hit .234/.289/.309 in his first three seasons in the majors, totaling 318 plate appearances. That came from an overhaul to his swing last offseason.
“I knew I had to kind of make that drastic change right away and get out of my comfort zone,” Taylor said after the game. “I had no expectations going into it. I always had confidence in my ability, and obviously I was hoping it would come. But to say I expected it to happen as fast as it did, I’d be lying.”
The key moment of Game 3 came in the sixth inning, when Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish batted with two outs and the bases loaded. Marc Carig of New York Newsday explains:
With Darvish’s spot due up, Former Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson grabbed a bat. But at the last second, Roberts changed his mind, leaving Darvish to drag his lightly used bat and career .059 average to the plate.
Edwards obliged with a meltdown. Even though Darvish offered no indication of actually taking a hack, the Cubs reliever missed the strike zone four straight times. Puig jogged in. By then, resignation swept over a shocked Wrigley Field, its patrons feeling their first real cold tinge of winter.
“It was weird, just because like I said, I looked over there and saw a pinch hitter and [Darvish] comes up,” Edwards said. “But it happens. Do I wish I could throw three straight pitches down the middle? Of course. But it didn’t happen.”