With Tommy Lasorda back at Dodger Stadium after being hospitalized after a fall, here are some pregame notes heading into Game 3 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Cubs.
This is the ninth time the Dodgers have been 1-1 in a best-of-7 series, and they are 2-6 in the previous eight series. They won the 1959 World Series against the White Sox and the 1988 NLCS against the Mets. They lost the World Series in 1941, 1949, 1952 and 1977 to the Yankees, lost the 1974 World Series to the A’s, and lost the 2009 NLCS to the Phillies.
The winner of Game 3 in those series is 6-2 in the series, with only the 1952 Dodgers and 1988 Mets falling short after grabbing the series lead.
The Dodgers are mum about Clayton Kerhsaw possibly starting on short rest in Game 5, though manager Dave Roberts did say Kershaw is “prepared for anything we have for him.”
Kenta Maeda is still penciled in for Game 5, though Roberts admitted that how these next two games play out will go a long way in determining his starter on Thursday.
“It's just hard to have things scripted because it seems like it never plays out that way, and that's the way it's been throughout this postseason,” he said.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon talked about his decision to start Jorge Soler in right field over the left-handed Jason Heyward against left-hander Rich Hill in Game 3.
“Hill's what you call a neutral pitcher. He can be equally effective to righties and lefties,” Maddon said. “Sometimes under those circumstances I'd like to choose the power guy right there, the guy that might have a better chance of putting the ball in the seats.”
Maddon had a chance to review the pickoff move Julio Urias used in Game 5 of the NLDS on television, and said it was clearly a balk. Urias starts Game 4 on Wednesday.
“It’s pretty obvious, it’s not even close. It’s a very basic tenet regarding what is and wat is not a balk. Give him credit, man, for going through with it. That’s part of the game,” Maddon said. “I’m certain the umpiring crew has been made aware of it.
“That’s not an interpretation. That’s balking 101.”
Singing the national anthem before Game 3 of the NLCS is Keith Williams Jr., who delivered this great anthem performance before Game 4 of the NLDS last Tuesday.