Powell at the Park: NLCS Game 3 Notebook
LOS ANGELES—A couple night’s after getting ‘Kershawed,’ the Cubs send their own Cy Young winning pitcher to the mound at Dodger Stadium. “It’s another game on a big stage, and we’re all prepared for it,” Game 3 starter Jake Arrieta said.
It’s Arrieta against Rich Hill. The lefty went 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA for the Dodgers after they traded for him in August, but he’s given up five earned runs in seven innings in two starts this postseason. It doesn’t exactly feel like a must-win type game for the Cubs, but it would certainly sting knowing you lost to the 36-year-old former Cub.
The Cubs need production out of the heart of their lineup. Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell have combined for two hits this postseason after tallying more than 200 RBI’s this year.
So will manager Joe Maddon shake up his lineup at all? “I have considered different thoughts. There is no question. You’re always trying to. Like I said, when you get to this point, you’ve got five games to really make it right as opposed to 75 games to make it right,” Maddon said on their off day in LA.
With a lefty on mound, maybe he elects to do what he did Game 3 of the NLDS in San Francisco, putting Ben Zobrist in right and starting Jorge Soler in left. Whatever they decide to do, it can’t be much worse than what the offense has churned out.
The Cubs are batting just .193 this postseason with an on-base percentage of .251. This after posting a .256/.343 in the regular season. Maddon will do something with the lineup. Maybe even give Albert Almora a start?
Arrieta threw his first career no-hitter at Dodger Stadium last August with a start time the same as Game 3 tonight. Does he think about that at all when he’s back pitching here? “Well, it’s going to be a different game, different experiences all the way around. But, you know, I’ll use some of the experience from my last time out here moving into tomorrow.”
Game 3 will start at 7:08p CT on FS1. We’ll have live coverage and updates all day on 720AM and wgnradio.com. After the game it’s our TRUE BLUE: PLAYOFFS POSTGAME PLUS until midnight. Check wgnradio.com for a live blog during the game. And I’ll be on with Roe and Anna, 3-7p, live from Dodger Stadium.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720