Powell at the Park: NLCS Game 4 Notebook

Dodger Stadium ahead of Game 3 of the NLCS between the Cubs and Dodgers. (WGN Radio/Kevin Powell)

Dodger Stadium ahead of Game 3 of the NLCS between the Cubs and Dodgers. (WGN Radio/Kevin Powell)

By Kevin Powell

LOS ANGELES—The Cubs offense has gone cold. Ice cold. At the worst possible time. Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell have 3 combined hits in 50 at-bat’s this postseason. “We’re not hitting the ball hard. They’ve pitched well. Obviously, I have no solid explanation,” manager Joe Maddon said after their Game 3 loss.

The Cubs are batting just .185 this postseason after hitting .256 in the regular season. There really doesn’t seem to be any one reason why they’re not hitting. Maddon tinkered with the lineup in Game 3, but the Cubs managed just four hits and never put any real stress on Dodgers pitchers.

You don’t have to look far to find another time the Cubs offense went cold. Remember the 2015 NLCS against the Mets? The Cubs batted .164 in that four game sweep.

The Veteran vs. The Rookie

The age gap between John Lackey and Julio Urias is 17 years 9 months and 20 days, the 5th largest gap in postseason history. The Cubs hit Urias well in two matchups this season, collecting 14 hits and seven runs in 11 innings. They also added three homeruns. But Urias has pitched better as of late. He had a 1.99 ERA in August and 1.93 in September.

John Lackey will know what Urias is feeling tonight. The veteran made a name for himself, pitching in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for the Angels. He was a 24-year-old rookie at the time. Now, he’s the seasoned vet who was signed by the Cubs for these exact sort of games. They need him to step up.

The Lineup

 

COVERAGE

Game 4 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. 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

 

 

 

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