By Kevin Powell
WRIGLEY FIELD—You’ll hear a lot about the wind blowing out tonight at Wrigley Field. Just a few hours from first pitch and the Banks, Santo and Jenkins flags our howling out to left as the gusts roll through. Both pitchers will need to be smart, and keep the ball down in Game 3. Otherwise it could turn into a home run derby.
There’s a buzz in Wrigleyville unlike anything I’ve seen or felt. Fans have been waiting in line for hours to get into bars, and some of them are already filled with the Cubs faithful getting ready for the first World Series game at Wrigley since 1945, or 25,951 days.
#WorldSeries Game 3
National anthem: Patrick Stump
God Bless America: Wayne Messmer
1st pitch: Billy Williams
Stretch: Bill Murray pic.twitter.com/eSeWj61FfN
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 28, 2016
Kyle Hendricks was spectacular in the NL pennant-clinching win against the Dodgers. He pitched in to the 8th, surrendered just two hits and struck out six. It was a masterful outing for The Professor on the biggest stage. They hope he can repeat that tonight.
Josh Tomlin is a soft-tossing righty who throws fastball/cutter/curveball. It’ll be all about command for him against the potent Cubs lineup. Again, anything left up in the zone is in danger of getting hit out of the park.
Tomlin has pitched 10 2/3 solid innings this postseason, giving up just three runs against two of the best offenses in baseball, Boston and Toronto. He gave up just one homerun in his last five starts of the season, and had a 1.69 ERA in that stretch.
Not much of a surprise here. No Jason Heyward once again, Soler gets the start in right still in search of his first postseason hit. Contreras in the lineup absolutely helps to extend the core of the lineup. Here’s his slash line this postseason: .360/.429/.520. He needs to start every game Jon Lester isn’t pitching.
I’ll be live at Wrigley all afternoon with updates on The Roe Conn Show w/ Anna Davlantes. After the game it’s TRUE BLUE: PLAYOFF PLUS on 720AM and wgnradio.com. Continue to check wgnradio.com for more updates including a live blog during the game. Follow us @WGNRadio and @WGNRadioSports
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