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NLDS GameThread: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs - Game 4

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The Chicago Cubs' win over the St. Louis Cardinals last night left them one victory away from an NLCS appearance. They try to win their NLDS matchup with the Cards at 4:30 PM in Wrigley Field. John Lackey vs Jason Hammel; TV: TBS; RADIO: ESPN Radio.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs' 8-6 win over their NL Central rivals from St. Louis last night left them one win away from a trip to the NLCS, but there's one more NLDS game to win before they book a trip to either New York or LA.

This afternoon in Wrigley Field, the upstart Cubbies send Jason Hammel to the mound against Cardinals' right-hander John Lackey in Game 4 of the best-of-five series.

Lackey, 36, threw 7 ⅓ scoreless in the Cards' 4-0 Game 1 win, allowing just two hits and one walk in Busch Stadium. He gets the ball again on short rest tonight in Game 4.

Cardinals' skipper Mike Matheny talked to reporters after last night's loss about the decision to go with Lackey with the series on the line.

"I think he's proven it all season long," Matheny said.

"Guy we go to in big situations and tomorrow is a big situation and he's ready to go on short rest, and we were able to get him out a little bit earlier than what he's been accustomed to. He's had enough rest, and it's time to go."

Jason Hammel, 33, takes the mound for the Cubs at home in Wrigley Field after going (10-7) in 31 starts this season with a 3.74 ERA, a 3.68 FIP, 40 walks (2.11 BB/9) and 172 Ks (9.07 K/9) in 170 ⅔ IP, holding opposing hitters to a combined .242/.289/.425 line.

In three starts against the Cards this season, the right-hander was (1-1) with a 5.73 ERA and a .244/.326/.512 line against in 11 IP.

Hammel, who was acquired from the Oakland A's last July before re-signing with the Cubs this winter, talked to reporters yesterday about getting the start.

"I honestly felt really good about the opportunity," Hammel said. "When I got traded last year, obviously I didn't want to go, but I saw some things in place that were really pointing towards a positive sign, and I didn't really think it was that far fetched for us to contend. I don't think any of the guys in the clubhouse did, either.

"Not honestly surprised to be where we're at right now."

Today's Lineups:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS CHICAGO CUBS
Matt Carpenter - 3B Dexter Fowler - CF
Stephen Piscotty - 1B Jorge Soler - RF
Matt Holliday - LF Kris Bryant - 3B
Jason Heyward - RF Anthony Rizzo - 1B
Jhonny Peralta - SS Starlin Castro - 2B
Randal Grichuk - CF Kyle Schwarber - LF
Kolten Wong - 2B Miguel Montero - C
Tony Cruz - C Jason Hammel - RHP
John Lackey - RHP Javier Baez - SS

Hammel vs the Cubs:

Cardinals PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Jhonny Peralta 25 23 9 2 2 8 2 3 .391 .440 .739 1.179
Jason Heyward 19 18 9 1 1 1 1 .500 .526 .556 1.082
Mark Reynolds 18 16 2 2 5 .125 .222 .125 .347 1
Matt Holliday 14 11 4 3 2 3 .364 .500 .636 1.136 1
Yadier Molina 14 13 6 3 2 1 1 .462 .500 .692 1.192 1
Matt Carpenter 12 12 2 1 1 6 .167 .167 .250 .417
Brandon Moss 11 11 3 1 1 3 .273 .273 .364 .636
Jon Jay 7 6 1 1 2 .167 .286 .167 .452 1 1
Randal Grichuk 6 6 2 1 1 3 2 .333 .333 1.167 1.500
Stephen Piscotty 3 2 1 1 1 1 .500 .667 1.500 2.167
Michael Wacha 3 3 1 2 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Kolten Wong 3 3 1 1 1 .333 .333 .667 1.000
Greg Garcia 2 2 1 1 .500 .500 1.000 1.500
Lance Lynn 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Tommy Pham 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Jaime Garcia 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 142 131 42 13 2 3 18 10 30 .321 .373 .519 .892 1 1 3

Lackey vs the Cardinals:

Cubs PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Chris Coghlan 20 19 8 1 2 1 3 .421 .450 .474 .924
Anthony Rizzo 18 15 1 1 3 .067 .222 .067 .289 2 1
Austin Jackson 17 16 5 2 1 5 .313 .353 .438 .790
Starlin Castro 16 15 3 1 2 .200 .250 .200 .450 1 1
Miguel Montero 16 15 4 2 2 1 2 .267 .313 .400 .713
Kris Bryant 14 12 2 1 1 6 .167 .214 .167 .381 1 1
Dexter Fowler 11 10 2 1 1 3 .200 .273 .300 .573
Addison Russell 10 9 3 1 2 .333 .400 .333 .733 1
Jorge Soler 9 8 4 3 1 .500 .556 .875 1.431
Javier Baez 8 8 4 .000 .000 .000 .000 1
Jake Arrieta 7 6 2 1 2 2 .333 .333 .667 1.000 1
David Ross 5 5 1 1 .200 .200 .200 .400
Chris Denorfia 4 3 1 1 .000 .250 .000 .250
Jon Lester 4 4 1 .250 .250 .250 .500
Tommy La Stella 3 3 2 .667 .667 .667 1.333
Kyle Schwarber 3 2 1 1 .500 .667 .500 1.167
Travis Wood 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 1
Justin Grimm 1 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 168 152 39 9 1 8 10 35 .257 .313 .329 .642 2 1 3 5