With a 10-2 win in Game 4 of the NLCS last night, the Chicago Cubs evened the series up at 2-2. Game 5 with the Los Angeles Dodgers takes place tonight in LA, with Kenta Maeda on the mound in Dodger Stadium against Cubs’ left-hander Jon Lester.
Lester, 32, has allowed just one earned run in two starts and 14 innings pitched so far in the postseason, holding opposing hitters to a combined .188/.204/.271 line.
In two starts against the Dodgers in the regular season, Lester gave up just one run in 15 IP.
In Game 1 of the NLCS, Lester limited the Dodgers to one run on four hits in six innings of work.
Lester was asked about facing the same team again just a few days after he pitched against them and how he might change things up for tonight’s start.
“I think that becomes more of kind of in-game adjustments,” he explained.
“You still have a plan and you may have seen something in that game or in the past couple games where it's a little harder for me. We don't have many lefties that have gotten in the game. So you may have picked up on something that you can maybe use the next time around. But really it's a matter of having that game plan and going in and trying to execute that plan. Then if they changed, you have to alter it from there on. So I keep going back to the cat-and-mouse game of pitching. That's really what it comes down to. And you execute your pitches. I feel pretty good about it.”
Maeda, 28, has struggled in his two postseason outings, giving up nine hits, five walks and seven runs in seven innings.
In his start in Game 1 of the NLCS with the Dodgers, the right-hander gave up four hits, three walks and three earned runs in four innings.
LA’s starter said he thought he could apply what he learned about the Cubs’ hitters in that outing to tonight’s start.
“I'm going to be very aware of the hitters who are hot and who are hitting well,” Maeda said.
“I think this time around I can, I think, better imagine how I'm going to get these guys out. I remember how each hitter reacted to a certain pitch, so I'm going to base off that when I pitch again tomorrow.”
Who will have the advantage when the series shifts back to Chicago?
Here are the lineups for tonight’s Game 5 of the NLCS:
|CHICAGO CUBS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Enrique Hernandez - 2B|
|Kris Bryant - 3B||Justin Turner - 3B|
|Anthony Rizzo - 1B||Corey Seager - SS|
|Ben Zobrist - LF||Carlos Ruiz - C|
|Javier Baez - 2B||Howie Kendrick - LF|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Adrian Gonzalez - 1B|
|Addison Russell - SS||Yasiel Puig - RF|
|David Ross - C||Joc Pederson - CF|
|Jon Lester - LHP||Kenta Maeda - RHP|