An 8-4 loss in Game 5 of the NLCS left the Los Angeles Dodgers on the brink of elimination for the third time in the postseason.
After battling back from a 2-1 deficit to the Washington Nationals in the NLDS, LA got ahead of the Chicago Cubs 2-1 before dropping back to back games in Dodger Stadium this past week.
Tonight in Chicago, the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound in Wrigley Field against Kyle Hendricks as the NL West Champions try to force a Game 7.
Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts talked after their loss in Los Angeles about squandering a lead in the series and finding themselves on the brink of elimination again.
“Yeah, you know what?” Roberts asked rhetorically. “I thought -- honestly, I thought two nights we got beat. We got beat. Tonight it was one of those games that it was -- up until that 8th, it was a very good ballgame. Could have went either way. I felt that, you know, just once [Pedro Baez] got in there, there was some soft contact that found some outfield grass, and game got away. But tonight I just felt that we got beat.
“So we'll get a day away from this to reset, and we've got Clayton going Game 6. So that's a game we expect to win.”
Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon told reporters he knew his team was in for a fight with Kershaw on the mound as Chicago tried to clinch a spot in the World Series.
“If [Kershaw is] on top of his game, it's going to be another very close, low-scoring game,” Maddon said.
“We just have to do our best to eek out as many runs as we can. And on the other side you have to pitch better than good pitching to win. You've got Kyle [Hendricks] going. Kyle has been outstanding also. Nothing has been decided obviously.”
Maddon said he and the Cubs weren’t worried about expectations or the pressure of the situation they find themselves in, and he said he expected his team to go out and do what they’ve done all season.
“I want us to go out and play the same game,” he said.
“I anticipate our guys going to pitch well. I anticipate their guy is too. We need to catch the baseball. Like I said, with pitchers like Kershaw, score runs with outs, if you have the potential to do that too. You have to take advantage of every opportunity when you're facing that level of pitching.
“So, yeah, we're not going to run away from anything. It's within our reach right now. But I do want us to go after it as though it's, again, hate to say it, but Saturday. Let's just go play our Saturday game and see how it falls.”
Here are the lineups for Game 6 of the NLCS:
|LOS ANGELES DODGERS||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Andrew Toles - LF||Dexter Fowler - CF|
|Corey Seager - SS||Kris Bryant - 3B|
|Justin Turner - 3B||Anthony Rizzo - 1B|
|Adrian Gonzalez - 1B||Ben Zobrist - LF|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Javier Baez - 2B|
|Joc Pederson - CF||Willson Contreras - C|
|Yasmani Grandal - C||Addison Russell - SS|
|Chase Utley - 2B||Albert Almora - RF|
|Clayton Kershaw - LHP||Kyle Hendricks - RHP|