The Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from returning to the World Series for the first time in 29 years. Last night’s 6-1 win gave LA a 3-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS and a 6-0 record so far in the 2017 Postseason.
Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon has been here before, with the 2015 team that was swept in four games by the New York Mets.
He was asked after Chicago’s third straight loss if there was anything he could or would say to his Cubs heading into Game 4.
“No, I don't go out of my normal patterns,” Maddon told reporters.
“I have three meetings during the season -- one in Spring Training, one at the All-Star break, and one before the first playoff game. We've done that the last three years.
“There is nothing inspirational I could possibly say that's going to make a difference. We've just got to go out and play our normal game tomorrow.
“The biggest difference between that series and this one, the weather's much better. I mean, between now and that Mets series. There's no -- from a hitting perspective, we have good weather to hit in, and I really anticipate, hopefully, that we're going to come out stronger tomorrow at the plate.”
After the results in the first three games, however, what gives the skipper confidence that the Cubs can turn things around tonight?
“Just our guys,” Maddon said. “I'm not going to sit here and throw a lot of hyperbole your way. It's just about our guys. You have to -- your back's absolutely against the wall. Tomorrow is a Game 7. We have three or four Game 7s in a row coming up right now. So it's just about, you know, we've got to counterpunch it at some point, and that's absolutely necessary tomorrow. We need to gain some kind of mental momentum, and obviously that's our last chance to do it tomorrow.
“So I've talked about trusting our guys. I trust our guys. It's been an unusual route to get here right now also. So stay with it, don't come out of your normal patterns and play hopefully the kind of game we can tomorrow.”
Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts was asked if he’d taken a moment to appreciate where his team is at after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks and winning three straight in the NLCS.
“No. No,” Roberts said. “I think that right now we're just laser focused on trying to win baseball games. So that obviously, if that presents itself, obviously it will be great. But right now our focus is [Jake] Arrieta and trying to figure out a way to win a baseball game.”
Arrieta, who gave up two hits, five walks, and one unearned run in four innings against the Washington Nationals in his one postseason start thus far, goes up against LA lefty Alex Wood tonight in Game 4. Wood has just one appearance so far for the Dodgers, in which he threw two scoreless in relief.
HERE ARE THE DODGERS AND CUBS’ LINEUPS FOR NLCS GAME 4:
#ThisTeam // NLCS Game 4:— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 18, 2017
Wood P pic.twitter.com/ExRSwMKJ2B
Here is tonight's #Cubs lineup.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 18, 2017
NLCS Game 4 preview: https://t.co/B1PLkmw2uV pic.twitter.com/Siv90cQmzV