NLCS Game Four, 2017

Dodgers at Cubs, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send the very well-rested LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to the mound to try to close out the series. The Cubs will ask RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA) to put up a roadblock in front of the Dodgers’ seemingly-unstoppable steamroller.

Wood hasn’t pitched in three weeks; he was scheduled to start Game Four of the Dodgers’ NLDS but they swept the D-Backs in that series. He’s been throwing simulated games and yesterday he declared himself ready to go. Arrieta pitched in Game Four of the Cubs’ NLDS against the Nats, going four innings, throwing 90 pitches, giving up an earned run and losing 5-0. He’s a former Cy Young Award winner and once threw a no-hitter at the Dodgers; presumably they won’t take him lightly.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Mark McGwire goes deep off LA’s Jay Howell with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the A’s a 2-1 victory for its only win in the Series. With Kirk Gibson’s heroics in Game 1, ‘Big Mac’s’ walk-off home run marks the first time that two game-winning round-trippers are hit in the same Fall Classic.
  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineup when available.

Grandal gets a start, Ethier and Utley get second starts, and Granderson gets a start. This may be the Dave Roberts “keep guys happy as much as I can within the needs of the team” approach to managing.

  • I am thinking about leaning a broom on the wall next to the TV. I don’t have the power to jinx the Dodgers otherwise all I have to do for a Dodger win is not do anything with a broom.

  • From ESPN:

    Clayton Kershaw is the scheduled Game 5 starter and he admits he’s in a little bit of a tough spot. He can’t anticipate that the Dodgers will finish off the sweep. “I have to expect to pitch and be surprised when we win,” he said. “Hopefully it doesn’t work out and I won’t have to pitch.”

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    REALLY like the first five.
    Sure hope the next four at the plate surprise me.
    Go, Blue!

  • HLKLA

    I am really pulling for Wood to do well tonight, just because he pitched so well for the Dodgers all season. I know he was a little fatigued toward the end but he is well rested now.

  • WinnipegDave

    Here we go!

  • WinnipegDave

    Puig is pounding baseballs. Man!

  • WinnipegDave

    I know they didn’t score but made Arrieta work. At one point he had 2 outs on 10 pitches. Next thing you know 2 on and he is up to 22 pitches.

  • Bob_Hendley

    CT was positioned such that the charts must say if he hits it to that side on the ground it will be a dribbler.

  • Back to back major shifts,first right then left

  • Another shutout win for the Yankees. Didn’t see that coming.

  • WinnipegDave

    So just checking – are we hoping the Cubs score first (on a HR) or not?

    • No, don’t want them to score, period.

    • Okay, good idea. Let have them have one run on a HR.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Arrieta has some movement tonight.

    • Bob, you have TV tonight?

      • Bob_Hendley

        Yep.

    • That third strike on Bellinger had awesome movement.

  • WinnipegDave

    That’s at least 11 straight innings the Dodgers have had a hitter reach base.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Cubbie fans standing for K of opposing pitcher. Get your cheers where you can.

  • John_from_Aus
  • WinnipegDave

    Thanks Link for listing two of the more painful Dodger losses I recall experiencing. Why not fudge the dates and throw in Jack Clark’s HR game while you are at it. 😉

    • Journalism! 😉 If you look back at Game One of the NLCS I also mentioned Ozzie Smith’s HR.

  • WinnipegDave

    So it begins… But will it end like we hope.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ok, Cubbies have done their part and scored first.

    • Just so they don’t over do it.

  • Okay, Alex. Settle down.

  • I have not noticed any of Wood’s fastballs exceeding 91

  • WinnipegDave

    Gut feeling: this game the Dodgers will take a little longer to respond.

    • Bob_Hendley

      You are an optimist with balky guts.

      • WinnipegDave

        My heart and gut go at it all the time!

        • WinnipegDave

          Stand down gut!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Contreras hit the ball 491 ft. That’s pretty far.

    • WinnipegDave

      Taylor maybe will want to take the distance record back.
      Or Puig.

  • John_from_Aus

    only solo shots, only solo shots (all is OK)

  • John_from_Aus

    I blame Winnipeg Dave 🙂

    • WinnipegDave

      I will take the heat for sure.

  • Belli!

    • Anything the Cubs can do the Dodgers can do better

    • WinnipegDave

      With his Andre Ethier impression.

    • John_from_Aus

      that was a quick reply

  • WBBsAs

    Arrieta is the most dislikeable Cubbie. He’d fit right in on the Gnats.

    • WinnipegDave

      Oh snap. So true.

      • WinnipegDave

        He is a free agent this off season.

    • He may well be headed there after the season ends.

      • WBBsAs

        I kinda doubt it. They have BadGums, they exercised an option on the horrendous Matt Moore (worst starting pitcher in baseball), and have Cueto’s albatross contract (he won’t opt out). They’re gonna have to go with mediocre second-year guys if they want to hire any offense at all.

  • John_from_Aus

    now Puig to get us a lead

    • WinnipegDave

      Not this time unfortunately.

      • John_from_Aus

        maybe next time

  • RBI

    Okay, okay, one run game now… Let’s go Woodie, clap clap, clap clap clap.

  • RBI

    Butterflies.

    • WinnipegDave

      At least they are not moths.
      Or bats.

  • RBI

    Back to lifting weights. Later…

    • WinnipegDave

      So short a visit!

  • WinnipegDave

    Good work Wood.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Sharply hit, but Alex is getting some ground balls, which is his game, along with Ks.

  • WinnipegDave

    Now to get a lead and nurse it like a nervous teen with their first alcoholic beverage.

    • WinnipegDave

      Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything.

    • Canadians drink when they are teenagers? Geez.

      • WinnipegDave

        We are such a socialist nation. You got crazy neighbours!

        • Maybe we need a northern wall as well.

          • No way! We need open borders so Americans can escape somewhere!

          • My wife is half Canadian and Canada is looking better all the time..

          • WinnipegDave

            You should see us after you have had a couple of our beers.

          • WinnipegDave

            I should say – I rarely drink. Grew up in a tea-tottler house and never acquired much of a taste for it. But socially every now and then…

          • Too late

          • WinnipegDave

            Like Hadrians Wall.

  • Granderson’s hitting has declined terribly since we acquired him.

    In fact, he hasn’t done much in the last four years.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Had a spurt during last two weeks of the season, but doesn’t seem to have carried over.

  • WinnipegDave

    OK Grandal. Let’s see some hitting.

  • Bob_Hendley

    More groundouts and Ks.

  • Taylor continues to make a case for MVP

  • WinnipegDave

    CT with some nifty fielding.

  • WinnipegDave

    Wood just out.

  • WinnipegDave

    This could be the first 1 2 3 inning for Cubs pitching since back in LA.

    • WinnipegDave

      And was. The 5th inning let us down tonight.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Both dinger pitches to Baez were “good” pitches.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Baez ball is a dinger 15% of the time according to Statcast. Stupid wind. (We need to take advantage of such as well).

    • They really were, though. Both low where he had to hit a driver to get at them.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Agree.

  • WinnipegDave

    TBS seems to love Chicago.

    • WBBsAs

      Not as much as Fox loves NYC.

    • HLKLA

      Tonight anyway. I think they want this series to last.

  • WinnipegDave

    Chicago: Scoring first and pitcher getting a hit.
    Dodgers have to win this game now.

  • John_from_Aus

    Wood replaced just at the right time I think

    • HLKLA

      I agree.

  • John_from_Aus

    Here’s a chance

  • WinnipegDave

    Can we start putting our real hitters in at the back half of tonight’s lineup now?

    • WinnipegDave

      Please?

  • WinnipegDave

    Some really bad chasing tonight from the Dodgers.

  • RBI

    Granderson driving me nuts. He’d do better batting blindfolded.

  • John_from_Aus

    of course he does

    • WinnipegDave

      Sadly perfect comment.

  • Granderson is dead useless.

    • HLKLA

      I know how we can clear some forty man roster space at the end of the season.

      • Bob_Hendley

        FA.

      • Yep. 3 ABs, 3 Ks. Why aren’t Hernandez or Pederson in the game in his stead?

        • Bob_Hendley

          Quique not really an option against the righty. Doc not impressed by Joc’s performance last night despite the hit. Seemed to have defensive issues.

    • scooplew

      Worse

  • RBI

    We’re playing well. But the Grands are like black holes.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Grandal has two walks.

      • WinnipegDave

        Ethier has left the most on base tonight last I checked.

      • RBI

        Right.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Good job Chicken Strip.

  • HLKLA

    Nice to see Stripling do well.

  • RBI

    Gotta shut Rizzo down here.

    • HLKLA

      Umpire agrees with you.

  • WinnipegDave

    Captain Obvious – we are missing Seager tonight.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Insult to injury, K and hit him.

  • RBI

    So it hit him plus he swung through, as opposed to a foul ball? We in our home are confused…

    • WinnipegDave

      Me too. Grandal didn’t catch the foul tip?

      • Bob_Hendley

        No foul tip. It hit him after the swing.

        • WinnipegDave

          I need to ask for a MLB Rule Book for Christmas.

      • HLKLA

        Not a foul tip, the ball hit him, but he swung at it.

    • WBBsAs

      If you swing, it’s a strike, even if it hits you.

  • WinnipegDave

    We are only 9 outs away from winning!*

    *As long as we score 3 or more runs.

  • RBI

    Come on, Utley! You love the spotlight!

  • RBI

    Announcers insulting Utley’s age.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Come on Joc!

    • WinnipegDave

      Time for Joc Rock.

  • WinnipegDave

    Please Mr. CT. Pop one into the bleacher creatures.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Battle CT!

    • Bob_Hendley

      Great!

  • WinnipegDave

    Bellinger vs ?

    • Bob_Hendley

      The ball.

      • WinnipegDave

        Ha!

  • 1-11 with RISP so far. Unusual.

    • Bob_Hendley

      They have had that many in ISP?

      • Bob_Hendley

        Gameday say 0-2.

        • Darling and Anderson said 1-11. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken their word for it. Or maybe I misheard and they said runners on, not in scoring position.

  • RBI

    Phooey!!!!!

  • Turner, Puig, Ethier.

    • WinnipegDave

      Are you saying back to back to back HR’S?

  • Bob_Hendley

    Justin turns on it!

  • RBI

    JT!!!!!

  • RBI

    Your turn, Puig.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Know Puig wants to emulate, but seems to be keeping his discipline.

    • WinnipegDave

      Which is fabulous.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Crowd has been standing for Puig’s PAs.

  • RBI

    Nice take, Yasiel.

  • RBI

    That was one to hit, Andre.

  • HLKLA

    Puig showed his new found patience.

  • WinnipegDave

    Will they really bat Granderson next?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Who would you suggest?

      • WinnipegDave

        Somebody else?

        • Bob_Hendley

          Barnes maybe?

          • WinnipegDave

            They do have 3 catchers on the roster.

  • RBI

    Time to be a hero and not a goat, Granderson.

    • WinnipegDave

      Work a walk would be great.

      • RBI

        Not his style.

        • WinnipegDave

          Bunt?

      • Bob_Hendley

        He just did foul a ball off.

        • RBI

          Twice!

        • Bob_Hendley

          And another. At least driving pitch count up.

  • WinnipegDave

    Ethier has killed us the most tonight.

  • WinnipegDave

    Good AB actually so far for Grandy

    • WinnipegDave

      Until right then.

  • WinnipegDave

    He didn’t touch it.

  • RBI

    Foul tip or not? What do you people think?

    • WinnipegDave

      Nope.

    • Nope. Camera showed no redirection of the ball.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Statcast guy reviewed the footage 15 times and concluded that it was tipped.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Direction seemed to change.

  • RBI

    Holy moly. Changed their minds!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Good show Doc!

  • RBI

    My husband thought the direction changed.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Me too.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Which is what 3rd base ump saw from his angle.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Plate ump doesn’t have the best view, Darling.

  • WBBsAs

    Maddon’s gonna get chased again.

  • WinnipegDave

    I don’t see it.

  • RBI

    Wow.

  • WinnipegDave

    All that for nothing.

  • RBI

    Nice way to finish, Granderson. (Sarcasm.)

    • HLKLA

      Noted

  • RBI

    Is that four strikeouts for Granderson?

    • WinnipegDave

      Yes but he has only batted 4 times.

      • RBI

        A perfect game.

        • WinnipegDave

          A perfect nightmare.

    • HLKLA

      Five, since he basically struck out twice this inning.

    • 4 strikes in one AB!

  • WBBsAs

    Granderson is helpless. Joc shoulda started.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Grande with another BB. Barnes could run for him, but better to save his bat.

    • Bob_Hendley

      So it’s Charlie to PR.

  • RBI

    Up to the Silver Fox. Dig deep, Chase.

  • WinnipegDave

    The singular Utley just needs a single.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Chase, let’s do it.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Bit surprised Barnes didn’t PH there.

  • WBBsAs

    30 pitches so far for Davis in the eighth.

  • RBI

    Our veterans are really not doing it for us tonight.

  • That was discouraging.

  • WinnipegDave

    6 outs away from winning?

  • WBBsAs

    Chutley’s almost as helpless as Granderson

    • RBI

      Not loving Doc’s decision making this game. He should have pinch hit for at least one of those two.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Davis with 34 pitches.

    • Bob_Hendley

      To face Barnes, Taylor and Belli. Let’s hold them!

      • WinnipegDave

        And if anyone can get and stay on base – Justin Turner.

  • RBI

    Turned off the sound. Can’t stand the announcers.

  • Bob_Hendley

    CT flub.

    • Bob_Hendley

      DP there would have set up things nicely for Dodgers to take the lead and Kenley to finish off Bryant and Rizzo.

      • RBI

        Can’t make any mistakes, not in these games…

  • WinnipegDave

    Shoot!

  • WinnipegDave

    Big out needed by Fields right here.

    • WinnipegDave

      Feel slightly uneasy right here.

      • RBI

        See above.

  • RBI

    Butterflies replaced by knots.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Whew.
    Come on bats!!!

  • RBI

    Okay. Let’s get them!

  • WinnipegDave

    3 outs away?

  • WinnipegDave

    I want a bottom of the 9th!!!

    • WinnipegDave

      And a very silenced crowd.

  • WinnipegDave

    If it gets to Ethier that’s probably a good thing.

  • WinnipegDave

    So outside.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Come on CT!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    A runner — literally!

    • WinnipegDave

      Would you have him try and steal?

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Yes

  • John_from_Aus

    repeat Cody, repeat

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Game 5

  • Bob_Hendley

    Dang. Hit too hard, so we don’t see Justin.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Sure hope we get classic Kersh tomorrow

  • John_from_Aus

    feel like a deflated balloon

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    — and we get the bats

  • Drat.

  • WinnipegDave

    Shoot. I can’t watch tomorrow and if needed Saturday is out too.

    • RBI

      Oh, no! We need you, Winnipeg Dave!

      • WinnipegDave

        I’ll try and sneak a few glances at the game and maybe get a few posts in. But the early start time does not help.

        • scooplew

          Can you tape it and watch it on a delayed basis?

        • Early start time? Only an hour earlier than yesterday’s and today’s — 8 EDT, 5 PDT, 2 my time.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    I need to really look at what happened in the game, but based on the comments I’ve seen, bottom part of the lineup including Ethier did not impress.

    • WBBsAs

      Grandal reached base three times.

    • RBI

      They were awful except for Grandal.

    • Bob_Hendley

      That’s why they call it the bottom I suppose. Look forward to Logan being back out there.

  • RBI

    So frustrating. It’s. it like we didn’t have our chances.

  • WBBsAs

    I am disappointed, but not devastated. Good that Davis threw nearly 50 pitches.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Yeah, probably won’t see him again.

      • RBI

        He was a warrior, no doubt about that.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Good that we kept it close enough that they had to use him so much.

          • RBI

            Yeah. It wasn’t exactly a blowout.

      • WBBsAs

        Not tomorrow, in all likelihood.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Could be more than that, if there are more games. He was used against the Nats on Oct 12 with 44 pitches. He did not come out of the pen on the 15th against the Dodgers in an obvious situation. Lackey was used instead.

      • scooplew

        Disappointed, but not devastated. I am with you on that. The Chicago Tribune’s Cubs beat writer picked the Dodgers to win this series in five.

    • RBI

      I’m bummed.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Announcers called Belli “Cody Pop”. I kinda like it.

  • scooplew

    Ethier-Granderson-Grandal-Utley combined: 0-for-12 with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks (all by Grandal). I wonder who was the last player besides Granderson to strike out every time in four or more at bats in a post-season game. I expect that Elias has already come up with that.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Probably not all that rare to K 4 times in a post season game. Grandy seems really lost at this point.

      • scooplew

        I will keep my eyes open to see if I can find that out. Yes, Granderson is totally lost. I was listening to the game on the radio and one of the announcers said that Roberts said he felt that Granderson had a three-run homer in him tonight. Uh-huh.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      That is what I feared when I saw the lineup — tho worse with Dre tanking as well.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Cody only hit into 5 DPs all season.

  • scooplew

    If Bellinger’s ground out is a few feet in either direction we would have had two on with one out and Turner coming up.

    • RBI

      Might have beens…

  • scooplew

    Quintana pitching for the Cubs tomorrow?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Yep.

  • RBI

    Nomar et all are totally agreeing with us re: Granderson. Taking cookies down the middle and swinging at balls.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Hard to disagree after the fact. From Sept 15 through the end of the season, Grandy had OPS .925 in 42 PA and seemed to have finally turned around and justified Doc’s faith in him. He seemed lost tonight that’s for sure.

      • RBI

        I liked their analysis though. They point out that it puts so much pressure on the batters on either side, and takes the pressure off the pitcher.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Ok, so he pressured Dre into leaving guys on base and Grandal to walk three times? Sure he did poorly, we could all see that, but let’s just blame him for his own performance and not that of others.

          • RBI

            Fair enough. Not all on Granderson for sure, but during his post game interview he acted like he thought he did just fine. I keep hoping, like Doc that he’s going to magically become the Post-season killer we saw when he was a Met, but he seems so lost at the plate.

          • RBI

            Scratch that. Grandal followed Grandy!

          • Bob_Hendley

            Grandal batted behind Grandy. Orel must have been talking about Chase.

          • RBI

            Right. Edited above!

          • Bob_Hendley

            Wish I caught that post-game, but stuck with TBS, which is a joke. And they know it, Such that they spend all their time clowning around. Night.

          • RBI

            I couldn’t listen to those guys. Way too self-congratulatory.

          • RBI

            Yes.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Or Chase when he was with the Fillies. Doc doesn’t have too many options at this point, though Logan might start the next time against a righty and Joc in Grandy’s stead.

          • RBI

            Never thought I would want Forsyth, but I do! I do!

          • Bob_Hendley

            Has reached base in 10 of 19 PA in the post-season.

      • RBI

        I also think it’s more than this game. Been a post-season pattern so far.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Sure, in 11 PA coming into the game he has 1 hit and hasn’t looked good. Doc doesn’t have a lot of options at this point against righties with Seager out and CT moving to SS, so he is rolling the dice with Joc, Dre and Grandy . Sometimes it’s snake eyes.

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            Craps is more what I say than I play . . . but I hope the die come up in favor of the Dodgers tomorrow.

          • Bob_Hendley

            They are going against a lefty, so the game involves Quique and Charlie.

      • Two weeks is a small sample size.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Sure, but it was the most recent sample that Doc and the FO had.

        • Bob_Hendley

          What’s a team supposed to do? Joc’s last 42 PA clocked in at OPS .512.

  • RBI

    Cody is so mature. Tip of the cap to Arrietta and their team, he said.

  • NPUT @ 9:00 AM HST, 12:00 PM PDT

  • I hope I have seen the last of Granderson. He should not be on the WS roster. He is a rental that hit .161 as a Dodger in the regular season and done nothing in the playoffs.

    Pederson would at least get WS experience that should help him in 2018 and he is ready to help this year.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Understandable, Grandy looks lost and hopefully Joc can show something to demonstrate that Grandy is expendable, but Doc doesn’t have too many options at this point. While Joc should certainly get another start, I don’t agree that the playoffs are a time to give someone experience to help them do better next year. That Grandy is a Dodger falls on Joc, himself, and his failure to perform

      • What I was trying to say was that there is a bi-product that is created with Joc getting playoff experience that does not exist with Granderson and Ethier. Roberts has to play the players he and FAZ thinks gives them the best to win now and in Granderson’s case, they have been wrong.

        Joc should play because he is the best choice between against righties between himself, Culberson, Ethier, and Granderson.

    • Howard Fox

      I’m not so sure about playing him for post season experience, but at least Joc has a chance at a hit, while Grandy is worse than the pitcher. And I feel more secure with Joc in the outfield too. But no matter, we win tonite and all is well.

      No better feeling than Kiki batting cleanup….yikes….

      There is some love going on between the higher ups and Grandy. I don’t understand it, but clearly there is. When Joc has a tough stretch, he is left off the NLDS roster, but Grandy…he is there for the duration. I just hope they don’t give him a one year contract for next year.

      And on Utley, I love him, but he needs to be a coach next year. And Grandal, I think he is gone, no other explanation for making him the backup at this stage of the season. In the playoffs you are supposed to go with your best chance at success. Barnes is clearly the choice.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Apparently, at last night’s game at Wrigley, WASP Jane Doyle was honored. WASP stands for Women Airforce Service Pilots. There were about 1,500 of these pilots who ferried planes domestically during World War II. A farm girl from East Texas, my mom, at 21 years of age was one of them.

    • Many were frustrated that they were only allowed to ferry planes in this country, too. I remember this story from a year or two ago. Good on your Mom, Bob!

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      At Saturday’s game in DS, they honored Gen. Chuck Yeager and was there, in a wheelchair. I don’t believe they said he was Steve’s uncle (I believe that’s the relationship).