It’s do-or-die for the hard-luck Cubbies, who find themselves down 0-3 to Daniel Murphy in the NLCS. Murphy last night homered for the fifth consecutive playoff game, and thus far in the series against the Cubs, has scored 4 runs, driven in 4 RBI and hit 3 homers. The Cubs – all of them – have scored 5 runs.
Cubs starter Jason Hammel was great at Wrigley in 2014, after coming over in a midseason trade, going 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA, but 2015 has been a very different story, as he’s 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA. Manager Joe Maddon had Hammel on a short leash in his previous start, Game 4 of the NLDS, pulling him following a leadoff walk in the fourth, despite sitting on a 4-2 lead, as the Cubs went on to win, 6-4. Given the circumstances of tonight’s game, you can expect Maddon to be equally aggressive in using the hook.
Long Island native and third-generation Mets fan Steven Matz goes for New York tonight with a chance to propel his team to the World Series. Matz went 5 innings in Game 4 against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with LA doing all their damage in the third.
Matz will be pitching on 7 days rest, but who knows how he’ll respond to that, because, well, this will be only the eighth start of his Major League career, and it’s not clear that he’s ever visited Chicago before this week, much less pitched there.
Matz earlier this year enjoyed one of the great storybook debuts in MLB history. On June 28, with his grandpa in the stands, Matz went’ 7 ⅔ innings, giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits, and went 3-for-3 at the dish, with a double and 4 RBIs.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.