Dodgers 4 Cubs 1
Formber Cubs pitcher, Rich Hill pitched well against his former team, giving up just a single run, a home run by Addison Russell.
The Dodgers bullpen continued their dominance over Cubs hitters, pitching 4 scoreless innings to allow the game to go to the bottom of the ninth.
Justin Turner sent Dodgers fans home happy with a walk-off 3-run home run.
Joe Maddon decided to use John Lackey late in the ninth rather than his closer, Wade Davis with the score tied 1-1.
Lackey gave up the game-winning walk-off home run to Turner.
October 14, 2017
Dodgers 5 Cubs 2
The Cubs begin the NLCS against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. It is the Cubs 3rd straight year reaching the NLCS and it's their chance to defend their 2016 World Series championship.
The game began great. Jose Quintana, pitching on just one day rest after pitching in relief in game 5 of the NLDS, was pitching great early. Albert Almora's 2-run home run off Dodgers pitcher, Clayton Kershaw gave the Cubs an early lead, but in the 5th inning, the Dodgers got to Quintana for 2 runs. When Chris Taylor homered off Hector Rondon in the 6th, the Dodgers took a lead they would not relinquish. The Dodgers bullpen shut down the Cubs to give them a 1-0 series lead in the 2017 NLCS.
Hey Cubs fans, I liked this quick video showing the big plays in the Cubs exciting 3-2 series victory over the Washington Nationals in the 2017 NLDS.
The Cubs will have a rematch of the 2016 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers for a chance to defend their 2016 World Series championship.
It is the 3rd year in a row that the Cubs have advanced to the NLCS.
September 25 (recap after games on Saturday, September 24)
The Cubs and Brewers 4 game series has not disappointed. Cubs have won 2 of the first 3 games of the series and all 3 games have gone into extra innings.
At the end of Saturday's games, the Cubs hold a 4.5 game lead over the Brewers and 5 game lead over the Cardinals. If the Cubs were in the wild card race, they would have a 3 game lead for the 2nd wild card spot.
Going into Sunday's game, the Cubs magic number is 5 with 8 games left to play. 5 more victories or a combination of 5 Cubs wins and Brewers losses will clinch the division for the Cubs.
Thursday, September 21 (recap after Wednesday's games)
The Rays trounced the Cubs 8-1 to break the Cubs winning streak, but the good news was that the Brewers lost as well so Cubs remain 3.5 games ahead of the Brewers and head to Milwaukee for a very important 4 game series. The Cubs could leave Milwaukee with an NL Central title with a 4 game sweep as their magic number to make playoffs is now 8. The Cardinals did win so they are now 5 games back of the Cubs. The Cubs do head to St. Louis after the Brewers series.
Wednesday, September 20 (recap after Tuesday games)
The Cubs manager was reduced to 9 after Mike Montgomery and 3 relief pitchers combined on a one-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa.
The Cardinals and Brewers also won one-run games, the Brewers a 1-0 victory over the Pirates and the Cardinals 8-7 over the Reds so the Cubs lead remains at 3.5 over Brewers and 6 over the Cardinals. The Brewers are now just one game behind the 2nd wild card playoff spot.
Monday, September 18
Cubs magice number for 2017 playoff appearance: 10 (any combination of 10 Cubs victories and Brewers losses).
After getting swept by the Brewers last weekend, the Cubs playoff chances were looking less likely. After the Cubs completed a sweep of both the Mets and rival Cardinals, the Cubs lead is now 4 games over the Brewers and 6 over the Cardinals. More good news is that the Cubs 6 game winning streak has given them a 1 1/2 game lead over the Colorado Rockies who currently hold the lead for the 2nd wild card winner. This is important because if the Brewers or Cardinals do play well and catch the Cubs, the Cubs can still make the playoffs as a wild card entry.
This week will be very important week with 2 roads games in Tampa Bay against the Rays (the team Joe Maddon took to the World Series in 2008) and 4 very important games against the Brewers in Milwaukee.
It's stll a little too early to celebrate, but October baseball appears to be coming to Chicago for the 3rd straight year. The Cubs plan to defend their 2016 World Series championship.