Author: Drew Silva

Jon Lester
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Jon Lester doesn’t expect to be used in NLCS Game 4


It’s crunch time for the Cubs, who are on the brink of elimination from the National League Championship Series with a 3-0 hole and Game 4 set for Wednesday night. But there will be no desperation moves in regards to the starting pitching schedule for Chicago.

Jason Hammel will be on the bump in Game 4 against the Mets and projected Game 5 starter Jon Lester will not be brought in even if Hammel’s outing is going extremely poorly. Lester spoke to reporters on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field …

Jake Arrieta, the Cubs’ projected Game 6 starter, probably won’t be tried in Game 4 either.

This comeback is going to take four straight wins. It makes sense to keep the horses in line.

Mets again shut down Cubs, move within one win of World Series

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Put the sweep watch in effect for this best-of-seven National League Championship Series between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs.

Jacob deGrom delivered seven solid innings and Daniel Murphy went yard for a record-tying fifth consecutive postseason game as the Mets defeated the host Cubs 5-2 in Game 3 of the NLCS on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field to move within one victory of a World Series berth.

Cubs rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber hit an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the first inning and Jorge Soler cranked a no-doubter to right-center in the bottom of the fourth, but they were both solo shots and that’s all the offense the suddenly-shaky Cubs could muster. They scored just one run in NLCS Game 2 and two runs in NLCS Game 1 after bombing the rival Cardinals in the National League Division Series.

Defense was also an issue for the Cubs on Tuesday night, with Jorge Soler, Miguel Montero, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber all committing blunders.

Soler’s misplay in right field could have been especially ugly, but Wilmer Flores‘ sinking line drive rolled all the way to the Wrigley Field ivy and Dexter Fowler threw his hands up in the air rather than trying to retrieve it. That prevented Michael Conforto from scoring from first base, as the Wrigley Field ground rules state that the hitter and any runners get exactly two bases when the ivy becomes involved in a play.

There is no room for umpire discretion unless the fielder intentionally places a ball into those lush green vines.

Steven Matz will be on the mound for the Mets in Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night at Wrigley and it’ll be Jason Hammel for the Cubs. This would be the Mets’ first trip to the Fall Classic since 2000, when they fell to the crosstown Yankees in the Subway Series.

Mets robbed of a run when ball rolls into ivy at Wrigley Field

Terry Collins, Ted Barrett
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The century-old ground rules at Wrigley Field clearly state that a hitter and any runners are to be awarded exactly two bases if a ball enters the ivy that grows along the outfield wall. It’s like a ground-rule double, and there is no umpire discretion unless a fielder intentionally places a ball into the vines.

Mets manager Terry Collins found that out in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s NLCS Game 3 when Jorge Soler misplayed a sinking liner off the bat of Wilmer Flores and Dexter Fowler threw his hands up rather than attempting to dig the ball out …

That will be a much-debated play if the Mets don’t win this one. They lead the host Cubs 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth after plating two big runs in the top of the seventh.

Video: Daniel Murphy homers in record-tying fifth straight postseason game

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

Daniel Murphy remains scorching hot for the Mets.

The second baseman went deep in the top of the third inning Tuesday night off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks to give New York a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

That’s now five straight postseason games in which Murphy has homered, tying Carlos Beltran (2004) for the record. Watch this one fly out to center at Wrigley Field …

Murphy, an impending free agent, is making himself some money this October.

Chicago answered with a Jorge Soler solo shot in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2. New York carried a 2-0 series lead into Game 3.

Video: Kyle Schwarber goes oppo, is now the Cubs’ all-time postseason home run leader

Jacob deGrom, Kyle Schwarber
AP Photo/David Goldman

Kyle Schwarber made his major league debut four short months ago, yet the 22-year-old slugger just became the Cubs’ all-time franchise leader for postseason homers with a game-tying solo shot off Mets starter Jacob deGrom in the bottom of the first inning of NLCS Game 3 at Wrigley Field.

It was Schwarber’s fifth home run this October. Watch him muscle it the opposite way

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the pitch from deGrom was 10 1/2 inches off the plate. That’s the furthest outside pitch launched for a home run by any left-handed-hitter in all of 2015.