Cubs beat Dodgers 3-2 in NLCS Game 4, force Game 5

EMBED </>More Videos

The Chicago Cubs hope to hold off the LA Dodgers in NLCS Game 4, keeping their own World Series hopes alive in the process. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Chicago Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Jake Arrieta pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning to held the defending World Series champion Cubs close their deficit to 3-1. Manager Joe Maddon got ejected for the second time in this series in the eighth, and a packed Wrigley Field crowd watched Davis get Cody Bellinger to ground into a game-ending double play.

Maddon was heavily criticized for not using Davis during a 4-1 loss in Game 2. This time, the Cubs closer threw 48 pitches to finish the job.

Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs. Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for the Dodgers, who had won a team-record six straight playoff games.

Game 5 is Thursday, with Jose Quintana pitching for Chicago against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

FOR CUBS FANS, HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

Earlier in the day ABC7 Eyewitness News asked the faithful, now that the pressure is on, can the team pull off another win?

"I don't think it's over. I never give up. I'm a Cubs fan. We can never give up. C'mon! We can do it. We can do it," said Mike Sikora, who bleeds Cubbie blue.

"We got a steep hill ahead of us to win four in a row. But again, you never know. I didn't think they'd win at Washington and they did," said Liz O'Loughlin, another Cubs fan.

EMBED More News Videos

If anyone knows how to keep hope alive, it's a Cubs fan.



The Cubs tweeted out photos of former catcher David Ross at Wrigley Field Wednesday night, calling him, "A little good luck charm."


Street artists like Joseph Howe decked out Wrigleyville with the team's signature logo Wednesday.

"We used to come here and pay a dollar for bleacher tickets and sit up in the bleachers. The Cubs weren't always good in those years, but it was real fans," Howe said.

Many fans haven't given up on their team, but after the sixth inning, many Cubs fans who attended Game 3 left the ballpark.

"It was kind of unfortunate that the fans left in the sixth inning. They booed Carl Edwards last night after his outing," said Cassandra Phillips, a Cubs fan. "I mean, we have to stay positive and support our team, they brought us a World Series last year. We just got to stay positive and keep the hope going."

Die-hard Cubs fans said as much the team needs to get it together, true fans need to bring all their energy to help motivate the players.

"They won it last year. They have the experience. I think they can do it," said Nick Squier, a Cubs fan.

"This team loves the challenge. They love stepping up on the big stage and winning. So if anyone can do it, it's this team," Phillips said.

CAN THE CUBS COME BACK? IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE
EMBED More News Videos

The odds of the Cubs coming back from a 3-0 game deficit in the NLCS are slim, but it's happened before. Just ask the 2004 Boston Red Sox.



Tuesday night's loss was a tough one to swallow, but it's not over until it's over.

"I think we can do it. I think we can beat them. Losses are unfortunate, but it has to do with pitching I think," Howe said. "They've been through crazier situations. I know the Red Sox did it before, where they came back from 3-0, so anything can happen."

Indeed, it has been done. The Boston Red Sox were down 3-0 to the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS and came back to win four straight and celebrate the American League Championship. They went on to break their World Series curse. Among the connections the Cubs have to that team are their president, Theo Epstein, who was the general manager in Boston at the time. Fans are hoping he can conjure up the magic once more.

However, another link to the 2004 Red Sox is Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. He was an outfielder for Boston 13 year ago, and played a key role in the Game 4 victory that sparked the Red Sox's comeback.

If the Cubs are to find a way to duplicate the Red Sox's feat, odds are against them to say the least. Statistically it's possible... but just barely.
TICKET PRICES DOWN FOR NLCS

EMBED More News Videos

It's win or go home tonight for the Chicago Cubs in NLCS Game 4 against the LA Dodgers.



Typically on the afternoon of a playoff Wrigley's marquee plaza would be packed hours before first pitch. But ticket prices are plummeting on the secondary market, down 14 percent compared to even Tuesday according to Vividseats.com, echoing a decided gloominess on an otherwise spectacular day for playoff baseball.

On Facebook we asked how much would you pay for a seat today. The pessimism was profound.

Matt Kalis said, "Free since they haven't won yet this series." Karl Van Giesen offerd "$40 for a nose bleed." And - you knew this was coming - "Nothing. Sox fan!" from Kathy Hoover Bobos.

There's still some optimism to be found, but there's no getting around the fact that the reigning World Series Champions have a nearly impossible task in front of them, and the market to watch them reflects that.

Steve Buzil, a ticket broker for 30 years, said it's not just that the Cubs face elimination. The World Series win reverberates still.

"Prices will stay down, as baseball tickets are a cyclical business," he said.

CUBS NLCS SCHEDULE:
Game 4: Dodgers at Cubs, 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18
Game 5: Dodgers at Cubs, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 (If necessary)
Game 6: Cubs at Dodgers, 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 (If necessary)
Game 7: Cubs at Dodgers, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22 (If necessary)

A year after 1st title since 1908, Cubs trail Dodgers 3-0

Kyle Schwarber had fans roaring, thinking the Chicago Cubs just might be ready to tighten the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Turns out, his home run in the first inning was about all they had to cheer.

Yu Darvish shut down Chicago after Schwarber went deep, putting the Cubs on the verge of being swept in the NLCS for the second time in three years after Tuesday's night's 6-1 loss.

After knocking out Los Angeles last fall on the way to their first World Series championship since consecutive titles in 1907 and 1908, hopes of another parade are just about dashed.
"Tomorrow is a Game 7. We have three or four Game 7s in a row coming up right now," manager Joe Maddon said.

Jake Arrieta will try to keep the series going when he opposes Dodgers lefty Alex Wood on Wednesday night. Arrieta can become a free agent this winter, so it might be his final start for Chicago. And unless the Cubs get their offense and struggling bullpen in order, the season could come to a close.

Chicago has been in tough spots before, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to beat Cleveland in seven games for the World Series title last year. The Cubs also pulled out a wild victory at Washington in Game 5 of the Division Series this month after failing to close out the Nationals at Wrigley Field.

"I don't think there's any need to change anything," said Kris Bryant, who had two hits after going 1 for 8 through the first two games of the series. "I think we can even play more loose because ... no one's expecting us to come back except the guys in this room."

It was Bryant who asked "why not us?" after the Cubs won Game 5 to send the 2016 World Series back to Cleveland and start their historic comeback. It will take another epic effort to knock off Los Angeles, particularly the way they are hitting.

The Cubs are batting .160 with four extra-base hits through three games.

"Of course we expected more," Maddon said. "It's somewhat surprising. I don't want to use the word disappointing."

Batting second, Schwarber hit an opposite-field drive to left-center for a 1-0 lead in the first.

"Hey, whenever you jump out to an early lead, you want that to be the momentum," Schwarber said. "Any way that you can get the crowd into it - the players are enjoying it, I'm enjoying it, whatever it is - you want that to be momentum."

Darvish took the Cubs and the crowd right out of it, holding Chicago to one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks couldn't match him.

The right-hander gave up four runs and six hits, including solo homers to Andre Ethier and Chris Taylor. It was his second straight shaky start after outpitching Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg in a dominant effort to win Game 1 of the NLDS.

Los Angeles led 3-1 with runners on first and second and none out in the sixth when Carl Edwards Jr. - erratic in the playoffs after a strong season - relieved Hendricks and walked Austin Barnes with one out. Joc Pederson flied out and Edwards walked Darvish on four pitches. After Taylor struck out to end the rally, boos came ringing from the Wrigley Field stands.

Struggling reliever Mike Montgomery gave up two more runs in the eighth. With runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson struck out, only for the pitch to ricochet off catcher Willson Contreras' arm for a passed ball that allowed Logan Forsythe to score. With runners at the corners, Kyle Farmer followed with a sacrifice fly.

"That's a great ballclub over there," Cubs shortstop Addison Russell said. "They're doing things right."

The Cubs could be on the way out, after barely squeezing past Washington. They experienced more drama on their way out west after that draining series.

Their cross-country flight to Los Angeles made an unscheduled stop in Albuquerque because Jose Quintana's wife, Michel, experienced an irregular heartbeat. The team remained on the ground for five hours to change pilots.

Quintana joined his teammates in Los Angeles on Friday night and started Game 1 the following night.

The Cubs could be excused for feeling a bit drained. Though Schwarber shot down that idea, saying, "We're not running out of gas at all," Russell notices some signs of fatigue.

"I wouldn't say we're running out of gas," he said. "I would just say some things here and there are a little bit fatigued. But we put the right guys out there every single day."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
sportsChicago CubsLos Angeles Dodgerswrigley fieldChicagoWrigleyvilleLakeview
(Copyright ©2017 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments