To say that tonight’s game for the Chicago Cubs is a big one might be a bit of an understatement. Rarely in the past 71 years have we been able to say that the Cubs are one win away from the World Series. In fact, this is just the Cubs’ 7th chance to win and advance to the Series over that span.
Of course, don’t tell that to Kyle Hendricks. He knows the stakes, and the pressure for him and the rest of the Cubs tonight is about getting this team to the World Series and you can bet it’s the exact same pressure the Los Angeles Dodgers are facing. These Cubs, regardless of the team’s vast history that we’re all keenly aware of, are playing for themselves tonight and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In order to advance, they’ll have to face, and either beat or outlast, as the case may be, the best in the game in Clayton Kershaw.
Joe Maddon has decided to play Albert Almora in right field tonight in place of Jason Heyward. I like this move because Almora still brings superb defense and his right-handed bat should play better than Heyward likely would have. Javy Baez is back in tonight batting fifth in the order, backing up Ben Zobrist. Willson Contreras is in behind the plate to catch for Kyle Hendricks.
Here’s tonight’s Chicago Cubs lineup: