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Dodgers-Cubs NLCS Game 4: In Real Life

October 18, 2017

The Cubs beat the Dodgers, 3-2, in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World. Los Angeles leads the series, 3-1. We were on the scene in and around Wrigley Field.12:17 a.m. ET: Shut it downWade Davis induces a game-ending double play off the bat of

The Cubs beat the Dodgers, 3-2, in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World. Los Angeles leads the series, 3-1. We were on the scene in and around Wrigley Field.
12:17 a.m. ET: Shut it down
Wade Davis induces a game-ending double play off the bat of Cody Bellinger to secure the six-out save and force a Game 5 for the defending World Series champs.

11:43 p.m. ET: Tempers flare
It has been a tense atmosphere at Wrigley Field all night. That tension spilled over during the top of the eighth inning. With one out and a man on first base, Davis appeared to get Curtis Granderson to chase a breaking ball in the dirt for strike three. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts popped out of the dugout to argue that Granderson had tipped the pitch, and after a meeting among the umps, the call was changed. That incensed Cubs skipper Joe Maddon, who was ejected for the second time in the series. He was also tossed in Game 1 for arguing a collision at home plate. Nonetheless, Davis struck out Granderson on the following pitch, and he fanned Chase Ultey with two men aboard to end the threat. More >

11:31 p.m. ET: JT with another hit
The Cubs have spent the better part of the past two games pitching around Justin Turner. He reminded them why in the eighth. Turner smashed a monstrous home run off the scoreboard in left field, cutting Chicago's lead to 3-2. With his Statcast-projected 400-foot knock, the Dodgers' third baseman is now 5-for-13 this series with a pair of homers and five walks. It was a rude welcome for Davis, who hasn't pitched since Game 5 of the NL Division Series presented by T-Mobile in Washington.

11:14 p.m. ET: Swan song?
Jacob Arrieta, who will be a free agent this offseason, allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings. He also joined Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw as the only active pitchers with at least four postseason starts of nine-plus strikeouts.

10:28 p.m. ET: Curtain call
Make that two home runs for Javier Baez, who cranked a second long ball off Alex Wood in the fifth inning to extend the Cubs' lead to 3-1. Baez entered hitless in 20 at-bats this postseason.

It's worth noting that Arrieta has thrown a manageable 73 pitches in five innings. If Arrieta can hold the lead through seven, the Cubs could give the ball directly to well-rested closer Davis from there, avoiding the shaky underbelly of their bullpen. More >

9:43 p.m. ET: #CodyCrush
The Cubs have opened the scoring in all four games this series -- and the Dodgers have responded quickly in each of them. Minutes after the Cubs took a 2-0 lead, Bellinger put Los Angeles on the board in the third with a solo shot off the facing of the right-field scoreboard to temporarily silence the Wrigley Field crowd, which had been whipped into a frenzy half an inning prior on a pair of homers. Yep, the wind's blowing out tonight. More >

9:32 p.m. ET: Long gone
There is a digital video board in left field at Wrigley, which the Cubs installed in 2015. During each at-bat, the board displays a larger-than-life image of the man at the plate.
Willson Contreras took aim at his likeness in the second inning, drilling a home run a Statcast-projected 491 feet (longest in postseason since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015) off the video board to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Moments later, Baez nearly reached Waveland Avenue with a 437-foot shot off Wood.

Though the home runs gave the Cubs an early lead for the fourth consecutive game, they couldn't hold any of the first three. Stay tuned to see what happens to this one. More >

9:16 p.m. ET: Right foot forward
The Cubs could sure use a big-time effort out of Arrieta tonight, given the bullpen's recent struggles. He got off to a good start with a scoreless first inning -- though he needed 22 pitches to retire the side. Arrieta, an impending free agent who could be making his final start for Chicago, allowed a walk to Turner and a single to Yasiel Puig with two outs before a strikeout of Andre Ethier in front of a Wrigley Field crowd that has been electric in the early stages.
9:01 p.m. ET: Pregame festivities
Julianna Zobrist, wife of the Cubs' Benjamin Zobrist, sings the national anthem, while Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg throws out the first pitch.

8:31-38 p.m. ET: Pitchers ready to duel
Wood and Arrieta head to the field for warmups.

7:56 p.m. ET: Chalk talk
Cubs fans leave words of encouragement on a wall outside Wrigley Field.

7:51 p.m. ET: All eyes on Puig

7:28 p.m. ET: Before sunset

6:50 p.m. ET: Familiar face
Retired catcher David Ross visits his former team during batting practice.

6:14 p.m. ET: Here's to you

6:12 p.m. ET: Rallying the troops
Cubs players met prior to Wednesday's game, with Jonathan Lester, John Lackey, Jonathan Jay and Jason Heyward speaking to the group. Pitcher Jose Quintana said the players who spoke "made a big impression."
"Everybody pays attention to them, especially when J-Hey says something, Jon Lester, Lack, Jon Jay," Quintana said. "So we have a couple guys that are leaders here."
Even though the Cubs face elimination, Quintana said the clubhouse vibe was good.
"They don't have panic," Quintana said. "That motivated me to try to do the best I can to push forward for everybody. We haven't lost anything yet, so we have a really big game tonight, and we'll go night by night."

6:04 p.m. ET: Line 'em up
The Dodgers announced their lineup for Game 4. Granderson and Yasmani Grandal get their first starts of the NLCS.

5:50 p.m. ET: "A" is for Arrieta
Murphy's Bleachers has faith in Arrieta and the Cubs.

5:44 p.m. ET: ...Ready for it?

5:40 p.m. ET: Ace in the outfield
Kershaw warms up before batting practice. He is scheduled to pitch NLCS Game 5 at Wrigley Field or Game 1 of the World Series presented by YouTube TV (if the Dodgers advance).

5:19 p.m. ET: Still windy

4:05 p.m. ET: Starting nine
The Cubs announced their starting lineup for Game 4 five hours before first pitch. More >

4:00 p.m. ET: Practice makes perfect
Julianna Zobrist, wife of the Cubs' Ben, performs sound check for tonight's national anthem.

3:39 p.m. ET: Direction of the wind
Hitters should be happy at Wrigley Field tonight because the wind is blowing out of the southwest. That usually favors the batters.