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LA looks to Yu as Cubs call on Hendricks in G3

October 17, 2017

The Dodgers still haven't lost this postseason, and now they take their two-game lead in the hunt for a pennant on the road, where the Cubs hope their opportunistic opponent finally runs into a brick wall.• NLCS Game 3: Tonight, 9 p.m. ET/8 CT/6 PT on TBSAn ivy-covered brick wall,

The Dodgers still haven't lost this postseason, and now they take their two-game lead in the hunt for a pennant on the road, where the Cubs hope their opportunistic opponent finally runs into a brick wall.
• NLCS Game 3: Tonight, 9 p.m. ET/8 CT/6 PT on TBS
An ivy-covered brick wall, that is.
The best-of-seven National League Championship Series presented by Camping World shifts to the gem of a ballpark on the north side of Chicago, smack dab in a neighborhood filled with history, fervent fans, bleachers on nearby rooftops, and a defending World Series-champion team that knows how to respond to its people.
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It's a move from Chavez Ravine to Wrigley Field for Game 3, and it's set for Tuesday night.
This matchup pits the Cubs' pitching "Professor," right-hander Kyle Hendricks, against the Dodgers' Trade Deadline acquisition with the brilliant right arm, Yu Darvish.
The Cubs will be hoping that the change of venue changes their fortunes as they try to climb out of a 2-0 hole and gain an advantage on the road to a second consecutive Fall Classic.
The Dodgers prevailed on Sunday, 4-1, on Justin Turner's walk-off three-run home run, moving to within two wins of playing in the franchise's first Fall Classic since 1988.
"We have an opportunity to bring a championship back to L.A.," Turner said. "And like I said, it's been a long time."
But these Cubs, as the rest of Major League Baseball knows all too well of late, are ready to rally at any point in a series, game or inning.
"I know our guys -- of course, we wanted to win one of those two," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday. "But we're coming back, and we won't be fazed in the sense that … this is a dire situation, [that] we can't do this kind of thing.

"We'll be fine. We've had some tough losses before that we were able to bounce back from, and that's what I'm talking about. … I had the privilege of being in the clubhouse and in the dugout with these guys every day. I know what they're like. I know what they feel like. I know how they respond to situations, and we'll do the same thing tomorrow."
Naturally, they know they're up against a formidable opponent. The Dodgers won an MLB-best 104 games during the regular season, earned home-field advantage throughout October, and happen to be loaded with depth, a powerful mix of veteran presence and immensely talented youngsters in the lineup, and a fleet of elite starting pitchers backed by a brilliant bullpen.
And they don't even have one of their best players, shortstop Corey Seager, who is sitting out this NLCS because of back issues.
"I think up to this point, we've done everything we can to put ourselves in a good position, but there is a long way to go," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday.
"And this team, the Cubs, are not going to quit fighting and competing. I think with our guys, speaking for our team, our only focus is getting three and putting at-bats together and pitching well. So it's definitely noted how resilient that club is over there. They're going to do everything they can to win a game, and we're going to do the same."

On Tuesday, the Dodgers will look to Darvish to continue that march, and they'll be leaning on a pitcher who might be getting comfortable with his new team at the right time.
Darvish's only postseason start for Los Angeles came in the clinching Game 3 of the NL Division Series presented by T-Mobile on the road vs. Arizona, and he was dastardly, giving up only one run on two hits in five innings while striking out seven -- and, perhaps most important, not walking a batter.
"I think that it starts with the confidence he has in himself, and his ability to execute a pitch or throw a strike when he needs to," Roberts said of Darvish. "And I think that early on coming over here things sped up on him a little bit. He was out of whack mechanically, but I think right now, simplifying things and being able to repeat the delivery, I think he's gained a lot of confidence, and I think in turn we feel the same about him."

Hendricks has been pretty solid recently, too. He sparkled in Game 1 of his team's NLDS win over the Nationals, pitching seven shutout innings and giving up two hits while striking out six, before stumbling a bit in Game 5, giving up four runs on nine hits in four innings.
But Hendricks was lights-out vs. the Dodgers in two NLCS starts last year, pitching to an ERA of 0.71 by giving up one run on five hits in 12 2/3 innings.
"Kyle, with the normal rest coming back tomorrow night, he's had success against these guys in the past, especially in this building," Maddon said Monday. "So I feel really good about it."

Maddon's positive vibes have permeated the Cubs' clubhouse and culture. That's why a two-game deficit doesn't seem anywhere near insurmountable. Not when they've accomplished so much together already, breaking a 108-year drought by winning last year's World Series. Not when they head into a locker room that's united and fun-loving, no matter what happens.
"For us, this is just Game 170, I think it's going to be," Hendricks said Monday. "So, yeah, we're down 2-0. Obviously, we know we need to get wins at this point. But approaching it as a must-win is a little extreme.
"We've just got to go out there and play our brand of baseball."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.