On the verge of elimination, the San Francisco Giants found something to make them hang on a little bit longer, taking the Chicago Cubs to game 4 of their divisional series, hoping that the magic of the even year still exists.
The interesting thing is that the Giants go-to-weapon, Madison Bumgarner, was bad in the win over the Cubs. Sergio Romo blew a lead. They still managed to win, despite some big hits by the Cubs, who got Jake Arrieta in a very good day, but Aroldis Chapman of all pitchers in a bad one, which helped lead to Joe Panik nailing a 13th inning double that won the game.
Previous game: The Giants won 6-5 in extra innings, thanks to a walk off double by Joe Panik. Jake Arrieta started the game with a 3-run homer off of Bumgarner, but the offense went numb while the Giants chipped away at it, eventually taking the lead off of Chapman. Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer to put the game in extra innings, but that was where the Giants came through.
Starting pitchers: John Lackey will take the mound for the first time in the postseason. The 37-year old is a world series champion with the Red Sox from 2013 and had a 3.35 ERA this season. He struck out 8.6 batters per nine innings this season, a career high at a very weird point in his career. He pitched very well against the Giants five weeks ago, allowing just one hit in five innings as the Cubs won 3-2. He hasn’t given up a single home run to someone on the Giants lineup.
Matt Moore, who came in the middle of the season from the Tampa Bay Rays via trade, doesn’t have Lackey’s postseason experience. He had a 9.95 ERA in his 2013 postseason run with the Rays, appearing in two games and 6.1 innings. He finished with a 4.08 ERA for the Giants in 2016, striking out 9.1 batters per nine innings in San Fran. He hasn’t pitched against the Cubs this season, and the only batter he has some history with is Dexter Fowler, who is 1-for-1 against him.
Hot bats: Both Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are 5-for-12 at the plate so far for the Cubs in this postseason, and are the only non-pitchers on the Cubs (surprising as it may sound) so far with home runs. Joe Panik, besides his clutchness, is batting .400 in these playoffs, and their only player with an OPS above .867.