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Chicago Cubs clobber Dodgers in Game 4 – but can they keep it up?

Chicago Cubs Los Angeles Dodgers Game 4 National League Championship Series

Well, the Chicago Cubs did it – they got over that shutout slump and clobbered the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. I wrote yesterday about how that game would define the Cubs because of the hurdle they had to leap, the likes of which they hadn’t seen all season. If you watched Game 4 instead of the third presidential debate, you saw just how dramatically the Cubs turned their luck around.

Gaining momentum

Some of the Cubs, as well as their manager, Joe Maddon, are saying momentum is definitely a real thing. The Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, is denying its existence after last night’s game, saying, “I expect for us to play a much cleaner game tomorrow.” Basically, momentum is in your head. A winning team believes in its existence, while a losing team denies it. Which makes sense. If you’re winning, you want to believe you can propel yourself to more wins, while if you’re losing, you don’t want to continue that downward spiral.

Real or not, momentum means something much different in postseason baseball than during the regular season. “It’s day to day,” Cubs catcher David Ross told ESPN. “It’s game to game. It’s pitch to pitch. It’s small victories.” That’s certainly true looking back at past series in which teams were in the same position as the Cubs.

Game 5

The Cubs and Dodgers face off tonight at 7:08 p.m. at Dodger Stadium for Game 5. The Cubs will start pitcher Jon Lester, and the Dodgers will start Kenta Maeda. If past performance is any indication, this matchup favors the Cubs.

In 21 innings against the Dodgers this season, Lester has given up only 10 hits and two runs. He’s also a seasoned veteran, having been to the postseason seven times. Maeda, on the other hand, is in his rookie season and in his past four starts has a 9.88 ERA with an average of 10 outs per start – compared with Lester’s 2.57 ERA with one run or none in half of his 16 postseason starts.

Who do you favor to win tonight’s game? Vote by leaving a comment below.

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