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Playoff Gameday Thread #17: Not yet dead

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“He is not yet dead, put him back in bed. Keep him off the cart because he's not yet dead.”

59th Annual Tony Awards - Show Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

5:08 pm: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs (Dodgers 3-1)

Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31) vs. Jose Quintana (LHP, 11-11, 4.15). Yesterday, the Cubs managed to do in the post-season what the Diamondbacks couldn’t: win a game against the Dodgers. That staved off elimination, at least for one more day. Chicago now just have to go past Kershaw, to take the series back to Los Angeles. Though Kershaw has been his usual mediocre playoff self this year, with a 4.76 ERA over two starts against the D-backs and Cubs. As with all the Los Angeles pitchers, homers have been his issue: he has allowed five in 11.1 innings. The Cubs also handled him well in a May 28 regular-season encounter, tagging him for 11 hits in just 4.1 frames.

The Dodgers will certainly want to end it here, with their ace, because a Cubs victory will further revive memories of the Red Sox Championship Series comeback in 2004. That’s not least because the Cubs’ current president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, was general manager in Boston at the time. While a 3-2 lead with two games at home (where Los Angeles has been very, very good this year) would still be a great position to be in, it’s not as good as putting the series to bed and having four off-days to rest and prepare for whoever comes through from the American League.