Final
  for this game

Cubs try to avoid sweep in Game Three

Oct 4, 2008 - 10:02 AM National League Division Series Dodgers lead 2-0

Chi Cubs at LA Dodgers 10:00 p.m. EDT

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- A century has passed since the Chicago Cubs last claimed a World Series title. One more loss and the Cubs will have to wait yet another year to end the drought.

Chicago tries to bounce back from a two-games-to-none deficit on Saturday when it visits the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game Three of the National League Division Series.

The Cubs have been deprived of a World Series title since 1908 but felt confident entering the playoffs after leading the NL in wins and runs during the regular season. However, Chicago has stumbled into an 0-2 hole against the Dodgers due to a plethora of miscues.

"It wasn't good baseball. In fact, the last two days, that's probably been the two worst games we've played all year, from a walking and errors standpoint," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "It wasn't fun to watch, I'll tell you that."

Starter Ryan Dempster walked seven batters in 4 2/3 innings en route to a 7-2 loss during Game One before each member of Chicago's infield committed an error in the 10-3 rout in Game Two.

"I haven't seen this type of baseball all year," Piniella said. "And for whatever reason it's come at an inopportune time. But, look, there is time to rectify it."

Rich Harden tries to bring the the Cubs back. Harden went 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 12 starts after he was acquired by Chicago from the Oakland Athletics on July 8.

The 26-year-old righthander will be making his second postseason start and owns a 1-2 record and 6.43 ERA in three games. Despite logging only seven innings in the playoffs during his career, Piniella has plenty of confidence in his Game Three starter.

"Harden is a really, really good pitcher," Piniella said. "I've got all the confidence in the world in Rich that he'll give us an opportunity to win a baseball game."

While this may be the biggest game of Harden's career, he isn't changing his approach.

"It's a very big game, but I don't want to change anything in my preparation," he said. "It's still the same game of baseball and I have to go out and get prepared and get ready and treat it just like any other game.

"That's the most important thing is to treat everything the same, get prepared the same way, the same routine. And mentally, physically prepared. It is a big game. And I like pitching in those games, but I'm going to continue to prepare the same I've been preparing the whole season."

Hiroki Kuroda counters for the Dodgers, who haven't needed their pitchers to muzzle the Cubs.

Manny Ramirez has homered in each of the first two games and is 3-for-11 lifetime against Harden with all three hits home runs. Ramirez isn't the only player powering the lineup.

James Loney hit a grand slam in Game One while Russell Martin delivered a three-run double in Game Two. Rafael Furcal, who is back after missing most of the season with back problems, has three hits in nine at-bats while drawing a pair of walks.

"He's been huge for us," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Furcal. "What he does at the top of the lineup, switch-hitter, speed. ... He just adds a big dimension to our club."

Kuroda, the Japanese import who went 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA in the regular season, is weary of a dangerous Cubs lineup.

"As far as the things that I have to be really cautious about this team - everyone, everyone in the lineup," he said through an interpreter. "They're a great team and I have to be really careful with everyone that I face."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 1
    LA DODGERS 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 3 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - RICH HARDEN, SEAN MARSHALL (5TH), CARLOS MARMOL (6TH), NEAL
    COTTS (8TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    LOS - HIROKI KURODA, CORY WADE (7TH), JONATHAN BROXTON
    (8TH) AND RUS

    Oct 5 1:11 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DARYLE WARD SCORED DERREK LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D WARD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    LA DODGERS 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.364, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs 1, Dodgers 3  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 5 12:47 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RUSSELL MARTIN SCORED RAFAEL FURCAL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R MARTIN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    LA DODGERS 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: M RAMIREZ (.556, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs 0, Dodgers 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 11:48 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JAMES LONEY SCORED RUSSELL MARTIN AND MANNY
    RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J LONEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    LA DODGERS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: M KEMP (.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Cubs 0, Dodgers 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 4 10:27 PM
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