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jcy123 Jan 12
Go inside the numbers and matchups that will decide Sunday nights showdown between the Cubs and Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS. Nike Air Huarache Black . What we learned in Game 1Oh, not much. Javier Baez stole home. Dexter Fowler played center field like Willie Mays. Joe Maddon was criticized for taking Jon Lester?out too soon. Aroldis Chapman blew a save in the eighth inning. Dave Roberts issued an intentional walk with runners on first and second. Miguel Montero hit the third pinch-hit grand slam in postseason history to break a 3-3 tie and almost break Wrigley Field in the process. Thats all. -- David SchoenfieldInside the pitching matchupWhen Clayton Kershaw is on the mound: The games best pitcher returns to the mound just three days after throwing seven pitches to get the save in Game 5 of the division series. Two days before that, he started Game 4 and threw 110 pitches on short rest. Factor in Kershaws history in postseason games of hitting a wall in the seventh inning, and the Dodgers may only look for six innings here unless hes particularly efficient.Anyway, despite missing two-plus months with a herniated disk, Kershaw was so dominant this year, some believe he deserves Cy Young consideration. In 21 starts in the regular season, he allowed 31 runs. He walked just 11 batters, and one of those was intentional. He struck out 172 batters in 149 innings and the opposition hit just .184 against him.Kershaw continues to evolve as a pitcher. He now throws his slider more than ever (33 percent of the time), as his fastball rate has dropped from 62 percent in 2012 to 50.6 percent. What makes his slider so tough is that unlike a lot of sliders, his actually ends up in the zone over 50 percent of the time, making it a pitch he can throw in any count, not just as a two-strike sit-em-down offering. Batters hit .138 against it. In his two playoff starts against the Nationals, however, he did go more to his fastball, in part because he was having problems commanding the slider on the inside part of the plate.Kershaw wasnt quite as dominant away from Dodger Stadium, as his ERA rose all the way to 2.31 ERA on the road, where he did allow seven of his eight home runs. He completely shut down left-handed batters (.138, no home runs in 138 at-bats), so look for the Cubs to sit Jason Heyward and load up with all right-handed or switch-hitters (with the exception of lefty?Anthony Rizzo, who will probably remain in the lineup). The Nationals took a patient approach, hoping to run up Kershaws pitch count; I would expect the Cubs to do the same thing. -- SchoenfieldWhen Kyle Hendricks is on the mound: Speaking of command, no starter had a higher rate of first-pitch strikes this season than Hendricks, who tied with Johnny Cueto at 68.4 percent. That goes a long way toward explaining how he led the NL with a 2.13 ERA.Hendricks ranks near the bottom of the league in fastball velocity, but his ERA wasnt just a product of the Cubs defense: He led major league starters in limiting hard contact. He does that by expertly changing speeds with his four-seamer, sinker, curveball, cutter and changeup -- and hitting his spots. Everything is to the corners -- away to lefties, away to righties. No starter had a higher percentage of pitches on the outer third of the strike zone than Hendricks (62 percent).Hendricks throws his fastball about half the time, as he increased the usage of his changeup and cutter this season. Both were deadly weapons as batters hit .135 against the changeup and .164 against the cutter, with good K rates of 29.5 and 25.3 percent. Indeed, dont be fooled by the lack of velocity: His strikeout rate is more than adequate, ranking 24th out of 74 qualified starters in the majors this season. As good as Hendricks was, Maddon may not ask him to go all that deep considering the Dodgers weaknesses against southpaws and the four lefties the Cubs are carrying in the bullpen. -- SchoenfieldPlayer in the spotlightAnthony Rizzo. He went 0-for-5 in Game 1 and is now 1-for-20 in the postseason. He had two stretches like this in the regular season (1-for-22 from April 8-14 and 1-for-25 from May 15-22) so he has gone through a slump like this before. -- SchoenfieldDid you know ...There are 137 players with at least 15 at-bats against Kershaw, and Dexter Fowlers .409 batting average (hes 18-for-44) ranks second among that group, trailing only Pirates catcher Chris Stewart (.529). -- ESPN Stats & InfoWhat will decide Sunday nights gameKershaws slider. During the regular season, Kershaw recorded 44 percent of his strikeouts with his slider. But in a small sample size, he has thrown that pitch a lot less in the postseason, and he hasnt had good results. While opponents OPS against his slider was .343 during the regular season, theyve generated a .955 OPS against it during the postseason, and he has gone from using it 33 percent of the time during the regular season to 26 percent during the NL Division Series. -- ESPN Stats & InfoChoosing sides: Who will win?The Cubs Kyle Hendricks cant buy a break in the postseason. He struggled last year, got pinged by a ground ball in his first outing this year, and now in Game 2 he faces the one pitcher in the majors who had a better ERA than he did. Maybe its time for his luck to turn? Clayton Kershaw is working at the end of an unusual string of usage, and Hendricks doesnt lose at home. I do worry about the wind -- with all of the Dodgers lefty power bats, it would be better for Hendricks if the breeze was off the lake. It should be another low-scoring one, and since its at Wrigley, Im going with the Cubs.?-- Brad Doolittle?Its a question of sharpness. Kyle Hendricks has hardly pitched after leaving his lone postseason start with a forearm injury, while Clayton Kershaw has been pressed into extra duty so far. The results for both will be more runs given up than normal. The Cubs will prevail as theyve proved to be late-inning warriors.?-- Jesse Rogers?Kershaw is finally getting his October narrative under control, and that will continue in Game 2 of the NLCS. The left-hander had an unusual week with 110 pitches on short rest and a seven-pitch save two days later, but he appears poised and ready for his first NLCS start in three years. The Dodgers will steal one on the Cubs turf.?-- Doug PadillaWhere the series standsWell, it seems like the Dodgers need to win this game, no? Losing a Kershaw game and going back to Dodger Stadium down two games to none and having to face Jake Arrieta doesnt sound like much fun. Then throw in the fact that Rich Hill or Julio Urias arent likely to go deep into a start and the Cubs have all those lefty relievers to match up against you and ... good luck, big guy.?-- Schoenfield Nike Air Huarache White .S. Open champion Justin Rose birdied the first hole with a blind shot he hit to a foot of the pin, and he stayed in front Tuesday until he completed a 4-under 67 for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Nike Air Huarache Sale . -- Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, ran for another score, and led No. . Booth picked up 65 caps after making her national team debut in 2002 at the age of 17. She most recently played for Sky Blue FC of the National Womens Soccer League. "It just felt like it was my time to move on," she said in a phone interview from her hometown of Burlington, Ont. St Kilda coach Alan Richardson admits he was frustrated by parts of his sides scrappy win over Richmond, which was soured by another serious injury to luckless spearhead Paddy McCartin.The Tigers overcame a diabolical first half to outscore the Saints in the second, but Richardsons side clawed their way to a 7.13 (55) to 6.10 (46) win on Saturday afternoon at the MCG.McCartins troubled season, that has included three concussions, is over after he suffered a broken collarbone in the first quarter.The 20-year-old received a free kick after crashing into the legs of Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin, then left the ground clutching his right shoulder after kicking his second goal.The former No.1 draft pick has managed just 17 games in his first two seasons.Hes had a luckless run on the back of putting his in the hole for his team and his teammates, Richardson said.Hes a courageous kid, hes a tough kid, so that earns respect ... (but) its bloody disappointing for him.In perfect conditions, the listless Tigers managed just two goals in the first half.The Saints went inside their forward 50 28 times to 12, but spurned several scoring opportunities and should have led by more than 21 points at halftime.There were moments in the game that were frustrating ... probably more so in the first half, Richardson said.To be so dominant in terms of ffield position, entries and opportunities to score and whilst we had a reasonable break (at halftime), it didnt quite reflect the dominance in our performance. Nike Air Huarache Mens. ichardson took comfort from his sides hard work defensively, restricting the Tigers to just four goals until the last minute of the match.Richmond attacked the contest with greater vigour after the restart, but still trailed by 13 points at the last change.St Kilda didnt manage a goal in the third term, but majors to Nick Riewoldt and Jack Billings were enough to seal the Saints 11th win of the season.Not one of the better games of footy weve seen, it would be fair to say, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said as he sat down to his post-match media conference.We thought our intensity and effort was off ... to come out and start like we did was disappointing.But we spoke to them at halftime and were pretty firm in that we needed to respond and get our game going.Seb Ross and Leigh Montagna were the main ball winners for St Kilda, with 34 and 33 possessions, respectively, and Tim Membrey and McCartin kicked two goals each.Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin led the way for the Tigers, whose only multiple goal-scorer was Daniel Rioli with two. 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