Rockies @ Cubs: Freeland vs Lester (Game 164; NL Wild Card Game)
COL (0-0): LHP Kyle Freeland (0-0, —-)
CHC (0-0): LHP Jon Lester (0-0, —-)
First pitch: 7:00pmCST
We started yesterday morning tied for the best record in the League. Now we're looking down the barrel of an elimination game. Yay, baseball! Of course, if we lose both of these games, we deserve to be eliminated. (I seem to recall saying the same thing about a couple of games in 2003.)
Lester, who went 18-6 with a 3.32 on the season, was 7-4 with a 3.32 at Wrigley. He beat the Pirates on Thursday (6 IP, 0 ER) and went 4-1 with a 1.52 for the month. This is his 22nd post-season start and second Wild Card game, with the other time being a rather forgettable 7.1 IP, 6 ER appearance with Oakland in 2014 .
Lester pitched 5.2 scoreless innings but ended up with a no-decision against the Rockies at Wrigley on April 30. Overall, the big roster is 31-114 (.272) against him. Holliday is 7-15.
Freeland (17-7, 2.85 on the year), lost the matchup with Lester (7 IP, 3 ER). For their careers, these Cubs are 6-38 (.158) against him, which is not encouraging. Bryant is 2-5, and Almora is 2-6. Freeland is 7-5 with a 3.23 away from Coors Field this season—meaning that he pitches better there, for some freakish reason.
If all goes well, we'll see Hendricks start on Thursday in Milwaukee. If not, we'll see you at the Winter Meetings.
Let's go Cubs!