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Matz: With season on the line, Cardinals call on Lackey

John Lackey, the rock of the Cardinals' rotation, will face Jason Hammel and the Cubs on three days' rest in Game 4. It's hard to imagine St. Louis handing the ball to anyone else.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
1hDavid Schoenfield

Tuesday chat, 1 p.m. ET

Join the chat and bring your questions, thoughts, opinions and predictions on what will happen tonight and tomorrow.

12hDavid Schoenfield

Monday's Top 5: A day of big bats

Oh, just another day with four playoff games, hours upon hours of hours of baseball excitement, and plenty of offense.

Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images

Padilla: Royals shock Astros to force a Game 5

Facing a four-run deficit with six outs left in their season, the Royals rallied for five runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to stun the Astros with a 9-6 win in Game 4 to stave off elimination.

USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images

Caple: Blue Jays hold nothing back to return to Toronto

With their backs against the wall, the Blue Jays came out swinging in their 8-4 Game 4 win against the Rangers. But by pulling R.A. Dickey early for ace David Price, did they handicap their chances of winning Game 5?

23hBuster Olney

MLB sends message with Utley suspension

MLB's suspension of Chase Utley is a message that it wants to get rid of plays in which baserunners go out of their way to crash into fielders.

Larry Goren/Icon SMI
50mJim Bowden

Bits: Nats' 2016 plans, managerial candidates

Jim Bowden checks in on the Washington Nationals, who have some tough decisions on their hands, has an update on managerial job openings and more.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

California bans tobacco in stadiums under new law

California lawmakers have taken the first step toward accomplishing something Major League Baseball could never do on its own: Stop players from using smokeless tobacco.

Rasmus singles off the roof (0:20)


Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN

Steven Matz becomes fourth rookie pitcher in #Mets history to start a postseason game, joining Gary Gentry, John Maine and Noah Syndergaard.

Today's MLB playoff schedule

  • Cardinals at Cubs, 4:37 p.m. ET (CHC leads series 2-1) -- J. Lackey vs. J. Hammel
  • Dodgers at Mets, 8:07 p.m. ET (NYM leads series 2-1) -- C. Kershaw vs. S. Matz
Postseason coverage, schedules


Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Here's the Cardinals' lineup for game 4. Facing elimination, John Lackey pitches on three days rest. C Yadier Molina was lifted early yesterday due to thumb discomfort, but he's back in there. Randal Grichuk goes in CF. He's 2-for-6 off with a HR off Cubs starter Jason Hammel.

Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN

1969 Mets Ron Swoboda and Ed Charles will throw ceremonial first pitches before Game 4 at Citi Field.

Mets in right place to clinch

New York's record in series-clinching games has been much better at home than on the road. The Mets (up 2-1 in the NLDS) host the Dodgers at Citi Field in Game 4.

Stats & Info

Utley's appeal hearing set

Chase Utley's appeal of his two-game suspension is scheduled to be heard on Oct. 19, according to the Los Angeles Times. He'll remain active for the remainder of the NLDS.

Gregory Bull / AP

Hey Cubs fans: How do you feel?

Reese Waters was in Chicago recently, where he made sure to order the 'Cubs heartbreak', or pancakes covered in tears. But surprisingly, there's also optimism in the Windy City.


Cubs looking to take two at Wrigley

Only twice since 1907 has Chicago won consecutive home games in a single postseason. The last time it did, Ronald Reagan was in office.

Stats & Info

Can Mets, Cubs close out series?

Said Jemele Hill on His & Hers: "The momentum has completely shifted in the favor of both the Cubs and the Mets respectively."


Chipper: Utley's slide was 'out of bounds'

Former Braves 3B Chipper Jones said of Chase Utley's controversial slide in Game 2 of the NLDS: "Quite frankly it was a little unnecessary to be honest with you. ... When you go airborne to get a guy, to me that's out of bounds."


AL pennant odds have Toronto as favorite

From Westgate Las Vegas:

  • Toronto: 13-10
  • Kansas City: 2-1
  • Texas: 9-2
  • Houston: 5-1

AP Photo/LM Otero

NL pennant odds have Chicago as favorite

From Westgate Las Vegas:

  • Chicago: 3-2
  • New York: 2-1
  • Los Angeles: 4-1
  • St. Louis: 9-2

Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Addison Russell not in the starting lineup (hamstring) for Game 4 of the division series between the Cubs and Cardinals. Javier Baez plays SS in his place and bats ninth.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

AccuWeather forecast for Cubs/Cards Game 4 this aft. calls for windy conditions again during the first 3-5 innings with speeds of 12-20 mph out towards right field. First pitch should be about 60 degrees then temperatures should drop.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Here is the AccuWeather forecast for Game 4 of the NLDS between the Mets and Dodgers on Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. at Citi Field: There will be some showers in the area this afternoon through 7 p.m. These will be light and most likely will not impact pregame activities. If showers linger through 8-9 p.m., they are not expected to be heavy enough to cause a delay. The wind during the game will blow out toward right field at 7-14 mph. The temperature at first pitch will be a mild 66 degrees, then fall only slightly to 63 by the end of the game.

Are Kershaw's playoff failures in his head?

Dallas Braden said of Clayton Kershaw, who is 1-6 with a 4.99 ERA in the postseason: "This is the time where he can make that statement and get that monkey off his back."


espn @espn

Six @Cubs hit home runs on Monday. That's an MLB postseason record that had the Wrigley faithful on its feet all night (including Eddie Vedder).


Cubs lift up Arrieta with six homers

Despite Jake Arrieta's shortest outing since June 16, Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the NLDS thanks to a postseason-record six dingers in its 8-6 win.


SportsCenter @sportscenter

#PhotoOfTheNight: In the words of Cubs fans, "It is happening." With a 'W' last night, Chicago has chance to clinch NLCS berth at home today.

Kevin Negandhi @KNegandhiESPN

The Cubs have NEVER clinched a postseason series at home... Today could be a special day on the north side at Wrigley Field

Mets go off for 13 runs in Game 3 victory

After scoring five runs in the first two games of the series, New York got five RBIs from Curtis Granderson in a 13-7 win over Los Angeles, taking a 2-1 series lead.