A breakdown of Moore vs. Lackey for their NLDS matchup
By Justin Wise
The Cubs signed John Lackey in December 2015 hoping the 37-year-old would bolster their starting rotation. The Giants acquired left-hander Matt Moore before the non-waiver Trade Deadline hoping he would do the same.
The two will now square off against each when the Giants host the Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1).
Lackey : 11-8 (3.35 ERA) 188 1/ 3 IP, 180 K Moore : 13-12 (4.08 ERA) 198 1/ 3 IP, 178 K
Lackey against the Giants
Career: 1-1 (3 GS), 2.37 ERA
2016: 0-0 (1 GS), 1.13 ERA
Loves to face: Joe Panik, 0-for-5
Hates to face: Eduardo Nunez, 5-for-15, four doubles
Why he'll win: Lackey struck out 180 batters and finished the regular season with a career-low 1.06 WHIP. In Chicago, that makes him the fourth-best starting pitcher on the team. But the right-hander clearly provides stability for the back end of the Cubs' postseason rotation. Lackey also enters October well rested, after spending part of August and September on the disabled list due to a right shoulder strain.
Pitcher beware: Lackey has been prone to rocking outings, surrendering four or more runs on seven separate occasions.
Bottom line: Lackey obviously gives the Cubs irreplaceable postseason experience. He's made 23 appearances in the playoffs and has won two World Series. But the 14-year veteran also enters this game pitching exceptionally. Lackey has a 2.44 ERA in his last eight outings, holding opponents to a .207 batting average.
Moore against the Cubs
Career: Never faced the Cubs
Why he'll win: Moore showcased why the Giants acquired him before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in his last two starts of the season. The left-hander surrendered just two earned runs and struck out 17 batters in 15 2/ 3 innings.
Pitcher beware: At times, Moore has been everything the Giants hoped he would be when they traded for him. But Moore has also been wholly inconsistent. He lasted fewer than three innings twice in September and recorded a 5.17 ERA in his final six starts.
Bottom line: In spite of his inconsistency, Moore has displayed the ability to pitch effectively when it matters most. He allowed just three hits in eight innings to the Dodgers to help San Francisco clinch the second National League Wild Card Spot on the final day of the season.
Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.