Cubs reclaim home-field edge with G4 rout

Cubs reclaim home-field edge with G4 rout

With a 10-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, the Cubs evened the best-of-seven series at two wins apiece. The series now comes down to a best-of-three for the NL pennant, with Game 5 at Dodger Stadium tonight, and Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) at Wrigley Field this weekend.

The Cubs will have left-hander Jon Lester taking the mound in Game 5, and the Dodgers will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda. Each started Game 1 of the series, an 8-4 Cubs victory.

NLCS Game 5: Tonight at 8 ET on FS1

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 15 CHC 8, LAD 4 video
Gm 2 Oct. 16 LAD 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 3 Oct. 18 LAD 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 19 CHC 10, LAD 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 20 CHC 8, LAD 4 video
Gm 6 Oct. 22 CHC 5, LAD 0 video

"Big, big, big win for us tonight with Jonny going [in Game 5]," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "We've got to get him some runs early and really put the pressure on."

For Game 6 on Saturday, the Dodgers will hand the ball to ace Clayton Kershaw at Wrigley Field.

"We come out to win [Game 5], then we got Kershaw and [Rich] Hill behind us," said Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. "We like where we're at and are going to come out [Thursday] looking for the series lead."

"We're going to out there and give [Maeda] 100 percent support," Gonzalez added. "We know he's a great pitcher and we know he's going to give us a great outing. We just have to put up some runs against Jon."

There have been 17 best-of-seven series in postseason history in which the road club pulled even in Game 4 to reclaim home-field advantage for the rest of the series. In eight of those series -- which include six LCS and 11 World Series -- the team with home-field advantage over the final three games won, while the road club in Games 6 and 7 won the other nine:

• In the 2013 World Series, the Red Sox won Game 4 over the Cardinals in St. Louis to even the series. Boston then won Game 5 at Busch Stadium and Game 6 at Fenway Park to win its third championship in a decade.

• In the 2011 NLCS, the Brewers beat the Cardinals in St. Louis in Game 4, but lost Game 5 at Busch Stadium before returning home and losing Game 6 to the eventual World Series champions.

• The Mets beat the Cardinals in Game 4 of the 2006 NLCS, but lost Game 5 before facing elimination at home. New York won Game 6, but lost Game 7 at Shea Stadium.

• In the 1997 NLCS, the Braves tied the series 2-2 with a Game 4 win over the Marlins in Miami, but lost Game 5 before returning home and losing Game 6. The Marlins would go on to win the first of two World Series titles in franchise history.

• The White Sox tied their series against the Blue Jays by beating Toronto at Sky Dome in Game 4 of the 1993 American League Championship Series. But Chicago lost Game 5 in Toronto, and then Game 6 at Comiskey Park.

• The Phillies found themselves down 2-1 in the 1993 NLCS against the Braves, who had been to two consecutive World Series, but beat Atlanta on the road in Game 4. Philadelphia went on to win Game 5 at Fulton County Stadium before clinching the pennant at home with a victory in Game 6.

Roberts on Maeda taking the hill

• In the 1991 NLCS, the Pirates beat the Braves in Atlanta to knot the series in Game 4. Despite winning Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead back home to Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh lost Games 6 and 7.

• In one of the most famous World Series in history, the Mets beat the Red Sox in Boston to even the 1986 Fall Classic in Game 4. The Red Sox would win Game 5, putting them in position to win their first World Series title since 1918 with a Game 6 victory in New York. But after the Sox took a 5-3 lead in the 10th inning, the Mets scored 3 in the bottom of the 10th to win, capped by a ground ball between the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner that enabled the winning run to score. New York won Game 7 at Shea Stadium two days later.

• In another memorable Fall Classic, the Red Sox beat the Reds in Game 4 of the 1975 World Series in Cincinnati. In a see-saw series, Boston lost Game 5 on the road, then won Game 6 at Fenway Park on Carlton Fisk's famed walk-off home run off the left-field foul pole to force Game 7, which the Red Sox lost.

• The 1964 World Series was dominated by flamethrowing right-hander Bob Gibson of the Cardinals, who won Game 4 at Yankee Stadium to even the series before winning Game 5, losing Game 6 at home, and winning the decisive Game 7. Gibson tossed a complete game for the win and was named Series MVP.

Roberts on Kershaw

• In the 1962 World Series, the Giants beat the Yankees in the Bronx to even the series, 2-2. San Francisco then lost Game 5, won Game 6 at Candlestick Park, and lost Game 7 at home despite a ninth-inning rally that died in the glove of second baseman Bobby Richardson following a line drive off the bat of Willie McCovey.

• The 1960 World Series will forever be remembered for Bill Mazeroski's walk-off homer to end the Series against the Yankees in Pittsburgh. But the Pirates trailed in that series, 2-1, before tying it up with a Game 4 win at Yankee Stadium.

• Five other World Series involved road clubs winning Game 4 to even the set and regain home-field advantage over the final three games: 1924 (Senators win Game 4, go onto win the Series in seven games over the New York Giants), 1926 (Yankees win Game 4 in St. Louis but eventually lose the Series to the Cardinals in seven), 1934 (Tigers win Games 4 and 5 in St. Louis, but lose Games 6 and 7 at home to the Cardinals), 1940 (Reds win Game 4 in Detroit, lose Game 5 and win Games 6 and 7 at home over the Tigers), and 1946 (Cardinals beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Game 4, lose Game 5 there, and win Games 6 and 7 at home).

Maddon on Lester taking the hill

The Dodgers and Cubs will add to this rich history, but it remains to be seen on which side of the ledger this NLCS will fall.

"We get to go back to Chicago and play another game," said Cubs right fielder Dexter Fowler. "At least we earned that. To come in here and win on the road against this team is huge. And to come in and win big to answer back after [Game 3] big, as well."

"We just have to come play tomorrow. You don't think anything more than that," Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager said. "[Lester] is good, and he's been good all year. It's going to be a tough battle. There's no complaints, no panic."

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @MannyRsports This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.