CHICAGO Teams

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

Willson Contreras' home run was measured at 491 feet by Statcast, the longest postseason HR since 2015.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Javier Báez rompió una racha de cero hits en 20 turnos en postemporada con su jonrón contra el abridor Alex Wood, quedándose a un turno de igualar la marca histórica de la franquicia. Los Cachorros tomaron la ventaja 1-0 en la segunda entrada con un jonrón de 491 pies de distancia del receptor venezolano Willson Contreras, la cual fue luego ampliada a 2-0 con el cuadrangular de Báez.

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Willson Contreras and Javier Baez launch long home runs off Alex Wood -- Contreras' mammoth blast hit the scoreboard in left-center -- to give the Cubs the early lead. Baez was 0-for-20 in the postseason before his home run. But we've been here before: The Cubs led 2-0 in Game 1 and 1-0 in Games 2 and 3. Will Game 4 be any different?

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Javier Baez broke an 0 for 20 streak this postseason when he homered two batters after Willson Contreras did the same.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

And all of a sudden, Wrigley. Is. Rocking. Not long after Willson Contreras played ping-pong with the left-field scoreboard, Javier Baez hooked a home run just inside the foul pole to put the Cubs up in a must-win NLCS Game 4.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Willson Contreras is just the third player, and second Cub, this season to hit the left field video board.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

When you hit a ball like the one Willson Contreras just hit, you can't be blamed for stopping to watch it fly. With an absolute bomb off the left-center field scoreboard, the catcher has given the desperate Cubs a 1-0 NLCS Game 4 lead and brought some life to Wrigley Field.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

A nervous start for Cubs fans as leadoff hitter Chris Taylor just missed a home run to straightaway center field on a ball hauled in by Albert Almora Jr. for the first out of NLCS Game 4.

Charles Moynihan ESPN Producer 

Ten minutes before first pitch, here is the scene outside Wrigley Field.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Regardless of the outcome of this series Joe Maddon says he wants all his coaches to return next season. He thinks they have great communication within the staff. Maddon was asked about his old pitching coach in TB, Jim Hickey. Hickey was recently let go but the Cubs manager did not indicate any reason we would see him in Chicago next year.

Charles Moynihan ESPN Producer 

As of 6:02P CST, there is a strong wind blowing straight out to center at Wrigley Field.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

When asked the biggest things Dave Roberts has done since taking over as Dodgers manager, Clayton Kershaw immediately answered that getting through to Yasiel Puig and bringing out the best in the slugger is at the top of the list.

play
Woody, Herm like Panthers' overall talent to prevail (0:53)

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is speaking to the media at Wrigley Field. Kershaw is either a few hours from celebrating his first World Series appearance or about 26 hours from taking the mound in Game 5 of the NLCS.

play0:21

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

It looks like for the second time today the Cubs had a moment together as a team. They're coming out of the old clubhouse here where they gathered for several minutes before batting practice.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

Joe Maddon says that his hope is to save Jon Lester for a start if the series gets back to Los Angeles with Jake Arrieta starting tonight and Jose Quintana slated if there is a Game 5 tomorrow in Chicago. But the Cubs manager added that 'anything can happen' if it gets far enough along tonight. Both John Lackey and Wade Davis are available for multiple innings tonight.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

Chicago pitcher Jose Quintana says the Cubs got together as a team and talked today ahead of a must-win Game 4 at Wrigley. The message? One game at a time.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

"No, I don't think so. That just speaks a lot about the type of guys we have up front and the running backs we have here and if the defense plays that type of coverage and they give us that front that we gotta run the ball until they get out of it. It just says a lot about the guys up front that they can carry the load and the running backs can carry the load and really carry this team to run the ball that many times and stay effective at it and have that type of average running, so it was awesome.-- Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on if he ever handed the ball off so much at North Carolina.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

"He looks like he's 25-year-old Pep. That's just the way he is — he's a freak show. That's how he's made his money for so many years and he'll continue to do it." -- Bears right guard Kyle Long on facing Panthers veteran pass-rusher Julius Peppers.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

"Um, we don't need to run the ball 50 times and only call 17 passes. That's a big part of it. It's just kind of the way the game goes. We have a lot of faith in Adam as a player. I believe he played 20 snaps in the game, I believe around there. We're going to continue to increase his role, we do have faith in him. Some of those are things in the plan that you get to, and you think the game — we've carried 104 passes into the game and we call 17, and some of those things are designed for Adam. But Adam is a good player and a good tight end. I don't think his statistics speak to what talent he is." -- Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains on how the get 2nd round pick TE Adam Shaheen more involved.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

“He's gotten better. We still had one too many. The thing and point I want to make with Cody Whitehair is...we're an outside zone team that ran 25 snaps of inside zone because of what they were playing. It changed our game plan and Cody's a big part of that. The last two weeks we've been able to move those guys inside. He's a really good football player. We're going to battle through these snap issues. We're cutting them down. He's more accurate. He did have the one that obviously is unacceptable and no one owns that more than Cody Whitehair does." -- Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains on center Cody Whitehair's struggles with shotgun snaps.