CHICAGO Teams

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Ben Zobrist takes some swings before Game 5. He hasn't had a lot of chances hitting right handed lately but he will tonight against Clayton Kershaw.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays reunion. Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Maddon doesn't have a closer tonight. It'll be based on matchups. Don't expect a starter to pitch in relief either. He'll have to rely on some arms that have struggled this postseason.

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Joe Maddon says he learned from Gene Mauch that you have to play a game three times: before, during and after. Once he gets the lineups, he goes back and starts looking at all the possible matchups that may occur or when pinch-hitters may come in. Yes, he scripts certain things out, but both he and Dave Roberts have said at times you just go with your gut. "You're making your best guess at the moment based on what you know," Maddon said.

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Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Joe Maddon discuss scripting out how a game might play out.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has his righty lineup on the scorecard for tonight's Game 5 with Jose Quintana going for the Cubs. That means the only lefties in the starting group are 1B Cody Bellinger and SP Clayton Kershaw. Funny, but for all the problems L.A. had against lefties last season, at this point in time their group against southpaws feels like the stronger one. We will see soon if tonight it's strong enough to get them to the World Series.

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

Joe Maddon with a very important point about postseason baseball decisions before NLCS Game 5: "Even if something doesn't work out, it doesn't mean it was wrong."

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester on what makes the Dodgers lineup so tough to face: "They don't chase pitches."

Dan Mullen ESPN.com 

For the last time this series -- and possibly the final time this postseason -- it's game day at Wrigley Field.

ESPN Stats & Info

Trubisky yet to make his mark for Bears

If John Fox was hoping to get better QB play by swapping Mike Glennon for Mitchell Trubisky, it hasn't happened yet. The rookie's numbers have been about the same as Glennon's, though Trubisky has chipped in 54 rushing yards.

ESPN Stats & Info

Bad news, Bears: Newton thriving on the road

Cam Newton's numbers have been downright ugly in Charlotte this season, but he's looked like his 2015 MVP self away from home. He'll try to keep it rolling in Chicago this Sunday.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Bears OLB Pernell McPhee credits Leonard Floyd for coming up with QB Mitchell Trubisky's new nickname -- The pretty boy assassin.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

"Well I think he can make all the throws, he's really big and strong, a little bit like Ben Roethlisberger that way, he's a big body. They do have designed runs for him, whether it's quarterback powers or some of the read option stuff. And then of course him scrambling. If you don't do a good job of collapsing the pocket and squeezing the pocket [you could be in trouble]. So that's about all there is." -- Bears coach John Fox's very brief scouting report on Carolina QB Cam Newton.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Bears coach John Fox made a point on Wednesday to praise cornerback Kyle Fuller for spending the most time watching film on his iPad prior to last week's game at Baltimore. On Thursday, Bears DC Vic Fangio said he doesn't care much about how long a guy spends on the iPad. Fangio says most of the teaching needs to be done in the building - not at home.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Bears DC Vic Fangio says cornerback Marcus Cooper is now fully recovered from back spams. Cooper was inactive Week 5 and dressed in Week 6, but barely played vs. Baltimore.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Expect Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist in the OF along with Albert Almora Jr against Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 tonight.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio still has faith in the Chicago Cubs -- down 3-1 to the LA Dodgers in the NLCS: "They [the Cubs] still have 27 outs left."

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Limited at practice on Thursday: RB Benny Cunningham (hamstring), linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) and center Hroniss Grasu (hand). Wide receiver Tanner Gentry (hip) had full participation.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Bears CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), LB John Timu (knee/ankle) and WR Markus Wheaton (groin) all missed practice on Thursday. All three are expected to be inactive for Sunday's home game vs. Carolina.