By John Dempsey, WLS News
(CHICAGO) The Chicago Cubs are on the brink of elimination tonight as they play game four of the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.
The Mets have a three games to none lead after winning game three Tuesday night. New York second baseman Daniel Murphy tied a major league record by homering in his fifth straight postseason game in leading the Mets past the Cubs 5-2.
New York pitcher Jason deGrom allowed just two runs on four hits, striking out seven Cubs in seven innings.
The lone bright spot for the Cubs was Kyle Schwarber’s home run in the first inning, his fifth homer of the postseason, setting a Cubs franchise record.
Cubs Manager Joe Maddon told reporters he has a simple message for his team. “Win on Wednesday. It’s just about tomorrow. Of course we have to win four in a row absolutely, but I want us just to concentrate on tomorrow’s game, that’s it”
Maddon also says he does not plan on delivering a Knute Rockne-style emotional speech before game 4. “I don’t really have team meetings, I don’t believe in em. For me to stand up and give a speech has nothing to do with tomorrow at all. Our guys know how to come prepared to play. I expect the same thing tomorrow“
Only one team has ever come back from a three games to none deficit to win a playoff series. That team was the 2004 Boston Red Sox, whose general manager was current Cubs Baseball Operations President Theo Epstein. Epstein says the Cubs are still alive. “It’s been done before, rumor has it. We can do it. We’ve done it before. We get hot, we get really hot, we can do it”
Epstein says the Cubs have actually had winning streaks of four or more games on nine different occasions this season.
Jason Hammel pitches for the Cubs tonight against the Mets Steven Matz.