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updated: 10/18/2017 9:29 AM

Maddon: 'I thought C.J. was the right man' against Darvish

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  • Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. (6) throws in the sixth inning during Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, Oct, 17 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

      Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. (6) throws in the sixth inning during Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, Oct, 17 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

There's always a chance, and with Joe Maddon in the Chicago Cubs' dugout, there's always a positive guiding light.

But even Maddon was hit with a serious shot of the downers in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's Game 3 of the National League championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Already down in the series 2-0 and trailing in the game 3-1, L.A. had the bases loaded with two outs and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to send starting pitcher Yu Darvish to the plate to hit.

It was a curious move in a tight game, but reliever Carl Edwards Jr. walked the light-hitting Darvish on four pitches and the game was basically over.

"I thought C.J. was the right man," Maddon said. "It's just the walk there."

The walk that forced in the run -- which sparked Los Angeles' 6-1 win at Wrigley Field -- compounded by another strong Dodgers start and another dominant effort from the Los Angeles bullpen, has left the defending World Series champion Cubs on the brink of elimination.

"Your back's absolutely against the wall," Maddon said. "Tomorrow is a Game 7. We have three or four Game 7s in a row coming up right now. So it's just about, you know, we've got to counterpunch it at some point, and that's absolutely necessary tomorrow.

"We need to gain some kind of mental momentum, and obviously that's our last chance to do it tomorrow."

In addition to drawing a big walk because he admittedly thought he had no chance to get a hit off Edwards, Darvish was brilliant while allowing 1 run in 6.1 innings.

"The first home run I gave up to (Kyle) Schwarber (in the first inning), the stadium got really excited and all that stuff," Darvish said. "But I was able to focus just to pitch after that home run. I really didn't change much approach from the first inning until the end of the game. I just kept pitching the same way."

• Follow Scot's baseball reports on Twitter at @sgregor.

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