The Pressure Is On … But on Whom?

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre has been involved in two of baseball's most memorable postseason comebacks.

In 2001, Torre's New York Yankees erased a 2-0 series deficit and rallied to defeat the Oakland Athletics in five games in the American League Division Series en route to a fourth straight World Series appearance.

Three years later, in 2004, Torre was on the losing end of the most improbable comeback in baseball postseason history when the Yankees blew a 3-0 series lead in the ALCS against the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

With the Dodgers now holding a 2-0 series lead over the Cubs entering Game 3 of the National League Division Series, forgive Torre for not looking ahead.

More to the point: is the pressure on the Cubs or the Dodgers?

Game 3 is Saturday at Dodger Stadium with a 9:07 p.m. CDT scheduled first pitch. The Cubs will send right-hander Rich Harden (10-2, 2.07 ERA in the regular season) to the mound against Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (9-10, 3.73 ERA). Television coverage will be provided by TBS.

Following his team's Game 2 loss on Thursday, Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano seemed to think any pressure was on the Dodgers, and Torre on Friday agreed.

"We need to win one more game and we have to do that," Torre told reporters at Friday's media session at Dodger Stadium. "We have to do that, so I agree."

Cut to Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who just seems agitated by the whole notion of pressure (among other things).

"Look, until you win three games, there's always pressure," Piniella said. "Is there more pressure on the Dodgers, more pressure on us? Who knows?"

Piniella added: "Look, baseball is a game where you go out and have the confidence in your ability, and you relax and you play to the best of your ability. That's all you can do with this."

He said he felt pressure is something that's self-invoked.

"If you have confidence in what you're doing, there shouldn't be pressure," Piniella said. "If you don't have confidence, that's when the pressure creeps in a little bit. I don't know if the pressure is on the Dodgers or on us. Go out and play (Saturday) and … see what happens and worry about (Saturday) and (Saturday) only because the Dodgers have a little leeway. We don't have any."

But what pressure does Piniella feel?

Despite two of the most successful regular-season campaigns in recent Cubs history, Piniella's clubs have yet to post a single playoff victory despite being billed as legitimate postseason contenders.

"What pressure do I have on me? What pressure should I have? What pressure should I put on myself?," Piniella said. "There's no pressure on me."

Harden, who will be making his first career start against the Dodgers, also was not spared the pressure question Friday.

"It's a very big game," Harden acknowledged. "But I don't want to change anything in my preparation. It's still the same game of baseball and I have to go out and get prepared and get ready and treat it just like any other game."

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