If you thought that a comfortable 6-2 lead would give the Dodgers a well deserved sleepy win over the Cubs, then you probably haven’t been paying much attention. Why would the Dodgers do anything the easy way? After Tuesday night’s dreary 9-4 beatdown the Dodgers were looking to right the ship. Alex Wood looking for his fourth win took the mound. The Cubs countered with struggling Kyle Hendricks.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead with six runs in the first two frames. The Dodger bats did what they normally do, hitting jacks. The boys in blue hit three more home runs increasing their June total to 51. You would think with a four-run lead and more opportunities to score, the Dodgers would breeze to a laugher. Wouldn’t you know it, those darn pesky Cubs would rally to make the game interesting. At one point the Dodger lead was down to just a single run. Thankfully Kenley Jansen struck out Addison Russell with the tying run on third base en route to a 4-out save. The Dodgers beat the Cubs 7-5.
Cubs 5 10 2
Dodgers 7 12 0
It certainly wasn’t easy as Wood got off to a dreadful start. The Cubs got to Wood in the top of the first plating two runs on two hits. The red-hot Javier Baez doubled and scored on a two-run home run from Willson Contreras. The Chicago backstop hooked the ball inside the left field foul pole to put the Cubs up in the opening frame. Fortunately that would be Alex Wood’s only mistakes in a well pitched start. Wood settled down nicely to turn in a quality start. Wood would allow three earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over seven innings.
The Dodgers once again relied heavily on the long ball. The Dodgers hit three home runs in tonight’s win. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. The Dodgers lit up poor Hendricks like a Christmas tree. This is definitely not the same pitcher that won an ERA title a couple of years ago and shut down the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Dodgers tagged Hendricks for six earned runs on eight hits over just 2.2 innings.
Max Muncy got the party started with a solo home run over the center field wall. Funny thing baseball is, the ball bounced back over the wall and grazed Albert Almora Jr. in the back of the head. This reminds me of Jose Canseco getting hit in the head in center field many years ago. Back to the present, after a Justin Turner walk, Cody Bellinger’s single to right sends Turner to third, but he was thrown out at the plate on an Enrique Hernandez grounder. Yasmani Grandal’s immediate two-run double put the Dodgers on top 3-2. Every Dodger had a hit tonight (except for poor Logan Forsythe) even Wood himself. In the bottom of the second Wood reached on a single and scored when Joc Pederson tattooed a Hendricks meatball halfway up the right field pavilions. Joc has now hit ten home runs in June. The Dodgers lead 5-2. Later in the inning there was a Muncy walk, a Turner single and Hernandez’s RBI single put the Dodgers ahead 6-2. The Dodgers scored six runs in twelve hits but it felt like the Dodgers should have and could have scored more. In fact they could have.
That’s because the Dodgers stranded a small army of runners on Wednesday night. They left the bases loaded in the fourth, two on in the sixth, the bases loaded again in the seventh, and one in the eighth. The stranded 13 runners on base and were 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
The Cubs snuck back into the game like the crew of ocean’s eleven. They scored one in the fifth on a Heyward infield single. The Dodgers were leading 6-3, for some reason they decided to remove Wood (after the seventh) and bring in Scott Alexander. The Cubs scored twice in the eighth to cut the lead to 6-5. The inning started off well with Alexander striking out Tommy La Stella. Heyward walked and Baez followed by rapping a single to right. Then Contreras doubled off the wall to plate both runners. Alexander would get Ben Zobrist to ground out. Contreras was now at third with two outs. The Dodgers tab Kenley Jansen to record a four-out save. He battled Addison Russell, and won striking him out to end the inning.
Cody Bellinger would give the Dodgers some needed insurance with a booming solo home run in the home half of the eighth. With the score 7-5 Dodgers, Jansen worked around a one-out single in the top of the ninth to close out the win for the Dodgers. It was mostly a fun night with Addison Russell making two errors on one play in hilarious fashion.
On a side note, Matt Kemp was not available on Wednesday because he was serving his one-game suspension handed down by Major League baseball for his fracas with Ranger’s catcher Robinson Chirinos a couple of weeks ago. The Dodgers were without their best hitter and still hit three home runs and scored seven. I’m impressed. The series wraps up on Thursday afternoon with the semi-healthy Clayton Kershaw drawing Jose Quintana with first pitch scheduled for 12:10 PM PST.