Today’s series finale between the Dodgers and Cubs was supposed to be billed as a pitching match-up with Clayton Kershaw countering Jon Lester. Then baseball happened and both aces sucked and the game turned into a slugfest as the Dodgers used their bats instead of their arms mashing four home runs to beat the Cubs 9-4. I guess you could say the Dodgers still used their arms anyways since you have to use your arms to hit a home run.
Kershaw and Lester combined to allow 10 earned runs on 18 hits and neither ace was able to make it past the fifth inning. Kershaw struggled early with his fastball command and had to be removed in the fifth inning. The Cubs used a strategy straight from the scouting reports. They were hacking as they were hitting Kershaw’s first pitch. That combined with the humidity during a hot sticky day at Chavez Ravine spelled disaster for Kershaw. Fortunately for the Dodgers they scored nine runs, six of them against Lester.
Cubs 4 11 0
Dodgers 9 11 1
The Dodgers hit four home runs (there were seven hit overall in this game) as they completed a series sweep over the Cubs for the first time since 2012. Cody Bellinger smashed a three-run shot in the second inning and Kike Hernandez added a three-run blast of his own in the third as the Dodgers jumped out to an early 6-1 lead. Yasiel Puig and Austin Barnes added bombs later in the game to seal the win for the Dodgers.
Kershaw had to battle out of traffic jams in the first and second innings. It was the Cubs who had the lead first. Consecutive softly hit flares from Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant and a fielder’s choice force out from Anthony Rizzo put runners on first and third in the opening frame. Kershaw toughed his way out of it by getting Ian Happ swinging on a rising fastball and Heyward to fly out to right.
Chicago catcher Willson Contreras bashed a solo home run over the right center field wall to put the Cubs ahead 1-0. In the bottom of the second the Dodgers scored three against a lackluster Jon Lester. Kike walked, and bloop single to right put two runners on for Cody Bellinger. The kid smashes a monster three-run home run to right field to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1. That’s the tenth home run of the season for Bellinger, for the team lead.
Kershaw gave up two singles and a walk in the top of the third but somehow escaped the inning without allowing any runs to score. The Dodgers extended their lead with more muscle in the bottom half of the frame. Corey Seager singles to center, and after Chris Taylor whiffed, Puig reaches on a ground ball single. Then Kike launches a mammoth home run into the left field pavilions to give the Dodgers a 6-1 lead! I know, I know Kike has been playing much better the last few weeks. I guess I owe him an apology for calling him an automatic out. I’ll gladly do that if he keeps this up.
Kershaw falters in the top of the fourth allowing the Cubs to get back into the game. After Lester strikes out to begin the frame, Baez homers to make the score 6-2. Then Kershaw walks Bryant and Rizzo pulls a home run to right field to cut the lead to 6-4. That’s three home runs allowed for Kershaw and by the time the fourth inning was done his pitch count was at 99. Lester was removed in the bottom of the fourth and mike Montgomery was called in from the Chicago bullpen.
Kershaw struggled again to get through the fifth inning. Addison Russell singled. Almora singles off of a grounder deflected off Kershaw’s glove. Then Montgomery sacrifices the runners to second and third. The Dodgers take out Kershaw and bring in flame-throwing right hander Josh Fields. He blows away Baez and Bryant striking them both out with 95+ MPH heaters.
In the bottom of the fifth Austin Barnes got into the fun with a home run of his own to give the Dodgers a 7-4 lead. Puig added a two-run shot in the seventh inning to put the Dodgers up by a 9-4 score. Puig was 2 for 4 on the game with the home run and a single. Seager and Barnes both had two hits and the Dodgers were 3 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
The Dodger bullpen was fantastic yet again. Fields, Sergio Romo, Adam Liberatore, and Kenley Jansen tossed 4.2 innings of scoreless ball with five strikeouts, one walk and no hits. Fields would pick up the win in relief.
The Dodgers have now won 9 of their last 11 games and finish the home stand at 8-2. The Dodgers are 31-20 overall and have moved back into second place after Milwaukee defeated Arizona. The Dodgers are 1.5 games behind Colorado and 21-8 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are good.
The Boys in blue will pack their suitcases and head to St. Louis for a four game series. They’ll play an opening game matinee on Memorial Day. Blister expert Rich Hill will face Mike Leake at 11:15 AM PST. Oh and btw the broom depot is open and you can get 15% off on all of your Dodger sweep merchandise. Just enter the promo code “DodgersSweepCubs” to receive your discount.
Cody Love:Bellinger goes 1 for 4 with a three-run home run (10), 3 whiffs and three runs driven in. 10 HR, 28 RBI, batting average- .272
Oh and Puig did this…