The Dodgers were rained out at Wrigley Field last night, so Ernie Banks, the old Cubby, got his wish. Today, they played two.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Kenta Maeda took the mound for the boys in blue. Joc Pederson led off the game and started the Dodgers scoring with a home run on the second pitch of the game.
Maeda himself into trouble in the second inning when he walked the number eight hitter to load the bases with one out. He struck out Tyler Chatwood, the Cubs pitcher, for the second out. He still had to get past Chris Bryant. He couldn’t. Bryant slapped a 3-2 double down the left-field line and scored two. The Cubs went up 2-1.
Maeda’s control problems lead to the second inning in a row with bases-loaded, but he was able to pitch his way out of it.
The top of the fourth inning brought a couple of scary moments. Chris Taylor was hit in the back of the helmet by a wayward pitch. The crowd and those of us watching let out a big gasp, but Taylor appeared to be alright as he took his base. Maeda was later brushed back by a high pitch, and as he went to the ground, he appeared to aggravate his hip, the same which had previously put him on the disabled list.
Maeda took the mound in the bottom of the inning, but his command problems eventually did him in. Maeda walked five and gave up too many full count hits. He couldn’t finish the fourth and was lifted with two on and two out. Adam Liberatore was brought in to clean up the mess. He gave up a single and the third Cubs run before he closed things out.
In the top of the sixth, the Cubs lost a Chris Taylor double in the ivy, turning that into a one out triple. They followed that up by losing a Yasiel Puig pop up to the notorious Chicago winds. It fell to the ground and Taylor crossed the plate, bringing the Dodgers to within one run.
It’s going to look in the box score like Maeda gave up the ghost with three earned runs. In my book, he kept the game close, while walking a tight rope with his command.
The Cubs sent LH pitcher Watson to close out the game. He surrendered a leadoff walk to PH Austin Barnes. Justin Turner followed with a single to put barns in scoring position. After being called out on a borderline strike three pitch, Yasmani Grandal became the third Dodger tossed when he argued with the home plate ump.
Down to their last strike, Kyle Farmer came out of ripped a screamer down the left-field line, scoring Barnes and Turner. The Dodgers took the lead 4-3, and suddenly Kenley Jensen had a job to do.
Jensen shut the Cubs down on a dozen pitches, and the Chicago grounds crew hoisted the L flag for all to see. With a doubleheader, there’s a chance for the boys to chalk up another win today. Ol’ Ernie Banks should be concerned.