Saturday, February 4, 2023
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NLCS Revenge: Dodgers Shutout Cubs Again

This is clearly not the same Chicago club that won the World Series last year and finished with 103 wins during the 2016 regular season. I don’t know what’s wrong with the Cubs this season but lackluster starting pitching and weak hitting has led them to a mediocre 25-23 start. Although entering today they were in first place in a very competitive NL central race.

The Dodgers enacted some NLCS revenge and shutout the Cubs for the second consecutive game with a 5-0 win on Saturday night. It’s a small victory in comparison to being eliminated in last year’s NLCS, but it still feels pretty damn good. It’s nice to see the Cubs fall flat on their faces. This is the first time the Cubs have been shutout in back-to-back regular season games since May of 2014 against San Francisco.

Cubs      0 3 1

Dodgers 5 6 1

WP-McCarthy-5-1

LP-Lackey-4-5

SV-Stripling-1

HR-Taylor-6

The Dodgers got a solid pitching performance from lanky right hander Brandon McCarthy. He allowed just 3 hits across six shutout frames and struck out six with only one walk to improve to a 5-1 record. The only blemish on the night for McCarthy was some kind of injury scare in the sixth inning.

Embed from Getty Images

http://gty.im/689175390

The Dodger bats came alive again against opposing starter John Lackey. Chase Utley and Chris Taylor were the stars today. Utley was 2 for 4 with two singles and three runs driven in. Chris Taylor blasted his sixth home run of the season (two-run shot) and Cody Bellinger walked three times. On the relief side Ross Stripling tossed three innings of scoreless relief to pick up a three-inning save, his first of the season.

The Dodgers scored once in the fourth frame and put up 4 runs in the bottom of the fifth. In the fourth Kike Hernandez doubled and stole third base. Utley’s ground ball single scored Kike to put the Dodgers up 1-0. In the next inning McCarthy drew a lead-off walk. Then Taylor launched a two-run home run over the low wall in the left field corner to put the Dodgers up 3-0. After consecutive singles from Yasmani Grandal, and Adrian Gonzalez, there was a force out and Bellinger walked to load the bases. Utley’s second single into right field got through the Chicago infield and the Dodgers took a 5-0 lead.

That was all the boys in blue would need. The Dodgers had some good glove work behind McCarthy as well. Rookie Ian Happ singled to center in the fourth and was thrown out at second trying to extend it to a double. The initial call on the field was safe, but replay reviews showed that Happ popped up on his slide and was tagged out.

The Cubs had just three hits on the day and were 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers were 2 for 7 in such situations. The Dodgers are now 30-20 on the season and ten games above .500. The series concludes on Sunday as Jon Lester will battle Clayton Kershaw in a duel of left handed aces. The Dodgers are now 20-8 at Dodger Stadium.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic
http://ladodgerreport.com

91 thoughts on “NLCS Revenge: Dodgers Shutout Cubs Again

  1. Their pitching staff need long relievers. Maddon is forced to leave in their pitchers in too long. Our hitters go into funks too but I think overall our relievers, especially our long relief, are tops in the majors. Although I think we still need another one. Right now it’s Ryu but things willl surely change over the next few months (weeks).

  2. Pitching is on a roll and the depth continues to shine.

    Smoltz had a curious comment on Puig. That pitchers are just throwing heat. He’s obviously struggling, I wonder if he’ll get a DL spell.

    Trace Thompson has come around

    1. He’s raised his hands a bit, but in my opinion not enough. I don’t care for a stance that starts with the hands below the shoulder. Some can get away with it. Puig can’t.

      Thompson is 11 for 36 in his last 10 games. .977 OPS. I hope you’re right Bluto.

      I believe we are now .500 against teams with a winning record. That’s better.

    2. Bluto

      In isn’t a secret that Puig has had trouble hitting good, fastballs.

      Garvey noticed this last year, about Puig.

      Puig has trouble hitting decent fastballs, and we are not talking about super high velocity, fastballs.

      And that is even when a fastball is right down the middle of the plate.

      And Puig is getting more fastballs then any other player in all of baseball, except two players, that are not known to be good hitters.

      Puig apparently gets to big or doesn’t use his mechanics properly, when he gets fastballs.

      I don’t think Thompson will do better then Puig, if you ask me.

      I know Trayce is doing better now, but I don’t know if he is even the best hitting outfield, on the AAA team.

  3. Nice game for the entire team. McCarthy to have a MRI on his knee, suspected tendonitis. We pick up a game on both the Rockies and D-Backs. Thompson went 1-5 tonight in OKC’s win. Puig looks really lost up there right now, a little rest or maybe even a stint at AAA is in order.

    1. Uh oh. Does that mean I’m gonna lose my bet already?

      When Puig first came up pitchers were trying to throw high fastballs and he was just crushing them. Pitchers adapted and started setting him up to throw down and away, and he chased. That was his weakness. To his credit, he’s gotten much better with this and shows more plate discipline, but now he’s not getting around on fastballs. Pitchers figured this out and now there’s probably not another player who sees more fastballs.

      I think Puig just thinks too much.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/yasiel-puigs-on-a-high-fastball-diet/

      1. Fastballs or no, Puig looks totally lost up there right now, and I think he needs a blow really bad. I also think his back is not totally right.

      1. Michael must be sleeping late. His profile says he served in Germany, Korea, and the US but not Viet Nam. We should change his name to Lucky. Before you ask, all of my service has been as a civilian. And I am properly appreciative to have missed out on that mess. I thank those who served and DAMN the politicians who sent them.

        1. You ever heard of Baker Company at Edgewood Arsenal? Look it up if you haven’t. There were rumors in the Corps about these experiments and that the Marines were issuing a concoction to make combat troops fearless. We got shot up with so many drugs and vaccines, and had so much chemical crap dropped on us over there it’s no wonder so many Vietnam vets are plagued with cancers and brain dysfunction issues. Lab rats. We were all nothing more than a means to an end. And the bulsh*t continues.

          Happy Memorial Day? No such thing.

          1. Thanks for telling us and we will try to be more understanding in the future. We understand.

        2. Jonah

          First thanks!

          I saw that Michael mentioned that he served in those countries, and I was surprised, that he never served in Nam, because of the times, he served in.

          So I thought I would ask Michael, just to be sure, that that, was true.

          Because like you said, he had to be really lucky, to not have to go to Nam, during those times.

          My brother joined the army because his draft number was coming up, so he thought he might be in a better situation, if he joined, before he was drafted.

          My brother served in Germany like Michael did, but he ended up, having to go to Nam eventually.

          And he just missed by a week, or he wouldn’t have had to go, to Nam.

          I don’t remember when Michael went in, but I do remember he did mentioned 1965, and my brother was only 15, in 1965.

          It seems like Michael liked his experience, in the arm forces to me, but I might be wrong.

          My brother doesn’t talk about his military experience, and most of the Vietnam vets I know, don’t talk much about their military experience.

          But if they do talk about their military experience, it is usually only to others, who went to Nam, too.

          I knew you didn’t serve, and I agree, our guys should have never had to go, to Nam.

          And that is why my brother wouldn’t vote for almost any politician, that wanted the US to go to Iraq.

          1. MJ, in answer to your question, I did not go to Nam and it was mainly because of the branch of the Army I was in. I was in Air Defense Artillery. HAWK missiles. There was only 1 HAWK battalion in Viet Nam and it was at Cam Ran bay. 1 Battalion means 4 battery’s. So a total of 24 Radar techs like me there at a time. Those guys had it pretty easy and from what I learned of the ones who actually went there, there were never really attacked. The conundrum of the situation is that HAWKS< used primarily for air defense, were not exactly located in the right area to do any good. Most North Vietnamese Mig's would not come that far south, so it was up to Navy, Air Force and Marine fighters to deal with them. I went in on Dec 7th 1965 and was discharged on Oct 16th 1974. So I went in around the time Johnson decided to escalate the war. I was 17 when I enlisted. Members of my family had always served, and my dad was at Pearl Harbor. I understand the bitterness that Badger feels and I am very sorry any of our troops ever had to go through things like that. I for a while suffered from survivors guilt because I lost a lot of friends over there. And more than a few came back permanently damaged mentally. It was a botched war, and un-nessesary, but you cannot go back and change history if you even wanted to. Nam vets are just now getting the respect and recognition they so richly deserved. We were spit on, called names and generally vilified when we came home whether we had been there or not. I received that kind of treatment at the SF airport when I came home from Korea in 1968. Some hippie dipshit spit on my uniform. You do not disrespect my uniform, I knocked him on his ass. Most of my military service was spent in the states. 5 years of the 9 I served I was at Ft. Bliss, Texas. I took basic, and my AIT training there. Radar school was 9 months long. In Korea I was 4 miles from the DMZ on top of a mountain. We had flyovers from Mig's, ( we were not allowed to fire at them ). Lots of drills and step ups in readiness to defcon 3. One of those occurred during Israel's 7 day war with Egypt. I left they day the North Koreans tried to assassinate Korean president Park. I spent 3 years in Germany stationed in Wildflecken. Again on top of a mountain. We were about 14 kilometers from the Czechoslovakian border. There were maybe 12 Russian armored divisions in that area. The Cold War was very much on. I was in Munich when the terrorists took the Israeli team hostage and about 1 mile from the airport where the German's tried to free them. We actually sat on the hill where the stadium was and looked down on all the armored cars surrounding the Olympic village. I left Korea 2 days before they took the Pueblo, had I been still in my unit on Monday, I would have been extended 6 months. Most of my Army experience was positive, some of it not so much. But that happens in every line of work. I almost decided to stay in for 20, but when they went all volunteer in 1974, I decided to get out.

    1. Hopefully Thompson reaches his potential and can help this team for no other reason than it helps balance that trade for him.

        1. Unravel all those moves Bluto. There are a few guys we moved that are playing, and playing well, in the ML. They could have been used more wisely, especially if Hill and Thompson continue their trajectory. I think it’s reasonable to say that.

          1. Undeniable.

            But does anyone think every trade a team makes is going to be a one-sided “win”? Or even a two-sided win?

            As we’ve seen a lot of trades deal with young players, there’s high variance there.

            I just think getting ultra-specific with hindsight on trades is odd. On average the Dodgers have and are doing quite well.

            That said, I hope Thompson plays great for the team.

          2. Do you really want Peraza on the team? Do you really think he’s that good?

            Where’s Cotton supposed to play? Do you think he would ever break into this team’s starting rotation, and what good is he going to do stuck in OKC? Do we have plenty of bullpen arms…both at the MLB level and in the minors? Is the team really missing Montas?

            Maybe I wouldn’t be compelled to come across as such a FAZophant if you weren’t so selective in your agenda driven criticism. Yeah, bummer about Trayce’s bad back, but I’m hardly going to blame the front office for that. Sure, the Olivera signing bonus was a mistake, but I’m thrilled the team has Woods. Ok, Peraza’s fast, but I’d personally rather have Chris Taylor and Forsythe. Cotton will likely top out as a mid
            to back of the rotation starter, but doesn’t the team already have too many mid to back of the rotation starters?

    2. Michael

      I think my brother was a radar tech too.

      He was also in the army, and he was stationed in Germany, before he went to Nam.

      I think he was stationed, around Hamburg Germany.

  4. Badger, going back to your earlier post and wondering if there is such a thing as a “justifiable war”… Given the unjustifiable cost in money and even more so in lives, what criteria do we use to determine if it was justified? Best I can come up with is to ask if anything good or better than it was can be attributed to the war. Using that criteria, all of our wars, up to VietNam, resulted in at least part of the world being better than it was prior to the war. Unfortunately, VietNam and the “wars” since then have not resulted in any improvement whatsoever. So those politicians have much wasted blood on their hands in their quest for political glory. Will we ever rise above it?

    1. Jonah

      It seems to me that some of these politicians gained more then just political glory, from some of these wars.

      Cheney is a name that often comes up, when it comes to a political appointee, making quite a bit of money, off a war.

      And I am sure even more people made some good money off the Iraq war too, as well, as some of the other wars.

      1. It’s not a new idea, but how about the next time one country gets mad at another, citizens refuse to fight and have the leaders fight each other? Can you image rooting for Trump, or T-ass as he’s known in some venues…

        1. Jonah

          The rich politicians just get a bunch of referrals, like the one in charge, now.

          And they sure make sure, that non of their young go to war, and, risk their lives.

    2. Simple answer to your question Jonah – Eisenhower warned us. We did not listen.

      What war that we have fought since WWII has made us safer? What war we have fought since then has made the corporatocracy richer?

          1. Jonah, Korea today is a lot better than when I was there in 67. Back then we were the backbone of their defense. ROK army had a couple of crack divisions, but that was about it. Tiger and White Horse were real combat divisions and actually saw action in Nam. The VC were very afraid of those guys. Mainly because they did not fight like we did. They were brutal, and gave tit for tat. It was not unusual to be driving down the road and see people urinating and defecating on the side of the road and Seoul was a Hodge podge of huts and large buildings. It is much more modern today. Their army is a lot better now too. Not so sure about their Air Force.

      1. Badger

        Scebler hit another HR today, he now has hit, 15 HRs.

        And the Giants former prospect, also on the Reds, hit another HR today, too.

        He now has hit 12 for the season.

  5. I hope Kershaw is on his game today, because the Cubs have never faced Kershaw, when he is at his best.

    Even in that game that Kershaw won against the Cubs in the post season, he wasn’t close to his best, because I don’t think had his sliders and curves, really working.

          1. Huh? No you don’t. You are bombarded with importunates everywhere you look. 538 (electoral votes, not dollars and cents) is no different. We even get hit here. I’m surprised we don’t see a US Water ad here (parts made in Taiwan by the way)

            Kershaw getting some ridiculous calls going his way. Seems to happen a lot.

  6. Memorial Day to me is to honor all who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice no matter which conflict they served in. In earlier wars you could say they died to protect freedom and their country. That has not been the case since WWII. Every war since then has been more politically motivated. But men died just the same, and a lot of them were the cream of American boy hood. Most of them were not of the upper class. The draft was not fair in any stretch of the imagination, so what did these guys die for? They died for the guy next to them in Foxholes from Cho sun Reservoir, to the streets of Baghdad. They died for their friends and comrades in arms. They did not die for freedom, or release of oppression. The buddy sitting next to him in a foxhole, or on the seat in a Humvee. That was who they sacrificed for, and that is why I mourn and respect them. I have little respect for the men who sent them to those hell holes, and none for those who decided they would not fight and ran away to another country.

    1. Right on, they died for ideas or maybe ideals. That they were misled by their leaders is not their fault, they deserve all the honor available. We are going to have another Civil War, because the political leaders of this country have corrupted the intent of the Constitution and are misusing the laws. Thank God not in my time, for my time here is almost finished. Long Live The Idea of Freedom.

    2. World War Two was perhaps the only war that was not at least 50% politics. And if could have been prevented with a better resolution to WWI.

      We should have listened to Eisenhower and Sun Tzu.

  7. On this day in Dodger history, 2001, Paul LoDuca ties a Dodger record with 6 hits in a game that goes 11 innings with the Dodgers beating the Rockies, 7-6, Shawn Green has 4 hits including the game winner.

    1. I’m not $5.38.com but I’m predicting a big day for Puig. (Assuming he starts) So much for that idea, he’s riding the bench today….

          1. Update says he left with an illness, not injury….upset tummy! Nice shot by Bellinger…..Boom, there it is.,

    1. They said Lester’s velocity was down, but Kershaw’s velocity is down today too.

      Kershaw’s fastball has been at 91, and he is usually at least, at 93.

      Roberts is leaving Kershaw in the game again, because Kershaw talked Roberts, into staying in the game.

      And his pitch count is not far off from 100.

      I don’t like when Kershaw does this!

      He obviously doesn’t have it today, and this is now a two run game.

      1. The balls are carrying well today.This game is not over, it is going to be a messy one, 10 to 9 or something like that. Chicago is too good a team to go down quietly.

      2. Kershaw had a couple hit 95 but they were out of the zone. Trouble is the same thing that plagued him in Colorado. He is leaving the ball in the middle of the plate and missing his spots.

  8. I was so wrong about Barnes. The kid has shown me a lot this year. FAZ is still an idiot when it comes to appraising talent…

    1. Michael

      And everyone knows location is important, but Kershaw is usually at 93 not 91, and that is different for him.

      1. Had nothing to do with him being lit up. Maybe he was tired, but he struggled with location all game long. I have seen plenty of pitchers with less velocity win games.

  9. The Fields acquisition is an interesting one. He’s a quality arm, but the prospect the Dodgers gave up is showing promise.

    Win. Win. Hopefully.

    1. We supposedly needed a RH hitting 2nd baseman and a everyday starter. He rates more like a super utility guy so far. And has really struggled coming off the DL.

      1. Tomorrow’s game is early, especially for our players, who still have to make the trip to St Louis, right after this game.

    1. Good to see the team weather a rare shaky Kershaw start to get the sweep.

      Was Turner holding the team back?

      Don’t look know but it’s LA 9 of 11.

      They good.

          1. Bluto

            Most of the time I am joking with you.

            But I still want those War numbers, on Joc and Puig.

    1. It’s easy enough to look them up

      In 341 games Joc has 5.1 WAR. In 482 games Puig has 12.8 WAR.

      So far this year Puig is doing better.

        1. Just google the names and click on the Baseball Reference site. Scroll down to show player value. It’s all there. I think Puig has .1 WAR, Joc is in negative numbers.

  10. MJ, please quit teasing Bluto. He doesn’t quite know how to deal with you and it may discourage him from coming here.

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