It’s the series I’ve had my eye on since the schedule was announced last fall — the Dodgers facing the Cubs for Chicago’s home opener. Would the Dodgers be the World Series Champs, and the Cubs be dealing with the what-ifs, or would the Dodgers be faced with watching the Cubs raise the World Series banner?
Unfortunately for Dodger fans, it’s the latter. The Cubs have finally won the World Series, and will be raising said banner tonight for their home opener. But apparently, it won’t bother Los Angeles.
In addition to the banner raising, there are some other interesting story lines to watch. Cubs manager Joe Maddon changed his lineup around so that there are now two lefties lined up to face the Dodgers, instead of one. We all know the problems the Dodgers had facing left-handers last season, and now other teams around the league are using it to their advantage.
“I get it,” Roberts said. “I guess it’s up to us to go out there and change the narrative. We are going to have our opportunities. This year we have a completely different mindset.” The Dodgers are coming off a game where they faced a left-hander and put up five runs against him, including a Corey Seager homer. Let’s hope the momentum carries into Chicago.
Monday will see Alex Wood make his first start this season against Jon Lester. Wood is in the rotation for the injured Rich Hill, who is taking some time to rest his finger so a blister doesn’t form. Wood has looked impressive in his short outings so far this season. Lester will be a tough task, as he shut down the Dodgers in the four games he faced them last season, including Games 1 & 5 of the NLCS. Lester allowed one run in five innings of work in his first outing, scattering seven hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Tuesday is an off day in case of inclement weather.
Wednesday’s game features Brandon McCarthy facing John Lackey. Lackey went six innings in his first outing, allowing four runs on six hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts. He was also 2-for-2 at the plate.
Thursday’s matinee will be Hyun-Jin Ryu against former Dodger southpaw Brett Anderson. Brett had a very good first outing for the Cubs last week, allowing only one run in 5-2/3 innings of work. He also only allowed five hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.
On the hitting side, the Cubs bats don’t seem to be all that hot. First baseman Anthony Rizzo has only four hits over the Cubs’ first six games. Kyle Schwarber has 10 strikeouts. Ben Zobrist is hitting .211, but he does have two home runs and six walks. Jason Heyward is their hottest hitter currently, with a slash line of .333/.391/.429/.820. The Cubs went 2-1 against both the Cardinals and Brewers.
Roberts might say that it won’t be inspiring to watch the Cubs raise the World Series banner, but I do hope it adds fuel to the Dodgers fire on their quest to get to the World Series. A series win won’t mean everything now, but it could be a little bit of revenge to spoil the Cubs’ home opener, and work towards the Dodgers reversing the outcome of the playoffs this fall.
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