Dodgers Salvage Final Game of Chicago Series

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After hitting a leadoff triple in the top of the fifth inning, Alex Verdugo scored on a Chris Taylor fielder’s choice to put the Dodgers in front early, boosting Los Angeles to a 2-1 victory of the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon.

The Dodgers’ win came after the Cubs snagged wins in each of the series’ first two games, as Chicago outscored the Los Angeles 14-8 in those contests.

Per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Verdugo is now 4-for-9 vs against lefty pitching this year, with all four hits—a double, two triples and a homer—going for extra bases. The more time that passes by, the more the youngster is forcing Los Angeles management to include him in the lineup on a daily basis.

Pinch hitting for reliever Caleb Ferguson, Corey Seager drew a walk off of Chicago swing man Randy Rosario in the top of the eighth frame, and subsequently scored on a Cody Bellinger sacrifice fly to center field, extending the Los Angeles lead to two runs.

The Dodgers were limited to just four hits on the afternoon—Verdugo’s triple, a double by Bellinger, and singles from A.J. Pollock and Rocky Gale. Yet because of the Dodgers’ stellar pitching, they were just enough to secure the win.

Bellinger’s double gave him 84 total bases on the season. According to Elias, that’s just one short of the big-league record for total bases by the end of April. Coincidentally, Chase Utley set the mark of 85 back in 2008.

Lefty Jon Lester started the afternoon on the hill for the Cubs, tossing five innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out five. He threw 79 pitches to 19 batters faced. It was Lester’s first start since April 8, when he tweaked a hamstring while running the bases.

Lester was credited with the loss.

Ross Stripling started for the Dodgers and threw 4-2/3 innings, just one out shy of the necessary distance to record the official victory. Stripling allowed no runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six.

Pedro Baez threw 1-1/3 innings to record the win. He surrendered no hits and walked one batter while striking out three.

Caleb Ferguson threw the seventh inning allowing just a walk. Joe Kelly tossed a clean eighth, lowering his season ERA to an even 9.00.

Closer Kenley Jansen finished the game for the Dodgers allowing a home run to pinch-hitter Albert Almora, Jr., but still recorded his eighth save of the year.

Looking ahead, the Dodgers return home and will prepare for a three-game series against the Pirates beginning on Friday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu is slated to face Pittsburgh righty Chris Archer in the opener.

Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM Los Angeles time.

 

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17 thoughts on “Dodgers Salvage Final Game of Chicago Series

  1. Kenley would prefer the first draft! Our rightbhanded bats have to wake up soon! I hope! Fortunate to get out of Chicago with a win. Stripling has been great. Only team in baseball to demote a guy pitching that well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, he leads the team in games started and innings pitched…. but who would you demote when Hill gets back?

      We could always go to a 6 man. I know I haven’t had much support with that idea, maybe it’s because I lack credibility. Jeff Bannister wrote a piece supporter it. He used all the reasons I’ve mentioned. I’ll find it and post it.

      4.2
      3.46
      9.0
      3.55

      The ERA’s of the guys who had to throw the second half of today’s game. The good news is those numbers will probably go down. Probably. We were 23rd in bullpen ERA last I looked. Maybe we moved to 22nd after today. Maybe.

      4 hits. 10 strikeouts. Bad ratio. 0 for 5 WRISP. How’d we win this? Pitching. Cubs had 7 hits, 12 Ks and 0 for 6 WRISP.

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  2. Verdugo,Verdugo,Verdugo as I have said before spring training. Put him in there every day as the lead off hitter. Pollock can’t hit his weight play the kid in center every day

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  3. Five of our guys are substantially above average in OBP at this point and I would make sure to bat them in the first five spots in the order. Those guys are Joc, Dugo, Seager, JT and Belli. The first four are between .369 and .380 and as of tonight, Bellinger is at .500. Pollock’s OBP, on the other hand is .301. He should be batting lower in the order than he has been, at least until he gets untracked. My theory is you bunch your high OBP guys all together and good things will happen, even if it means you have a wasteland toward the bottom of the order.

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    1. I’ve always believed in this also, to some degree. Can you postulate a theory as to why Friedman would hit Bellinger in the six-hole on Tuesday and Wednesday? How bout Enrique Hernandez batting first? Regardless, the handedness of an opposing pitcher should not dictate whether or not Verdugo starts.

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      1. I think Verdugo has pretty well forced himself into a regular starting job, especially with Pollock, Muncy and Taylor all not doing well at present. They can move Verdugo between the three outfield positions depending on whomever else they want to have starting that day. I’m sure Doc has a very good explanation as to why he hit Belli in the 6 hole, an explanation with which I would vehemently disagree if I knew what it was.

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  4. So far Taylor and Freese get into the lineup verses lefties verses JOC and a Verdugo against righties. And we wonder why we struggle against lefties!

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  5. In 85 at bats, Justin Turner has 3 doubles, 0 triples and 0 homers.
    In 13 at bats, Zack Greinke has 2 doubles, 1 triple and 2 homers. I heard that when he hit the triple today he went head first into third base. Sometimes I really miss him.

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    1. We could sure use him Jefe. He’s a remarkable talent.

      I’m a bit surprised by Turner’s slow start, but I believe he will eventually pick it up, maybe about the same time Bellinger slows it down. Pollock isn’t this bad, but he isn’t that good either. Freese should OPS around .740 according to his all over the place projections. He’s 36. Time to maybe play more golf.

      Current playoff odds – make playoffs 95%. Win World Series 15.5%. Astros at 23.6%. If we played them now it would look a lot like last year.

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  6. Little bit of trivia I heard from Joe and Orel during yesterday’s broadcast. Of the 74 HR’s JT has hit with the Dodgers, he has hit exactly 2 before May…..that’s right, 2. So, I look for JT to turn that HR total around very soon and the weather is starting to heat up. Pollock is a pro. He is a good hitter and he will figure it out. New digs, new routine and trying like all free agents, to justify his contract. Taylor according to reports will be given a long leash to fix his swing….fix his head first. He is still striking out too much as are Turner and Muncy. Seager has shown some signs of life. I think the lust less performance by Freese so far is more owed to not playing much than anything else. Kike won the opportunity to be the regular 2B in spring. He started out like a house on fire, and now he just looks flamed out. I never thought he could be an everyday guy and I still think that. Definitely not a top of the order or middle of the order hitter. Verdugo is making it a tough decision for him to be on the bench against any opponent. He is a cocky little guy. But brings a lot of fire to the lineup. He was barking at the home plate umpire because of what he perceived to be a bad call during one of his at bats. As long as Jansen gets the job done, the solo shots late in the game do not bother me. He is still heads and tails above where he was last year. Lets hope Martin can inject some offense from the catchers spot. Barnes is gassed. Gale is not the answer. At least their defense has been stellar. Smith not on the roster, and not really ready yet.

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    1. Solid post Bear.

      We don’t have a prototypical lead off hitter but I can see Verdugo there. He’s also a 2 hole prospect. He hasn’t walked much but that could be because pitchers are pitching to him and he’s hitting strikes. He’s getting on at .367. That’ll work. I believe he knows the strike zone and won’t chase. He definitely has the starch to hit at the top. Maybe not now, but soon.

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