The Chicago Cubs took on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a four-game series this week. This was a potential playoff match-up, as both teams made the playoffs last year and are highly favored to do it again this year. After the conclusion of the game on Thursday, the Cubs took three out of four from Dodgers. Here’s the analysis and top players of that series.
Cubs Win 3 Vs. Dodgers
Cubs Pitching Comes Through
During this four-game series the Cubs starters pitched phenomenally. Combined, they only gave up three earned runs. Jason Hammel pitched in game one, but was only able to go two innings. He was pulled early due to cramping in his leg. It’s thought that he will be able to make his next start, and it’s nothing serious. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester went in games two and three. Together, they threw 16 innings, gave up one earned run and surrendered only six hits.
Arrieta and Lester could become one of, if not the best one two punch in all of baseball. Arrieta is already proving to fans why he deserves to win the Cy Young again, and Lester is showing why the Cubs are paying him the big bucks. Jake lowered his ERA to a 1.56, which has him tied for first with Clayton Kershaw. Lester comes in at ninth with a 2.29 ERA.
Kyle Hendricks pitched the final game of the series. He went eight innings and gave up two earned runs. Hendricks also seems to be settling down. He started the season out a little rocky, but he’s slowly improved throughout the season. Hendricks showed why he should be the fifth starter against the Dodgers, going deep into the game. He kept the ball at the knees and got 11 ground ball outs against just two fly ball outs.
Bullpen Also Shines
The bullpen is the other reason the Cubs win three vs. Dodgers. As stated earlier, Jason Hammel only threw two innings in game one. Travis Wood would come on in relief and pitch spectacularly. He threw four perfect innings, then Justin Grimm and Pedro Strop would come in and pitch a perfect inning a piece. Finally, Hector Rondon came in and got the save on yet another perfect inning. All-in-all the Dodgers would get only a single hit on a blooper that should have been caught.
They would struggle in game two though, as the bullpen surrendered all five of the Dodgers runs. This coming after a two hit, seven inning outing by Jake Arrieta would sting a bit. Clayton Richard and Adam Warren gave up two earned runs apiece, and Trevor Cahill gave up the final run.
This is a good representation of the Cubs pen. They are basically split between guys performing extremely well, and guys needing to improve. Rondon, Strop, Wood, Cahill and Warren all have sub-2 ERAs. Richard, Grimm, and Ramirez (who was claimed by the Brewers earlier in the week) all have 3.70 or above.
Travis Wood came in to pitch the ninth inning of game four. He would pitch a scoreless inning.
Cubs Find the Long Ball in Game 4
The Chicago Cubs assaulted the Dodgers in game four of the series. They beat the Dodgers 7-2, on the back of four home runs. Javier Baez (3) hit a two-run blast off of Julio Urias in the fourth inning. Jason Heyward (2) and Kris Bryant (13) each hit solo shots in the fifth. Lastly, Anthony Rizzo (12) hit a solo in the eighth.
Pitcher of the Series:
9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO, W (6-3)
Hitter of the Series:
3-15, 2 R, 1 1B, 3 RBI, 2 HR
The Cubs take on the Arizona Diamondbacks next in a three-game weekend series.