Cubs 4, Dodgers 0: Hyun-Jin Ryu, offense struggle in Wrigley finale

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers had multiple opportunities on offense, but were ultimately shutout in the final game of their 3-gamer against the Cubs on Thursday by a score of 4-0.

The game started off promising enough, with Logan Forsythe and Corey Seager stinging a couple of Brett Anderson pitches. They both resulted in outs, but it looked like the Dodgers might have a shot against this lefty.

With their own lefty on the mound, the Dodgers got behind 1-0 after Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed a solo home run to Anthony Rizzo. Eh, it happens. Rizzo is, in fact, good at baseball.

Ryu got into some trouble in the second inning after walking Albert Almora and allowing a single to the resurgent Jason Heyward with one out. A popup to Forsythe and an Anderson ground out ended the threat.

In the third inning, Enrique Hernandez led off with a deep fly ball to left field that Kyle Schwarber appeared to bobble and ultimately catch. But after review, the ball hit the brown ivy on the wall before Schwarber’s glove got in between the two, which resulted in a double for Hernandez. Ryu and Forsythe would ground out to the pitcher and shortstop, respectively, before bringing up Seager. He launched a pitch at 104 MPH and it traveled 390 feet … right into the glove of Almora in center field.

Baseball!

Speaking of, Addison Russell didn’t miss his shot in the fourth inning. Even Charlie Steiner knew that one was a dinger off the bat. It went 429 feet completely out of Wrigley Field. He good.

As you’ll notice, that homer came on an 89 MPH fastball from Ryu. His velocity was noticeably down from his last outing. He sat in the 86-89 MPH range and his 90 MPH three times. In his first start six days ago, he averaged 90.4 MPH and topped out at 92.3 MPH. Maybe it was the cold weather (49 degrees at first pitch), but he was a bit off with his velo. He still managed to strike out nearly a quarter of the hitters he faced today, but he did only last 4 2/3 innings and throw just 77 pitches. It’s a work in progress with Ryu and outings like these are to be expected. As long as he’s healthy afterward, that’s the most important thing (for now).

The Dodgers threatened in the fourth inning after Justin Turner led off with a single and Yasiel Puig walked. But Scott Van Slyke struck out swinging, Yasmani Grandal tapped back to the pitcher and Trayce Thompson grounded out. It was that kind of day for the offense, unfortunately.

The last look the Dodgers had at the game was in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs for Puig. He took a 1-1 fastball right down the middle before swinging at a pitch out of the strike zone that resulted in a foul out. I know he said he wanted to hit the ball in the air so he would have money in his pockets, but that isn’t exactly what that means.

On the day, the Dodgers went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. That’s a good recipe if you want to get shut out.

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A positive: Chris Hatcher looked not awful. He struck out three Cubbies in his two innings of work (walked one, allowed one hit). His roster spot might be safe when Pedro Baez (Friday) and Rich Hill (Sunday) return. Josh Fields (got two outs today) will likely be optioned. As for the second player, perhaps the Dodgers send one of their extra outfielders to Oklahoma City — either Thompson or Van Slyke — and play with a shorter bench for a little while. While Hatcher might ultimately be designated for assignment, he’s pitching well enough right now that he’d be scooped up immediately on the waiver wire.

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The Dodgers fall to 5-5 on the young season. They return home Friday night for the first Clayton Kershaw (3.46 ERA, 4.83 FIP) vs. Zack Greinke (2.31 ERA, 2.90 FIP) matchup since Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He does contracts and depth charts for FanGraphs and is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a one-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, California, and has yet to be shot.