Dodgers 2, Cubs 1: Stripling and the bullpen (!!!) make manufactured runs stand up

The Dodgers have come to Chicago and been ice cold against the Cubs, dropping the series after losing the first two games. Fans are grumpy, and the Boys In Blue didn’t necessarily play well today either, but they managed to grind out a win on the road against a quality team in 2-1 victory.

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The bats continued to struggle no matter who was put into the lineup, as a different look today netted four hits and three walks. Thankfully one of those hits was an Alex Verdugo triple to start the 5th.

That led to him scoring on a Chris Taylor grounder that ate up Javier Baez to put the Dodgers ahead 1-0.

They tacked on insurance in the 8th as they loaded the bases with one out behind a Corey Seager walk, Justin Turner hit by pitch, and Max Muncy walk. Cody Bellinger (who else?) capitalized by hitting a ball deep that almost inexplicably traveled to the warning track for a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

And that was it.

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Thankfully it would be enough, as Ross Stripling got his last start before heading back to the pen this afternoon and he made the most of it. Chicken Strip struck out six over 4.2 shutout innings, allowing just five hits and a walk in his time.

Pedro Baez entered in relief with a runner on third and two outs in the 5th, and successfully escaped the jam. He then went on to pitch another scoreless frame, ending with three strikeouts and just a walk allowed.

Caleb Ferguson didn’t fare as well in the 7th, striking out a batter before hitting one and then issuing a walk, but getting out of it on a hard-hit grounder back up the middle for a double play. Thank the shift.

For whatever reason, Dave Roberts went with Joe Kelly in the 8th against the heart of the Cubs order despite Dylan Floro being the team’s most effective reliever this year. In what was surely a move designed to get his confidence back, Kelly got both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo to ground out to start. However, he gave up a rocket off the wall to Javier Baez and a familiar script looked like it was being written, but he rebounded with a strikeout of Dodger killer Daniel Descalso to end it despite Rocky Gale‘s best efforts.

Kenley Jansen then entered, struggling a bit in his recent appearances and looking to get back on track. He seemed to be right on course after getting two quick outs to start the 9th, but then gave up a no-doubt homer on a flat 90 mph cutter in the middle of the zone to Albert Almora Jr.

It’s definitely worrying. Thankfully he does continue to strike guys out, and he ended the game with one this afternoon.

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The Dodgers improve to 16-11 on the year and salvage something from the series. They’ll now head on home to welcome the Pirates for a three-game set, starting at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST with Hyun-Jin Ryu toeing the rubber against Chris Archer. Nobody pimp a homer.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times