Dodgers 3, Cubs 2: Bellinger walks it off, sort of gets undressed by Gavin

Snapping a 5-game stretch of allowing a homer in the first inning, the Dodgers finally did not enter their half of the 1st inning trailing.

Instead, they struck first against Alec Mills while Julio Urias pounded the zone with strikes throughout the day. However, the 2 first-inning runs would be the extent of the scoring for quite awhile, needing a 9th-inning walkoff homer by Cody Bellinger who was double switched into the game in the 7th.

——

Just 6 pitches into the game, the Dodgers assured everyone they would not be no-hit twice in three days. Needing 10 pitches by Mills to take the early lead, Mookie Betts and Max Muncy connected on back-to-back doubles to strike first. Justin Turner made it three consecutive hits to start the game and scored Muncy, who had moved up to third on a wild pitch.

From there, the Dodgers helped Mills escape a few times. After Will Smith hit into a double play in the first, Chris Taylor led off the 2nd with the Dodgers’ third double of the day but was thrown out stealing third to end any potential threat.

Mills struggled for a third straight inning, issuing a two-out walk to Muncy, giving up a single to Turner and walking Smith to load the bases in the 3rd. Unfortunately, Gavin Lux‘s 108 mph liner to center went right to Jake Marisnick and the Cubs cut the 2-0 lead in half moments later as Anthony Rizzo launched a first-pitch fastball over the right field wall to open the 4th.

I’m basically just repeating myself as Mills struggled again in the 4th, but escaped with his team trailing by just one run thanks to another out on the bases. Singles for Taylor and Zach McKinstry put runners on the corners with one out. The Dodgers elected to have Urias bunt, and that backfired as Taylor picked off of third by Willson Contreras following. Mills’ fastball was basically in the right-handed batters box and high enough to let Contreras pop up and throw right down the third-base line. Naturally Urias singled on a 1-2 change one pitch later, but Betts grounded out to end the 4th inning with the lead still 2-1 despite the 10 baserunners against Mills.

And of course the Cubs tied it in the 5th with a pair of doubles, including one by Ian Happ, who hit for Mills.

A two-out double for AJ Pollock added another to the list of men left on base in the 6th, with Betts drawing a walk in the 7th to add one more.

With Joe Kelly, Garrett Cleavinger, Phil Bickford and David Price keeping the Cubs off the board for 3 2/3 innings, the Dodgers entered the 9th looking for their first walkoff of the season.

As you read above, Bellinger did just that as he sent a Keegan Thompson cutter 422 feet to center for the win.

——

After throwing just 4 innings against the Padres, and giving up 6 runs in the process, Urias was looking to get back on track. Adding in a rough start against the Giants back on May 29 and Urias had allowed 18 earned runs across 25 2/3 innings with 25 strikeouts since his 10 Ks against San Francisco on May 23.

He immediately closed in on the 5 strikeout total he had hit for 5 straight starts, putting down Kris Bryant with a curve and Rizzo on a changeup in the 1st. Then in the 2nd, Patrick Wisdom went down looking at a fastball and Marisnick went down swinging on another curve by Urias.

Spotted the 2-0 lead in the 1st, Urias continued to attack the strike zone until issuing a 4-pitch walk to Arismendy Alcantara in the 3rd. The followed a single by Jason Heyward, putting Urias in his first jam of the day with two on and no out. After a strikeout of Mills that started with a 2-0 count, Urias alternated changeup and fastball to strike out Contreras swinging for his 6th of the day. A one-pitch fly out for Bryant ended the threat, with Urias still at 50 pitches despite the longer inning.

While Rizzo got him to open the 4th, crushing a fastball after seeing four in his first at-bat, Urias kept up the aggression. Javier Baez became the 7th strikeout of the day as he swung and missed on a change before Wisdom and Marisnick went down swinging on fastballs. Hitting 9 Ks as he struck out three after the homer, Urias threw 11 strikes on his 13 pitches in the inning.

In the 5th, a 0-2 double for Heyward spoiled a potential 4th straight strikeout, and the one-out double by Happ tied the game, but strikeouts of Alcantara and Bryant meant Urias matched his career high of 11 set back on April 20 against the Mariners.

Three of the Cubs’ four hits came against Urias’ fastball, while his change had a Whiff% of 56 entering the 6th. That continued to be the case for the first two batters of the inning, with Rizzo swinging through two changeups for the 12th strikeout of the game before Baez sent a fastball to left for a single. That ended the day for Urias at 84 pitches, 58 strikes. He wrapped up with a 64 Whiff% (7/11) with the changeup, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk across his 5 1/3 innings.

Kelly went full Joseph, striking out Wisdom and Marisnick on 8 pitches to end the 6th, and Cleavinger took over to open the 7th. A single (following what seemed like a homer for Heyward that turned into a foul ball), a double play and another single against Cleavinger brought in Bickford.

Needing just one out to escape an inning, Bickford got Contreras to check swing for an inning-ending strikeout on 4 pitches. Returning for the 8th, Bickford needed three pitches to retire Bryant, Rizzo and Baez, so he was back out on the mound to start the 9th. After striking out Wisdom, who went down on strikes four times in the game, Bickford was replaced by Price as Joc Pederson stepped in to pinch hit.

Getting Pederson to fly out, albeit on a hard-hit ball that Bellinger staggered around a little to catch, and Heyward to pop out, Price ended the 9th on 7 pitches and closed out an impressive day by the bullpen.

——

It’s one final meeting with the Cubs on Sunday as Clayton Kershaw faces Adbert Alzolay on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, with first pitch set for 4:08 p.m. PT.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.