After the rainout Friday, the Dodgers’ road trip started at Wrigley Field on Saturday morning for Game 1 of the doubleheader. The Cubs looked half-asleep. Clayton Kershaw cruised through 7 shutout innings for his 4th win of the season, and the bats came together to give him 7 runs of support.
‘Freddie’ chants rang out at Wrigley Field Saturday morning in the 1st inning of many innings of baseball to come for the day. Freeman got to his old teammate Drew Smyly with a booming double to center field to give the Dodgers the early 1-0 lead in Chicago. That would be one of three doubles Freeman hit in the game.
The Dodgers cashed in the walk to leadoff hitter Mookie Betts. Betts scored and Freeman reached third on a messy play spurred by the throwing error by Michael Hermosillo. Both Turners failed to knock in Freeman as he sat at third, but their bats would heat up later.
Smyly issued his second walk of the inning, a free pass to Max Muncy to give the Dodgers runners at the corners with two outs for Chris Taylor. Smyly finally ended the sloppy inning when he struck out CT3, but it took him 38 pitches to get there.
I love a good Kershaw pickoff. Kersh issued only his third walk of the season to rookie sensation Seiya Suzuki with two outs in the 1st, but he was erased on the basepaths when Kershaw snapped around to pick him off. That was the end of the inning and Kershaw’s 69th career pickoff.
The Cubs’ haphazard play continued with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd. Nico Hoerner singled, but he must have thought the ball was out of play and would be awarded 2B after a Trea throw got past Freddie. It ended up as a 3-4 put out when Hoerner was tagged out at second base by Gavin Lux on the heads-up play.
Mookie extended his hitting streak to seven games with a two-out single in the top of the 3rd. Betts is now 10-for-23 with two homers, two walks and no strikeouts during his seven-game hitting streak.
In the 4th, Austin Barnes doubled the Dodgers score with a powerful solo home run to center field against the relentless wind of Wrigley.
Freeman’s second double of the game in the 5th chased Smyly from the game after 4.1 IP. Robert Gsellman got into trouble immediately when he walked Trea Turner and gave up a 2-RBI Justin Turner double. It’s great to see JT’s bat coming around.
There was also another slick slide by Trea.
Freeman collected his third double of the day in the top of the 7th. The wind kept it in the park. Trea Turner drove in Freeman with an RBI single off Gsellman to make it a 5-0 game.
A 2-RBI Barnsey base hit in the top of the eighth gave the Dodgers a commanding 7-0 lead over the Cubbies.
The veteran ace Kershaw hurled 7 efficient shutout innings. This solid start not only helped give the Dodgers the win, but it also lessened the load for the bullpen in the doubleheader.
Kershaw’s final line: 7 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 81 pitches (58 strikes).
The Dodgers are now 17-7 on the season with the shutout victory.
Dontrelle Willis celebrated his first time in the broadcast booth with his man “JD” with his first taste of Chicago deep dish pizza.
A double dose of Dodgers baseball is coming your way. Game 2 of the doubleheader starts at 4:40 PM PT on SportsNet LA.