When Michael Grove made it through just three innings and with the pen struggling, things sure looked bleak for the Dodgers again. However, the pen shocked by turning in a shutout performance, and that bought enough time for James Outman, the greatest player ever, to hit two homers, including a grand salami in the 9th, and drive in five in a 6-2 win.
Javier Assad started basically a pen game for the Cubs, and after a clean 1st, the Dodgers started the scoring in the 2nd behind a Max Muncy homer into the wind for a 1-0 lead. He also gave up a walk, single, and stolen base, but managed to avoid further damage.
For the Dodgers, it was Grove again, looking to give the Dodgers innings. After working around a single in the 1st, old friend Cody Bellinger answered Muncy’s homer with a homer of his own to tie the game.
The game continued to go back and forth, as Outman secured a third-consecutive homer to lead-off a half-inning with his fourth of the year to make it 2-1.
The Cubs tried to come back immediately in their half of the 3rd, as a walk, single, and HBP loaded the bases with two outs, but Grove managed to induce a groundout to escape with the lead intact.
After the Dodgers were unable to cash in a double in the 4th, the Cubs started with a walk and double off Grove, which was it for him as he exited due to right groin issues. Perhaps it worked out alright, as Phil Bickford entered and got a strikeout, then allowed a single to right, but Outman cut down the second runner at the plate. That helped the Dodgers to minimize the damage, as even though a walk loaded the bases, the inning ended in a 2-2 tie.
Bickford continued on for a scoreless 5th, then was replaced by Justin Bruihl, who struck out two in a perfect 6th. Yency Almonte continued the pen’s excellent work in a clean 7th, but then started the 8th with a walk and Dave Roberts went with Caleb Ferguson. After he hit Bellinger, it hilariously came down to an earlier pinch-hitter and now shortstop Mookie Betts to turn a double play to help them keep it tied.
The bats were extremely quiet, as the Cubs pen faced the minimum in the 5th, 6th, and 7th, with the only baserunner being a single that was immediately erased by a double play.
They did manage to threaten in the 8th, as a Freddie Freeman walk led to a stolen base and error, which put a runner on third with two outs. At that point, the Cubs walked Muncy, who stole second uncontested, but Trayce Thompson flew out to left.
Dodgers had another chance in the 9th after back-to-back weak contact singles from David Peralta and Miguel Vargas put a couple runners on. After a fly out left runners at the corners, Jason Heyward pinch-hit and walked to load the bases. That brought up Outman, already sitting on one homer, who worked an impressive 3-2 count and then yoinked a mistake to right for a grand slam and a 6-2 lead!
Brusdar Graterol completed the game in the 9th with a dominant seven-pitch, two-strikeout inning, completing a pen game that shouldn’t be overlooked.