West Coast Funk
Outside of our games in San Diego, the Cubs don’t have much luck on their west coast trips to Los Angeles (NL) or San Francisco. The yearly wins at their stadiums since 2012 is at 1.81 (11-20) with a goose egg coming in 2012 when they had a winless record (0-7). With the way they have been playing up to this point in the season, as a whole, I was not expecting much different results when the Cubs opened up their three game series on Friday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The first game of the series proved that as the Cubs fell to the Dodgers 4-0.
Fresh off the plane with their “Anchorman” road trip attire, the Cubs probably would have been better off if the original Ron Burgandy, Champ Kind, Brick Tamland, or Paul Rudd brought their bats to try their hand against Dodger pitching. Alex Wood is becoming the mini Clayton Kershaw with his performance on the mound. After tossing 5 shutout innings and striking out 8 Cubs batters, Wood extended his scoreless inning streak to a major league best 25 1/3. The Cubs really did not muster a threat the whole night as the only two hits of the game off of Dodger pitching (Wood, Pedro Baez, and Chris Hatcher) came from Jason Heyward and Javier Baez.
Jake Arrieta, with the help of a generous strike zone by home plate umpire Mike DiMuro, showed flashes of his old self on Friday night. Jake threw 6 innings while giving up 4 runs and striking out 9. He did a great job of constantly being around the strike zone and it looked as if his breaking ball was back to where he needed it to be. But, his 3 mistake pitches allowed the four runs to score for the Dodgers. 3 of the 4 runs scored off of Arrieta came from home runs by Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez (first of the year). The only run that was not scored off of a home run came with Yasmani Grandal doubled in the bottom of the fourth to score Corey Seager.
The Cubs won’t get a break with Dodger pitching the next three games. On Saturday the Dodgers will send the rejuvenated Brandon McCarthy to the mound against John Lackey (6:15 CT) and on Sunday the pitching duel of the day occurs as Jon Lester will go against Kershaw. Kyle Schwarber should be back in the lineup on Saturday when McCarthy takes the mound. That will provide another bat to hopefully savage one win in Dodger Stadium. Saturday’s odds against McCarthy are the best as Kershaw again is having a great season (striking out 10 Cardinals in a complete game masterpiece in his last start on May 23) and looks to continue his dominate season.
Down On The Farm:
AAA: Reno Aces 7 Iowa Cubs 6
SP: Aaron Brooks (ND, 7.57 ERA)- 7 IP, 5 R, 0 BB, 6 K
3B: Jeimer Canderlario- 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI, .305 season average
AA: Tennessee Smokies 3 Biloxi Shuckers 2
SP: Preston Morrison (ND, 3.53 ERA)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
CF: Jacob Hannemann- 2-3, (2) 2B, 1 R, .198 season average
Advanced A: Carolina Mudcats 5 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3
SP: Ryan Kellogg (L, 1-3)- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
LF: Daniel Spingola- 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, .302 season average
A: South Bend and Fort Wayne were postponed due to rain