Homer Party at Chavez Ravine!
Scene: Dodger Stadium, Clayton Kershaw vs Jon Lester, in the pitching matchup of the weekend. Runs are non-existent, and third base has been untouched all day. The infield of each team wears down with each ground ball, while the outfielders spend time between pitches munching on sunflower seeds. The crowd cheers at the appropriate moments, but are ultimately awaiting either the summoning of a pinch-hitter to bat, or a manager’s slow walk to the mound to replace a pitcher, at which point the game can begin–in other words, the 8th inning. The game in the balance as the afternoon wears on, as the 10th, and 11th, and 12th innings beckon. It would be a game for the ages.
That scenario lasted all of an inning today. Instead, what we got were two starters knocked out before the fifth inning was done, while fans in the outfield actually had a reason to bring a glove today–all 13 of the runs scored between the two teams came on the strength of home runs. And, unfortunately, it didn’t end well for the Cubs, as the Dodgers completed weekend sweep and sent the Cubs limping into San Diego.
Clayton Kershaw: Human?
If you had told me that, during the game today, the Cubs would put up 4 runs on 11 hits (3 of which went out of the park) against Clayton Kershaw, and have him nearly to 100 pitches through 4 innings, I’d feel pretty good that the game would end up a win, or that you had visited a parallel universe where Kershaw and Brett Anderson had some Freaky Friday thing going on. Indeed, Kershaw looked decidedly human today, but the damage the Cubs did against him–the aforementioned 4 runs, 11 hits, and 3 HR–was pretty much all they did against Dodger pitching; the four relievers that followed Kershaw gave up 1 walk.
Willson Contreras got the Cubs their first run, and lead, of the series with a 2nd inning solo home run. That also ended a long run of scoreless pitching the Dodgers had at home. Given who was pitching for the Dodgers, this was a good sign that things were going to go well. Unfortunately, Contreras’ battery mate was giving up dingers at roughly the same rate, and without making sure the bases were empty. Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo also got into the act a bit later on, with Rizzo finally bringing home more than himself with his shot.
Down on the Farm
Not a whole lot of good here either, but here’s the scoreboard from around the minors in the Cubs’ org:
AAA – Iowa @ Memphis (L, 5-2)
AA – Tennessee v Biloxi (L, 2-1)
A-Adv – Myrtle Beach @ Carolina (L, 4-1)
A – South Bend v Fort Wayne (W, 3-1)