Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/26/21): Dodgers 3, Cubs 2 – Bellinger Walks Off Bullpen Battle

Cody Bellinger didn’t start the game for the Dodgers, but he certainly did finish it as his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning gave the home team a 3-2 win over the Cubs on Saturday night in Los Angeles. Some nincompoop might say the bullpen faltered again and lost the game, but the offense produced only two runs while the pen worked 4.2 scoreless before Keegan Thompson gave up the longball.

Alec Mills started and gave the Cubs four innings while working in and out of trouble to the tune of just two runs. He can probably thank Willson Contreras for part of that, as the backstop picked off Chris Taylor twice at third base (once on a stolen base attempt and once as he strayed too far while leading off), but he also made pitches when it mattered.

Mills handed it over to the lesser-known Northside law firm of Wieck, Winkler, and Brothers, all of whom struck out three Dodger hitters while allowing just one hit combined over four innings (that’s Brad, Dan, and Rex, in the firm, by the way).

While the Cubs ‘pen was holding down the fort, Dodgers starter Julio Urías was racking up a season high 12 punchouts in just 5.1 innings. The only blemishes on his night were a 4th inning blast from Anthony Rizzo and a pinch hit double from Ian Happ in the 5th that tied the game at 2-2. The Dodgers pen stifled the Cubs in a reciprocal manner after that, all except for that home run in the 9th, that is. (Box Score)

Why the Cubs Lost

The pitching was good, but the offense just didn’t do enough to squeak out a close game on the road.

Key Moment

How could it not be the walk off to end the game from Bellinger?

Stats That Matter

  • The two pitching staffs combined for 27 strikeouts in the game, giving everyone in the ballpark a constant breeze.
  • Jason Heyward reached seven straight times before a weak pop-out ended the Cubs’ chances in the top of the 9th. He was 3-for-4 with a run scored on the night.
  • Patrick Wisdom got the golden sombrero with four strikeouts on the night.

Bottom Line

Despite a tough loss, the Cubs have a chance to go home with a split Sunday night. That was the realistic goal without Kyle Hendricks taking the mound in any of these games, right? The bullpen is still really good and is getting contributions from everyone, but the offense needs to stop hitting the snooze button and wake up. Let’s hope they’re up to the challenge against one of the best pitchers of this era on Sunday Night Baseball.

On Deck

The aforementioned future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw gets the nod for the Dodgers as the Cubs counter with Adbert Alzolay, who’s hoping to make his second start since coming back off the IL a memorable one at Chavez Ravine. The game is on ESPN at 6:08pm CT, but you may want to tune in to hear Pat and Ron on 670 The Score.

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