The Cubs were hoping to salvage a series split with the Dodgers Sunday afternoon at a cold Wrigley Field. Chicago went ahead early, but another Los Angeles power surge handed the home team a defeat.
A Max Muncy error opened the door for the Cubs in the bottom of the 1st inning as Cody Bellinger singled home Nico Hoerner and advanced to second on the throw. Seiya Suzuki then knocked Bellinger in to give his team a 2-0 lead. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw settled in after that and offense became hard to come by the rest of the game.
Los Angeles was able to even the score against starter Marcus Stroman in the top of the 3rd when shortstop Mookie Betts blasted a two-run home run to left field. That was the first homer Stroman had allowed all season, but it wouldn’t be the last. Yan Gomes briefly gave the Cubs the lead back with a solo home run in the 5th.
The Dodgers went ahead for good in the top of the 6th when Stroman gave up two more dingers. Muncy demolished a two-run shot off the video board in right and J.D. Martinez followed to make it back-to-back homers.
Betts doubled home two more off of Michael Fulmer in the top of the 9th. The Cubs loaded the bases in a classic tease rally in the bottom of the frame before Nick Madrigal grounded into a double play to end the game. (Box score)
Stroman made two mistakes in a row in the 6th inning and paid dearly for them. The Dodgers’ powerful lineup can do a lot of damage with the home run and they did just that Sunday.
Why the Cubs Lost
They had only one hit, the Gomes homer, between the 2nd and the 8th inning and Stroman had his first bad start of 2023.
Stats That Matter
- Stroman does not usually give up much slugging, but most lineups aren’t the Dodgers: 5 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
- Gomes has been pretty solid at the plate with four home runs this year.
- Keegan Thompson had two scoreless innings and was hitting 96 mph on the radar gun.
- Fulmer continues to struggle mightily early in the season.
The Dodgers are just too talented of a team to struggle for a long period of time. Unfortunately, the Cubs were playing them when they finally woke up. They just have to shake it off and move on to the next series because there are still a lot of good things happening for David Ross’s team.
Chicago faces another difficult opponent as the San Diego Padres come to Wrigley for three games starting Tuesday at 6:40pm CT. It’s a battle between lefties Justin Steele and Blake Snell with a broadcast available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.