Alex Wood continued his dominance on the mound with eight strikeouts over five shutout innings, leading the Dodgers to a 4-0 victory over the Cubs. Chase Utley continued his hot hitting with his second home run in two days, and Adrián González hit his first home run of the year. The Dodgers bullpen was perfect over four innings with two strikeouts, preserving the win for Wood.
Alex Wood was brilliant over five innings on Friday night as he struck out eight batters. The Cubs got Wood into a miniature jam in the second inning when Jason Heyward and Javier Báez hit back-to-back singles. Wood then struck out Addison Russel to end the inning. In the third, Wood issued a two-out walk to Kris Bryant, bringing Anthony Rizzo to the plate with a runner on base. With a 1-2 count on Rizzo, Wood threw to first base and Bryant took off toward second. He slid in and the second base umpire, Dan Iassogna, called him safe. The Dodgers challenged and, before the replay was over, had run off the field. The umpires in New York ruled that Bryant was out, ending the inning.
Chase Utley started the scoring for the Dodgers in the third inning. He led off of the bottom of the third inning and Jake Arrieta threw him three straight sinkers. The third sinker didn’t sink enough and Utley hammered the ball over the wall in right-center field. A fan in the front row made the catch, losing his food in the process, and the Dodgers had a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers extended their lead against Jake Arrieta and the Cubs in the fourth inning. Corey Seager led off with a full-count walk, bringing Yasmani Grandal to the plate. Arrieta, who didn’t learn his lesson against Utley, threw Grandal four straight sinkers. With Wilson Contreras asking for the ball low and away, Arrieta’s fourth sinker went high and away and into the bat of Grandal. It bounced off the wall in left-center field and Chris Woodward waved Seager around third. The Russel’s relay throw was close but not in time as Seager slid in head first, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers extended their lead in the sixth inning on a home run by Adrián González. After Arrieta struck out the leadoff man, Seager singled to right field. Arrieta then struck out Grandal, bringing González to the plate with a man on and two outs. Arrieta, who still hadn’t lead his lesson, threw all breaking balls: two sinkers, one curveball, and two sliders. The final pitch of the at-bat was another sinker that missed the target. The ball stayed right over the plate and González got his bat on it. The ball traveled over the wall in center field for González’s first home run of the year, making it 4-0.
Pedro Báez and Chris Hatcher combined to keep the Cubs hitless in the final four innings of the game. Báez got into a slight jam in the sixth inning when he issued a leadoff walk to Ben Zobrist. The Cubs advanced Zobrist to third base with two consecutive groundouts, but Báez got Ian Happ to line out to Cody Bellinger to end the inning. After that, the Cubs went down in order for the rest of the game and the Dodgers took game one of the series by a final score of 4-0.
Keys To The Game:
Never Give Up:
Chase Utley led off the fifth inning against Arrieta and hit a very slow grounder between the mound and first base. Arrieta, Javier Báez, and Rizzo were all going for the ball with Utley running hard down the line. Arrieta lunged to pick it up then dove toward the base. Arrieta’s glove and Utley’s foot hit the base at what looked like the same time and Utley was called safe. The Cubs requested that they review the play and it was ruled that Arrieta’s glove had touched the base first.
Too Many Sinkers:
Jake Arrieta threw a lot of sinkers against the Dodgers and they made him pay. Utley hit his home run after Arrieta threw him three sinkers, Grandal’s double came on the fourth straight sinker of his at bat, and González’s home run came on the second sinker of his at-bat. The sinkers that the Dodgers hit were ones that missed the target by a large margin. When a catcher has to move his glove up to catch a ball, he usually does not get a chance to catch it.
John Lackey will take the mound for the Cubs and Brandon McCarthy will pitch for the Dodgers. Lackey has not done well at home, but on the road this year he has a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 4.32. McCarthy is coming off his best start of the season when he allowed three hits and one run against the Marlins. The game will start at 4:15 pm PT and be televised on FOX