Game One Hundred Twenty-Eight – Cubs 2, Dodgers 5
WP – J.P. Howell (5-1) LP – Jon Lester (8-10) Save – Kenley Jansen (27)
The Cubs took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh. The offense did not capitalize against Mat Latos and give Jon Lester a little breathing room. Lester was unable to record an out in the seventh before giving up the lead. The Dodgers scored four runs in the seventh and went on to beat the Cubs for the second night in a row at Chavez Ravine.
Jon Lester had a very good outing through six innings before it all unraveled in the seventh. Lester pitched around defensive issues and allowed one run in six innings. Lester could not put away the Dodgers in the seventh. Lester had two-strike counts on three of the four batters that he faced in the seventh. All four batters reached and scored in the inning. Lester came undone in the seventh, not what the Cubs needed from him coming off three straight losses.
Jon Lester was charged with five runs on eight hits and no walks. Lester struck out seven on 95 pitches, 60 for strikes, in six-plus innings.
Justin Grimm allowed an inherited runner to score and closed the book on Lester. Grimm was not sharp in his inning of work. James Russell and Tommy Hunter combined on a scoreless eighth inning.
The offense continued its weeklong struggle Saturday night. The Cubs did not take advantage of opportunities against Mat Latos and the Dodgers’ bullpen. The Cubs hit into two inning ending double plays and were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine men on base.
The Cubs runs scored on an Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a sac fly RBI and a run scored) sac fly in foul territory in the second inning after a wild pitch put Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a HBP and a run scored) on third with one out. Russell scored the second run in the fifth, that gave the Cubs the lead at the time, on a Mat Latos’ balk.
Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a double and two walks) was on base three times, did not score a run.
The Cubs managed six hits, one for extra bases, five walks and two hit batsman … plenty of opportunities, but not one run scoring hit on the night.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 73-55 on the season.
Kris Bryant led off the second inning of a scoreless game with a single to left. Bryant took off for second on a 2-2 pitch to Montero. Bryant running kept the Cubs out of the double play when Miguel Montero rolled out to first base. A wild pitch on a 2-2 offering to Russell allowed Bryant to move up to third. Addison Russell pulled a 3-2 pitch down the left field line. Carl Crawford caught the ball in foul ground just before it landed in the stands. Bryant tagged and scored, 1-0 Cubs. Jon Lester walked, the second free pass of his career. Tommy La Stella struck out swinging to end the inning. Mat Latos threw 45 pitches, 30 for strikes, in two innings.
Jon Lester gave up a one-out single to Scott Van Slyke in the bottom of the second. Lester needed 23 pitches, 19 for strikes, to complete two innings.
The Cubs led 1-0 after two innings.
Dexter Fowler walked to start the third inning. After Kyle Schwarber flied out to left, Chris Coghlan rolled into a 6-3 double play. Latos needed 56 pitches, 35 for strikes, to complete three innings.
Jose Peraza led off the third with a single to left (1-2 pitch). Mat Latos bunted Peraza to second and he stole third as Jimmy Rollins looked at strike three. Lester fell behind Hernandez 3-1. Kike Hernandez pulled Lester’s next offering to the hole at short. Russell got to the ball and made a strong throw to first. Russell’s throw was to the right field side of the bag. Rizzo could not stretch far enough to get the out. Peraza scored, game tied at one. Gonzalez flied out to center to end the inning. Lester made 38 pitches, 29 for strikes, in three innings.
The Cubs and Dodgers were tied a one after three innings.
Addison Russell ripped the first pitch from Latos in the fifth into left field. Lester popped up a bunt attempt, Turner made a diving catch in foul ground for the first out. Maddon called for a hit and run on a 1-0 pitch to La Stella. With Russell on the move, Tommy La Stella tomahawked the ball back up the middle and into center. Russell hustled to third with one out. Dexter Fowler could not check his swing on a 3-2 pitch and was the second out of the inning.
Kyle Schwarber worked a full count with runners on the corners and two out. Adrian Gonzalez did not hold La Stella at first, but Latos did not see Gonzalez left the bag. Latos went to make a pickoff throw to first base, realized no one was covering first and did not make a throw. By rule, Latos balked. Russell scored, 2-1 Cubs. Don Mattingly argued, the umps huddled a couple of times, but the call stood. Latos issued ball four to Schwarber and Mattingly went to his pen.
Lefty Luis Avilan replaced Latos with two on and two down, and Chris Coghlan grounded out to Gonzalez on the first pitch to end the inning.
Jon Lester pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning … 62 pitches for Lester after five innings, 45 for strikes.
The Cubs had a 2-1 lead after five innings.
Chris Hatcher replaced Avilan to start the seventh. Russell struck out looking and Lester went down swinging for the second out. Tommy La Stella walked. La Stella stole second on a 1-2 offering to Fowler. Hatcher continued to struggle with his command. Hatcher walked Fowler. Mattingly went to his pen for lefty J.P. Howell. Kyle Schwarber struck out swinging to end the inning.
Jon Lester appeared to catch Crawford looking at a 1-2 pitch to start the seventh. The call did not go the Cubs way. Crawford drove Lester’s next pitch into left. Crawford stole second on the first pitch to Ellis. Lester could not put away A.J. Ellis and he singled to right on a 0-2 pitch. With runners on the corners and no outs, Jose Peraza doubled to right center on a 2-2 pitch. Crawford scored and tied the game at two.
With runners on second and third, no outs and the infield in, Andre Ethier singled to center. Ellis and Peraza scored, 4-2 Dodgers. And that was all for Lester. Justin Grimm took over and Rollins flied out to right center (3-1 pitch).
Kike Hernandez cued a 1-0 pitch to right with Ethier running. Ethier went to third. Adrian Gonzalez singled to left on a 1-1 pitch. Ethier jogged in, 5-2 Dodgers. Justin Turner popped out to first and Chase Utley, pinch-hitting for Hernandez, grounded out to La Stella to finally end the inning.
The Dodgers led 5-2 after seven innings.
The Cubs let Jim Johnson off the hook in the eighth. Chris Coghlan singled to center. After Rizzo struck out swinging, Johnson hit Bryant and Montero to load the bases with one out. Addison Russell worked a full count before rolling into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
James Russell and Tommy Hunter combined on a scoreless eighth and the game went to the ninth with the Cubs down 5-2.
Starlin Castro led off the ninth with a single to center off Kenley Jansen. La Stella was called out on strikes. Fowler rolled in to a 4-6 fielder’s choice. Fowler took second on defensive indifference. Schwarber flied out to right (3-2 pitch) to end the game.
Jake Arrieta takes on Alex Wood in the series finale with the Dodgers on Sunday night (7:08pm CDT).