Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven – Cubs 1, Dodgers 4
WP – Clayton Kershaw (11-6) LP – Jason Hammel (7-6) Save – Kenley Jansen (26)
Anthony Rizzo hit a long homer over the center field wall in the fourth and tied the game at one. Jason Hammel lost his command in the sixth. The Dodgers scored two cheap runs and added a third off Travis Wood and beat the Cubs in the opener at Chavez Ravine on Friday night.
While Clayton Kershaw was dominant throughout his eight innings of work, the Cubs helped out the Dodgers on Friday night. When facing one of the elite pitchers in the baseball a team simply cannot make mistakes and three errors (one charged) by the Cubs in the sixth inning was the difference in the game.
Jason Hammel was very sharp in the first five innings. Hammel had a good rhythm as was keeping up with Kershaw. Hammel allowed one run on three hits in five innings on 77 pitches, 49 for strikes. Hammel struggled with his command in the sixth and the Dodgers took advantage. Hammel issued a leadoff walk to Chase Utley. After a single by Adrian Gonzalez, a wild pitch and a throwing error allowed Utley to score the go ahead run from second base. A second wild pitch advanced Gonzalez to third. After Hammel walked Justin Turner, Joe Maddon went to his pen. The Dodgers’ third run scored when Turner grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Jason Hammel allowed three runs on four hits with three walks, two wild pitches and five strikeouts. Hammel made 96 pitches, 60 for strikes, in five-plus innings.
Fernando Rodney made his Cubs’ debut in the eighth inning. Rodney hit a batter and uncorked a wild pitch. Rodney did not allow any hits or runs on 14 pitches, nine for strikes.
Clayton Kershaw was, well Clayton Kershaw on Friday night. The Cubs managed one run on three hits and a walk. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a home run) hit a long homer to center in the fourth. Matt Szczur (1-for-2 with a double and a walk) was the only runner to reach second base Friday night. Dexter Fowler (1-for-4) had the only other hit.
Clayton Kershaw tied a season-high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings, the most strikeouts by a Dodgers pitcher against the Cubs since Sandy Koufax’s perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965.
The Cubs managed only three hits and a walk while striking out 15 times.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 73-54 on the season.
Jason Hammel allowed one hit over the first two innings. Hammel made 38 pitches, 22 for strikes, and the game was scoreless going into the third inning.
Dexter Fowler reached on an infield single with two outs. Utley made a diving stop on a ball ticketed for center, but his throw to first base was late. Chris Denorfia grounded out to the hole at short to end the inning. Clayton Kershaw threw only 33 pitches, 26 for strikes, in three innings.
Hammel retired Kershaw on a grounder to short for the first out in the third. Jimmy Rollins beat the shift with a single to left center. Russell was playing Rollins toward third and he hit the ball where Russell would typically be positioned. Chase Utley pulled a 0-1 pitch to deep right center. Rollins scored all the way from first. Utley ended up a third with what should have been a double … it was later changed to a triple. With the infield in, Hammel retired Adrian Gonzalez on a pop out to center. The ball was not hit deep enough for Utley to tag. Justin Turner flied out to left center (3-1 pitch) to end the inning. Hammel needed 54 pitches, 32 for strikes, to complete three innings.
The Dodgers led 1-0 after three innings.
After Kris Bryant went down swinging to start the fourth, Rizzo stepped in and put together a very good at bat against Kershaw.
Anthony Rizzo worked a full count before launching the sixth pitch of the at bat over the center field wall. Rizzo’s mammoth shot on a 94 mph fastball tied the game at one.
Starlin Castro struck out swinging and Matt Szczur grounded out to third on Kershaw’s 58th pitch of the game to end the inning.
Jason Hammel set the Dodgers down in order in the fourth … 65 pitches for Hammel after four, 39 for strikes.
The Cubs and Dodgers were tied at one after four complete.
With the game still tied at one, Kershaw made quick work of the Cubs in the sixth. Kershaw struck out both Denorfia and Bryant to end the inning. Kershaw made 81 pitches, 60 for strikes, in six innings.
Jason Hammel lost his command in the sixth inning of a tied game. Hammel walked Utley to start the inning. Gonzalez singled to right (0-1 pitch). With runners on first and second with no outs, Hammel bounced a 0-1 pitch to Turner. Montero blocked the ball, but it ended up under his mask. Utley read the play and broke for third. Montero’s throw to Bryant was wide, ended up in short left. Utley scored, 2-1 Dodgers. Hammel’s next pitch to Turner skipped under Montero’s legs. Gonzalez moved up to third on the second straight wild pitch. Hammel walked Turner and Maddon went to his pen.
Travis Wood replaced Hammel with runners on the corners and no outs. Scott Van Slyke batted for Andre Ethier and smoked Wood’s first pitch back up the middle. Castro made an excellent stop, flipped to Russell and the Cubs turned a 4-6-3 double play as Gonzalez scored, 3-1 Dodgers. Carl Crawford followed with a single to right. Wood walked Yasmani Grandal. Wood fell behind Hernandez 3-0 before he ripped a single into center. Crawford scored, 4-1 Dodgers. The inning finally came to an end when Kershaw lined out to right.
The Dodgers had a commanding 4-1 lead after six innings.
And that would be the final score. Kershaw retired six of the last seven batters he faced. Fernando Rodney made his Cubs’ debut with a scoreless eighth and the Cubs went down in order against Kenley Jansen in the ninth.
Jon Lester faces Mat Latos in game two at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night (8:10pm CDT).