Updated: Jun 28
Both the Cubs and Dodgers scored 22 runs in the four games they played at the Friendly Confines. The Dodgers get back on track to a 12-11 record, while the Cubs fall back into the wild card mix at 12-9. Overall, the Cubs felt like they could compete with a team like the Dodgers that could make the playoffs.
Cubs Off To Strong Start
One of the reasons the Cubs have been able to get off to a good start this season is because of the rotation led by Stroman. Entering Sunday, Chicago’s beginning staff had a 2.96 Time, which drove the Public Association and positioned third in the Majors. Stroman had the lowest ERA in the NL going into the afternoon.
Additionally, Stroman had a ground-ball rate of 61.4 percent going into his outing against the Dodgers, which ranked second in MLB and ahead of qualified NL pitchers. He had not surrendered a homer, and his homerless streak moved to 20 innings with two clean edges to open his excursion on Sunday.
In the third inning, Mookie Betts hit a 1-0 sinker into the seats in left-center field to end Stroman’s run and give him a two-run homer. When, uncharacteristically, Stroman gave Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman a four-pitch walk in the sixth, things went south for him. That made way for Max Muncy, who has hit five home runs in seven games for Chicago, to send an inside cutter from Stroman to right field.
The Cubs fell behind 5-3 when J.D. Martinez pulled a breaking ball from Stroman two pitches later to left field. Stroman had not given up three home runs in a single game since June 3 of the previous season.
Following a stretch of 13 out of 16 games against playoff teams in October, Stroman will pitch in Miami in his next outing. Next up on the schedule are the Padres. That will put these Cubs to the test once more.
The Padres are off to a disappointing start with big expectations to start the season. Heading into Wrigley Field, the Padres will be desperate to grab ahold of a series. It gets more manageable for the Cubs as they head to Miami, then Washington, and then host Miami again to start off the month of May.
The Cubbies already played both of their series against Los Angeles and won’t have to face the Dodgers again this regular season.