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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Dodgers beat Cubs for third time, complete quick sweep at Wrigley

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The Dodgers spent nearly 33 hours at Wrigley Field this weekend and secured three victories, completing the Chicago Cubs’ victory with a 7-1 victory on Sunday night.

Add this weekend’s work to their four-game, 26-7 dismissal of the Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s lowest at home last month, and a 7-0 mark against the NL Central in the Dodgers’ 19-7 record. The next stop on their tour of Pittsburgh – the Vibegone of baseball.

“It’s tough to win a big-league ballgame, let alone sweep a team down the road,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, despite evidence otherwise. “I thought the way we played these last three matches was more specific than we expected. We pitched, we caught the baseball, did well with the bat and hit the base well.

“People are doing their job. We’re pitching. We’re holding it. The boys in the pen are coming and doing their work. I think we have the game plan as well as anyone. it never gets old.”

The Dodgers beat the Cubs 20-3 in their quick sweep of the North Siders. If not for Wilson Contreras—the lone Cubs with a chance to make the playoffs (after a trade-off deadline for a contender)—it could have been a complete whitewash.

The Dodgers knocked out the Cubs in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Contreras scoring 3 for 4 with a double and a home run, scoring both Cubs in a 6-2 loss in Game 2.

Rafael Ortega led with a double in the left-field corner at the bottom of the first inning on Sunday night. He moved to third place when Will Smith’s throwback hit the pitcher with the hitter’s bat standing on the plate and Walker went away from Buehler.

Buehler nearly trapped Ortega but Contreras threw a two-out, 0-and-2 RBI single into the right field.

After that the Cubs presented no problem for Buehler. After the first inning he found just one runner after first base – Rafael Ortega stepped into the third inning and stole second base, and not moving forward, Buehler dismissed Sia Suzuki and Ian Happ. Buehler allowed just four hits and scored two runs in seven innings, scoring six runs and a season-high 15 swing-and-misses.

The victory marked the 100th start of Buehler’s career, giving him a 43–13 record. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Buehler’s win percentage (.768) through his first 100 starts is the second-best in MLB history after Hall of Famer Whitey Ford’s .773 (58-17).

“I think the thing with Walker is that he’s such a student of the sport,” Roberts said. “You don’t know until you know … He’s learning the league, understanding the hitter, understanding the swing, and really understanding how his pitch mix plays out at this level. So Looking back, he’s clearly so much more experienced than when he first came in now. He’s just getting better.”

Buehler’s season has certainly taken that direction. Playing 4.02 ERA games after his first three starts this season, Buehler has conceded one run in 21 innings in his last three.

“I mean, I’ve had a good three in a row,” Buehler said, assessing his progress this season. “Against the Tigers (five scoreless innings), I didn’t go deep enough, but that was before it was deep (their first career full-game shutout). You feel good and you try and compete with what you have and keep jumping around what is good and what is not good and credit to Will (Smith) for being able to navigate that way is given what he sees there.

The Dodgers quietly took a substantial lead in the fourth inning, scoring twice on two infield singles, two walks, a wild pitch and a sacrificial fly.

Two more runs in fifth on consecutive singles by Gavin Lux, Mookie Bates and Freddie Freeman and a run-scoring double play. And the Dodgers added two more in the ninth, a Lux single, a Freeman double and an error by Cubs shortstop Nico Horner, which let them both score.

Bates scored 2 for 5 in the game, extending his hitting streak to nine games, during which he has five multi-hit games. Since coming down from the bottom with an average of .178 following the Dodgers’ win over the Atlanta Braves on April 20, Bates has been batting .352 (19 for 54) with five home runs and a double.

“The way the pitching is going, it’s great to see you score some runs,” Freeman said after scoring 2 for 4. “I guess some of us can say we’re not clicking. Mookie is warming up and some others are starting to swing the bat better. But I think it’s safe to say That we’re not all clicking.”

Reminded that the Dodgers are actually leading the majors in runs per game — despite a portion of the lineup not “clicking” — Freeman was surprised.

“Can we?” he said with a smile. “It’s pretty amazing. And I think you can talk to a lot of us who think we’re not doing what we should be doing. I mean, I’ve only had three home runs.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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