Not really the time for in-depth analysis. There’s still such a long way to go to even make things interesting or make the Dodgers sweat. The Cubs had to throw basically everything they had and they still only barely get out of this. But hey, they got out of it. And we get one more day of Cubs baseball in 2017. At least.
If 2014-June 2016 was Jake Arrieta was simply, completely harnessing the power of a supernova and bending it to his will, the past season and a half have been where the hold weakens just a tad and the energy spikes escape his grasp. Tonight was something of a perfect microcosm of that.
Jake didn’t have the best command. He couldn’t locate his fastball/cutter, either missing wildly to the glove-side or then missing his spots in the zone, which is worse. Bellinger’s homer was an example of that. The curve was on point, but the slider either backed up on him, hung, or didn’t make it 55 feet. But he took the spikes and the dips and he muscled through seven innings, only giving up the one run. Even with the lack of control of all that he has, he can simply gut it out. If it’s the last one, it was a perfect example of why Cubs fans love Jake, and why it’s also probably a good idea to not hand him a truckload of cash for a ton of years this winter.
-The Cubs got another win when they didn’t really hit. Sure, three homers was enough, and to come from two guys who haven’t been doing much is heartening. But other than that, they didn’t really threaten except in the 8th inning, and that involved a Wade Davis battle at the plate. They didn’t draw a walk again, and Alex Wood has been known to go wayward from time to time.
So either the Dodgers are pounding the zone and the Cubs need to attack much earlier, or they’re whiffing on those pitches (seems the most likely), or they’re chasing pitches they shouldn’t. Hey, it’s only Kershaw next.
-I’ll listen to the argument that after 34 pitches in the 8th that Davis shouldn’t have been back out for the 9th. I know it’s hard to ignore the saves mark for Davis this year, but walks have been a problem for him all season. 4.3 BB/9 is bad. He’s just always been able to dance out of it. And he did again tonight, though Bellinger hit that double-play ball quite hard.
But you’ve tried everyone else, and this is the best you’ve apparently got. Ride or die. Figure out tomorrow tomorrow when you’re not guaranteed tomorrow, I suppose.
-Awfully nice of Dave Roberts to give Granderson, Ethier, and Utley a run out so make the bottom of the lineup something of a runway. If only the Cubs could have taken more advantage.
-It’s a marvel how the good Dodgers hitters simply can’t be drawn out of the zone, no matter how close.
-The umps on this one were a gong show, especially at home. At least it didn’t cost the Cubs much.
-The narratives are going to be flying tomorrow night. Kershaw has a chance to pitch his team into the World Series for the first time. You’ve heard a bunch about how his playoff record is spotty. Get through him, and all of the sudden the Dodgers have to think. Just a little bit.
Let’s do that.