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Dodgers Drill Cubs In Series Opener

Kershaw quality start, Bellinger and Muncy bombs key big win.

Without a doubt, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs seem on another collision-course to be the last two teams standing in the National League in 2019.

On Thursday evening at Dodger Stadium, they kicked off a premiere four-game series. Both teams led with headline starters in Clayton Kershaw and Jon Lester. And on Kershaw Day, the Dodgers would hold serve in a 7-3 victory.

Honestly, it was one of the more enjoyable wins of the 2019 season. The boys in blue haven’t been a great watch – winning some recent games ugly. This ballgame was the exact opposite, a beauty in many facets.

Here’s how it unfolded.

The Offense

With the Dodgers in a 3-0 hole in the early going (we will get to that in a second), David Freese singled off Lester’s leg. Then, Cody Bellinger did something he hasn’t done in a dozen ballgames.

Bellinger hit home run number 21 – an opposite field clout that got the Dodgers on the board. Next, Chris Taylor singled. And Max Muncy stayed red-hot with his own home run. Here’s a look at both blasts.

Within the blink of an eye, the Dodgers led 4-3. It was a lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the evening.

Later on, Freese would add his 8th home run of the season with Taylor aboard to put the Dodgers up 6-3.

Finally, Bellinger wasn’t finished. The right-fielder’s 22nd home run of the season would come in the bottom of the seventh inning. Equally important, it came off another left-handed pitcher. This one was of the line-drive variety.

And that was all for the scoring on this evening. Freese, Bellinger, and Alex Verudgo all had multiple-hit efforts in the 11 run attack for the Dodgers.

The Pitching

Kershaw might have caused a little angst in the early-going for Dodgers fans. Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a home run. Then, Wilson Contreras singled to give the Cubs a 2-0 cushion all before the first inning was complete.

However, Kershaw would again get his legs underneath him and find his rhythm. While still allowing a home run to Kris Bryant in the top of the third to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead, he was mostly spotless the rest of the evening.

In improving his record to 6-1 on the season, Kershaw compiled a quality start. Kershaw allowed seven hits and two walks in six innings of work. He countered with eight strikeouts on the night. Upon his exit, his season ERA sits at 3.13 now on the year.

Julio Urias took the ball in the top of the seventh – yielding just one hit and one walk for the remaining three innings. Urias recorded his third save of the year, because he entered in a 6-3 ballgame.

Final Word

Perhaps if there was such a thing as a ‘signature win’ in baseball, this would go in the books as just that. The Dodgers returned to their home park after a few recent flat efforts and played a sound, error-free game against a quality opponent.

In improving to 46-23 on the year, the Dodgers set the tone for a series that figures to have some tight moments. Furthermore, they dug out of a 3-0 hole and gave the home crowd a reason to get fired up early for the weekend.

If you bought a ticket to this one – you got what you came for. To see Kershaw mostly in his element, and home runs from Bellinger, Muncy and Freese; what more can a fan ask for.

Times are still really good for the Dodgers, and summer is just getting started. Soak this in!

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. Urias moving to the bullpen is a welcome site. Yea, he did not start out so well in his first games out there but last nite he showed us what he can do. Finally, a bullpen appearance we can applaud! That was nice!

    • Yes, like FRG Clint Pasillas tweeted, it will be interesting to see how many saves he gets in the three-inning variety. In that way he’s sort of a unique weapon to shorten a ballgame after the sixth and keep the rest of the pen fresh. He’s a versatile and unique player.

  2. Clint, the Dodgers hit 4 HR’s last night and of course all of them against LHP, and 3 of those 4 by LH batters off LHP! I believe that last night’s game was important, not only because we beat a LHP but maybe, just maybe now opposing teams will not be in that much of a hurry to throw as many LHP at us because our LH batters or most of them except Joc are hitting them well enough and with some power against them too. But still what RH bats we have must step it up but of course Freese already has and he is giving us some badly needed RH sock too. Hopefully his knee gets better because Dodgers need to find a way to get him into games, either by starting or otherwise.

  3. Very quietly………..Rich Hill is having a stellar season…………..but with Bellinger and Ryu, no one even notices Hill……….

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