Dodgers dominate Cubs once more, finishing sweep for sixth consecutive win

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith, left, celebrates with relief pitcher Robbie Erlin.
Dodgers catcher Will Smith celebrates with aid pitcher Robbie Erlin after a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday evening. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

It was baseball at its most boring, which meant the Dodgers have been additionally at their greatest.

On Sunday evening at Wrigley Field, there was little pressure, thrill or suspense. Instead, the Dodgers accomplished a dominant three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a stress-free 7-1 win.

The 31,424 contained in the ballpark, and the nationwide tv viewers watching on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” weren’t handled to many highlights. The Dodgers’ runs got here on two sacrifice flies, a wild pitch, an error, an infield single and a double play. There was a robust seven-inning, one-run begin from pitcher Walker Buehler, who nonetheless isn’t at his best possible.

The most memorable second? Cubs catcher Willson Contreras unintentionally hitting Max Muncy within the groin whereas making an attempt to recuperate a wild pitch.

The closest the slumping Cubs got here to posing a risk? A primary-inning RBI single by Contreras, giving the hosts an early lead that quickly disappeared after the Dodgers scored two runs within the fourth, two within the fifth and three extra over the ultimate three innings, sending the guests to their sixth straight win and first collection sweep on Chicago’s North Side since 2013.

“I just thought the way we played these last three games was more typical of our expectations,” supervisor Dave Roberts stated after his staff outscored the Cubs by a mixed 20-3.

Indeed, that is what the Dodgers are able to doing — particularly towards opponents overmatched by their talent-rich roster.

They suffocate groups on the mound, with a rotation and bullpen that every has an argument as the most effective in baseball.

They grind down pitchers on the plate, discovering methods to attract walks and transfer baserunners and construct large innings even with components of their lineup slumping.

They can drain the drama from a sport, successful by at the very least 5 runs for the ninth time this season Sunday.

“This never gets old,” Roberts stated with a smirk after the sport.

Added infielder Gavin Lux: “I think two-, three-, four-run leads probably feel like a lot more than they are [against us].”

Buehler had essentially the most spectacular efficiency Sunday. After giving up the first-inning hit to Contreras, which got here on an 0-and-2 fastball he left over the guts of the plate, the right-hander rolled via the remainder of his a centesimal profession begin. He gave up simply 4 hits and two walks whereas putting out six on the evening.

He attacked together with his cutter, throwing his new bread-and-butter pitch a career-high 38 occasions.

He completed at-bats together with his breaking pitches, getting most of his season-high 15 swings and misses with an assortment of curveballs, sliders and changeups.

And even together with his fastball once more surrendering a number of base hits, persevering with to look much less efficient than it has in years previous, he lowered his ERA to 1.96 and produced the staff’s fifteenth straight begin of two earned runs or much less given up.

“I think I just pitch a little bit now,” stated Buehler, whose profession 2.70 ERA is the fourth-best amongst main league pitchers via 100 begins since 1969, in response to MLB. “I think back then, I just tried to pick up my leg and throw it by everyone. I think my goals are a little bit different, trying to be efficient and trying to get deep into games.

“It takes some years to realize that’s a huge part of this game, trying to get deep and save bullpens. Those are little wins as the season goes on.”

The offense has additionally been succeeding with little wins on the plate.

The staff nonetheless isn’t slugging house runs persistently and ranks solely ninth in batting common and seventh in on-base-plus-slugging share in MLB.

But the Dodgers proceed to guide the majors in runs per sport due to productive performances comparable to Sunday’s.

After managing just one hit over the primary three innings, the Dodgers tallied two runs within the fourth on two walks and two infield hits. After Cubs starter Justin Steele left the sport earlier than the fifth due to thumb soreness — after changing initially scheduled starter Marcus Stroman, who was a late scratch and placed on the injured listing — they stretched their lead towards Chicago’s bullpen, scoring at the very least seven runs for the seventh time this season.

“It’s pretty amazing, 26 games in, that we’re not completely clicking and we’re 19-7,” first baseman Freddie Freeman stated. “I think you could talk to a lot of us who feel like we’re not doing what we should be doing.”

As a staff, although, the Dodgers are doing greater than sufficient to not solely personal MLB’s greatest file via the primary month of the season however do it in usually domineering, anti-climatic fashion — making video games comparable to Sunday boring for everyone however them.

“It’s certainly not boring,” Roberts stated. “It’s just kind of all of us coming together collectively trying to win a game. … When you can have a game, or three games, that are essentially straightforward and you save your leverage guys for the next series, that’s always a good thing.”

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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