Filed:May 28th, 2009
Click here for the photo gallery of Thursday's game
They're deep. They have a real good pitching staff. They're athletic; even balanced. And they're the best team in the National League.
They showed exactly why Thursday, beating the Cubs 2-1 in a game where they kept the Cubs tantalizingly close but never really in it.
The Dodgers got all they needed with their feet and by executing fundamentals, even while the Cubs were losing their sense of things. They'd score in the first when Juan Pierre would single, then steal second to move into scoring position. Rafael Furcal would drive him in with a bunt single that would shoot past third baseman Mike Fontenot and into left field.
It only got worse when the Dodgers scored again in the third. Rafael Furcal went from first to third on a James Loney single in front of a, um, less than aggressive Alfonso Soriano. Furcal would later score on a Casey Blake groundout, before the Cubs retired Andre Ethier to end the inning.
And that, my friends, was the ballgame. Randy Wolf, a rumored potential Cub in the offseason, gave them something to think about as he worked seven plus innings of one-run ball.
If I see any more of his 66 MPH softball pitches, it will be too soon. The same goes for the Cubs, I suspect. He'd finally give way to Ramon Troncoso after giving up a pinch-hit home run to Bobby Scales.
For those who hadn't heard, Bobby apparently didn't even leave Chicago Tuesday, with the Cubs placing Ryan Freel on the 15-day DL. Bobby will replace him for at least the next two weeks, and possibly the season at this rate.
I give the rare hat-tip to Troncoso, who went two innings in relief for the old-school save. Somewhere, Goose Gossage is smiling. He'd run into trouble when, after the Scales homer, the next two hitters reached. However, a Ryan Theriot double play off of the pitcher's mound killed the rally and sealed the deal on the Cubs' loss.
Listen, I don't want to knit-pick, but I've got to ask. Is anyone able to see the logic in announcing Koyie Hill, then sending Kosuke Fukudome to the plate, as Lou Piniella did in the eighth inning?
When the Cubs put two runners on in the ninth, and were on the cusp on a walk-off victory, Lou was forced to stick with Jake Fox, as opposed to using a left-hander to face Troncoso.
I kept hoping to see Micah Hoffpauir, then realized that the bench was blown, and there were no infielders should the game go into extras. Well, Fox would strike out, as you'd expect, leaving many to wonder if this was another blown game that you could put on Lou.
Maybe you can figure it out. I can't, and it may have just been the difference in the ballgame.