The last time the Dodgers lost a road game, it was in San Francisco on July 6th against the San Francisco Giants. At the time, the team was 41-45, still under .500, 4 1/2 games back of the Diamondbacks and in a second place tie with the Colorado Rockies, still in the earlier stages of a run that has seen them move 10 games over .500 and take a 3 1/2 game lead on the division.
The team is now winners of their last 12 road games, and boasts an overall record of 18-4 over that stretch. Extended out, the team is now 29-7 in 36 games since the 21st of July. The 12 game road win streak is the best since the team moved to Los Angeles, and is now tied with the 1924 Brooklyn Robins for the best overall road streak in franchise history. This team, which has already astounded fans for the past six weeks as its made its meteoric rise from the ranks of last place, has been so hot that it has not so much as lost consecutive games since July 20-21 against the San Diego Padres. This coming from a team that, before this hot streak, had not even won three games in a row since the second series of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The game in Chicago that marked this 12th consecutive road win was very rarely in doubt. Hyun-Jin Ryu took the mound for the Dodgers, Travis Wood for the Cubs. Neither pitcher was very effective, but Ryu would seize the day.
The scoring started in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Adrian Gonzalez doubled into center field, then Yasiel Puig’s single to left cashed him in, giving the Dodgers the early 1-0 lead.
The Cubs got their first score in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back doubles by Cole Gillespie and Darwin Barney pushed across a run with two outs, tying the game at 1.
After that, it was mostly the Dodgers’ game. Travis Wood lost his effectiveness and his ability to control his pitches in the top of the third. Mark Ellis and Nick Punto’s back-to-back doubles pushed across a run and gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. After an Adrian Gonzalez line out, Yasiel Puig walked, Nick Punto was caught attempting to steal home on a trick double steal running play, Scott Van Slyke walked, Andre Ethier walked, and A.J. Ellis walked. 4 consecutive walks ran up Travis Wood’s pitch count while forcing across a Dodger run, putting the lead at 3-1. Wood was fortunate to escape the inning having given up only the one run.
The scoring continued in the top of the fourth. Hyun-Jin Ryu singled, then Mark Ellis and manager Don Mattingly were ejected after Ellis mildly disputed a called strike three. Mattingly was ejected for bumping home plate umpire Alan Porter. Howevever, footage of the incident showed that Porter may have initiated the contact by lowering his shoulder into Mattingly. Skip Schumaker took over for Ellis at second base and Trey Hillman took over managerial duties after Mattingly’s ejection. Then the bats woke up again. Nick Punto picked up a soft infield single to third, then Adrian Gonzalez hit a single to center field, scoring Ryu with Punto taking third and Gonzalez second on a fielding error by center fielder David DeJesus and the Dodgers leading 4-1. Michael Bowden replaced Travis Wood, then immediately hit Yasiel Puig with a pitch. Scott Van Slyke then hit a sacrifice fly to score Punto and give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead.
Travis Wood’s line for the game: 3 1/3 innings pitched, five runs (all earned) and seven hits allowed, walking five and striking out two. A shaky outing for Wood, who saw his season ERA rise from 2.79 to 3.03.
The Cubs got a leadoff ground-rule double from Starlin Castro and a one out RBI double from Cole Gillespie off Ryu in the bottom of the 4th, giving the Cubs another run and cutting the Dodger lead to 5-2.
The Dodgers got one final run in the top of the fifth. Juan Uribe singled to center, stole second base, took third on a bad decision play on a sacrifice bunt by Hyun-Jin Ryu who found himself safely on first. Then Uribe came home on a one out sacrifice fly by Nick Punto, giving the Dodgers a 6-2 lead.
The Cubs threatened a couple times in the late innings, but failed to push across a run. The closest they came was a bases loaded, one out situation in the bottom of the sixth. After consecutive one out singles chased Ryu from the game and an infield hit loaded the bases, J.P. Howell got David DeJesus to ground into a double play to end the inning and the Cubs’ scoring threat.
In the showcase individual matchup between Yasiel Puig and Junior Lake, there were no home runs in this game. Lake went 4-for-5 on the day, a great day at the plate, but all four hits were singles, none scored runs, and the Cubs failed to score him even one time. Puig was 2-for-3 and drew a walk. Puig also made a sensational sliding head-first catch in the bottom of the eighth inning on a line drive off the bat of Darwin Barney for the third out. Puig also scored a run and drove in a run for the Dodgers.
Carlos Marmol pitched a shaky 9th inning in his return to Wrigley Field after being designated for assignment then traded to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier earlier this season. However, poor base running decisions by the Cubs, including Julio Borbon wasting a leadoff double by trying to take third on a dropped ball by catcher A.J. Ellis and getting thrown out for the first out of the inning helped the embattled reliever along, and he managed to not allow any runs, giving you a final score of Dodgers 6, Cubs 2.
Hyun-Jin Ryu picks up the win, he improves to 10-3. Travis Wood takes the loss, he falls to 7-8. There was no save opportunity in this game, but the Dodger bullpen did pitch 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in helping the Dodgers win.
The Dodgers and Cubs face off in game 3 of this four game set in the Windy City today at Wrigley Field, a 1:05 p.m. local time start. Chris Capuano (3-6, 4.54 ERA) looks to help the Dodgers set the franchise record for consecutive road victories. He’ll be opposed by Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija (6-9, 3.75 ERA.)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (59-49) at Chicago Cubs (49-60), 4:05 p.m. (ET) (miamiherald.com)
- Dodgers down Cubs for 12th straight road win (scores.espn.go.com)
- Dodgers win to match club-record road streak at 12 (bnd.com)
- Cubs waste Lake’s 4 hits, lose 6-2 to Dodgers (utsandiego.com)