NLCS: Chicago Cubs continue to struggle at the plate in Game 3 loss
By David Miniel/FanSided via Cubbies Crib
It was a rough night for the Chicago Cubs who continued to struggle in the batters box. Meanwhile, right-hander Jake Arrieta was in a bit of trouble and was outpitched by former Cub southpaw, Rich Hill. An important Game 3 that did not go Chicago’s way.
Well, it has been a rough series for the Chicago Cubs. Despite claiming the series opener with an 8-4 win over Los Angeles, the Cubs have stumbled. As of right now, the question is, will they be able to pick themselves up?
From the looks of it right now, it will be difficult to do with their lineup being unable to put together hits and score runs. With the score deadlocked at zero early, the Cubs had an opportunity to do some damage.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo managed to work a walk in his first plate appearance against Rich Hill. After multiple pick-off attempts, Anthony broke for second, putting himself in scoring position with no outs.
Moments after Rizzo walked, Javier Baez, Chicago’s hottest hitter, stepped to the plate. Javier was unable to get things going as he popped out to second baseman, Chase Utley for the first out.
Nonetheless, Chicago had a runner in scoring position with only one out in the inning. Outfielder Jorge Soler stepped to the plate with an opportunity to drive in a run but instead, managed to work a walk of his own.
This just so happened to be Chicago’s best opportunity since Saturday evening. Would they be able to capitalize? Nope.
With shortstop Addison Russell at the plate, Hill fired a pitch high in the strike zone that would get away from Yasmani Grandal. This allowed both Rizzo and Soler to advance a base, still with only one out in the frame.
However, Russell would not be able to tally the first run of the evening as he would strike out swinging. Veteran catcher Miguel Montero ended the frame by grounding out to Utley.
As for the Los Angeles Dodgers, everything was going right. Los Angeles received a couple of home runs — a two-run homer off the bat of Grandal and a solo bomb from Justin Turner in the sixth.
Both came off Arrieta who was charged with all four earned runs on six hits, zero walks, and five strikeouts. He looked great early on but the Dodgers managed to settle in and let loose, forcing Joe Maddon to turn to his bullpen midway.
Hill or Kershaw?
On the other side of the diamond, you have former Cub, Rich Hill. Hill cruised through this Chicago lineup, holding them to two hits while issuing as many walks and striking out six hitters along the way.
What the Chicago Cubs didn’t want to do was make Hill look like a Cy Young candidate such as Clayton Kershaw. The veteran practically left off where Kershaw and Kenley Jansen left off in Game 2 at Wrigley Field.
In the end, Los Angeles was not letting up. In fact, they scored two more runs during the home half of the eighth after Jansen entered the game. Jansen prevented the Cubs from driving in Dexter Fowler who laced a two-out double down the left-field line.
Now that Game 3 is out of the way, the Chicago Cubs will cling to whatever they have left and hope they can tie things up tomorrow. John Lackey will be taking on rookie southpaw, Julio Urias who was hammered in his first start against the Cubs.
But that was during the regular season. And looking at Chicago’s hit column, tying this series is going to be a difficult task.