Dodgers 5, Cubs 2
The closest anyone has come to Joe DiMaggio’s iconic 56-game
hitting streak since he eclipsed Wee Willie Keeler’s 45-gamer in
1941 was Pete Rose – who hit in 44 straight in 1978.
Andre Ethier is now halfway to Joltin’ Joe.
The Dodgers’ All-Star right fielder extended his hitting streak
to 28 games with an infield RBI single that capped a three-run
fifth inning, and Clayton Kershaw pitched seven strong innings in a
5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
”Only halfway? It’s nothing to get too caught up in or excited
about right now,” Ethier said with a grin. ”There’s still a long
way to go. I’m more happy about Kershaw getting back on track and
us bouncing back after two tough losses to San Diego.”
Ethier, who kept his streak alive with a grounder to deep
shortstop that Starlin Castro couldn’t make a play on, is three
games shy of the Dodgers franchise record that Willie Davis set in
”It’s neat to be a part of this and keep it going, but I’m not
going up there every at-bat just to extend the streak. I want to
get my knocks and do my damage offensively,” Ethier said. ”I
mean, if the streak wasn’t going on, I’d be just as (upset) if I
got out no matter what the situation was.”
Ethier is batting .393 during his streak with three homers and
17 RBIs, a stretch in which the Dodgers have gone 13-15. Davis’
streak included all 28 games he played in August and his first
three games in September. He batted .435 during that stretch with
one homer and 23 RBIs, while the Dodgers went 13-18.
Kershaw (3-3) allowed two runs and eight hits, including Alfonso
Soriano’s major league-leading 11th homer leading off the seventh.
The 23-year-old left-hander struck out four and did not walk a
batter for the first time in seven starts this season.
”It was more of a testament to their aggressiveness,” Kershaw
said. ”I mean, it’s good not to walk anybody and make them beat
you, especially with a lead. Tonight was a battle. I didn’t really
have anything to put guys away with. It wasn’t great, but I got the
job done. And we got some runs early, which was nice.”
Vicente Padilla pitched a perfect eighth and Jonathan Broxton
did likewise in the ninth for his sixth save in seven attempts.
James Russell (1-4) gave up five runs and six hits over 4 2-3
innings in his fourth major league start, dropping the Cubs’ record
to 0-10 when their starters fail to reach the sixth. The
left-hander, inserted into the rotation because of an injury to No.
5 starter Andrew Cashner, is 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in that role.
One consolation for Russell: He got his first big league hit
with a single in the second inning.
”We’re pitching guys that are stretched out and are giving us
everything they’ve got,” manager Mike Quade said. ”I mean, I
didn’t look at Russell as a starter, but he’s starting for us and
he’s taken that role and done the best he can with it. He’s gotten
better, and I think his approach tonight was better. So we’ll see
what happens down the road, as far as Russell’s concerned. But at
this point, he’s done a nice job.”
The Cubs opened the scoring in the first against Kershaw with a
two-out RBI double by Geovany Soto after the team went 1 for 14
with runners in scoring position during Sunday’s 4-3 loss at
Until then, the Dodgers were the only team in the majors that
hadn’t allowed a first-inning run at home.
The Dodgers pulled ahead with two runs in the second. Matt Kemp
singled, stole second and came home when Juan Uribe got the green
light from rookie manager Don Mattingly on a 3-0 pitch and doubled
over the head of right fielder Reed Johnson. Rookie Ivan DeJesus
Jr., whose father played shortstop for the Cubs and Dodgers and is
now Chicago’s third base coach, drove in Uribe with a single inside
The Dodgers didn’t get another hit until the fifth, when Rod
Barajas led off with a double and rookie Jerry Sands hit a two-run
double. Ethier chased Russell with his RBI single.
NOTES: Sunday night’s spontaneous chants of ”U-S-A! U-S-A!” by
fans at the Mets-Phillies game after they got word of Osama bin
Laden’s death brought back poignant memories for Dodgers
broadcaster Rick Monday. He elicited a similar reaction from the
Dodger Stadium crowd in 1976, when it burst into a chorus of ”God
Bless America” right after he snatched a flag away from two
protesters who attempted to set fire to it in the outfield while he
was playing for the Cubs. ”I did not have the game on last night,
but I saw the replay of what the people did and I got chills
watching it – not as a flashback on what I did, but because of what
we’re doing right now as a country,” said Monday, who spent six
years in the Marine Corps reserves. ”On 9/11, we got really close.
And to see the reaction of what took place last night (everywhere
in the country), and then to see it carry over to today does not
surprise me at all. I’m glad we’re coming together as one again.”
… Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster, who turns 34 on Tuesday, will be
pitching on his birthday for the first time in 14 big league
seasons when he opposes RHP Chad Billingsley. Dempster is 7-3 with
a 2.81 career ERA against the Dodgers in 23 appearances, including