The Chicago Cubs have knocked four out of five games out of the park against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team has one more to play on Thursday, June 25. This could be a sign of a promising season for Cub fans.
The Chicago and Los Angeles game on Tuesday night went into extra innings. It was
a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Chris Denorfia in the tenth that brought in the first run. The 1-0 win over the Dodgers gave them a four-game winning streak. Although the Chicago Cubs did lose Game 5 on Wednesday night, they are still very much in contention for a winning season. Denorfia said to reporters after Game 4 that he had planned to hit the fly ball so his teammate could tag up and come home. All he needed was a pitch that was high enough in his strike zone, and to get a piece of the bottom of it.
Jason Motte was the finishing pitcher, and had a scoreless inning to end the game. Jason Hammel was the starter and only allowed three hits, but the team used three relief pitchers to win. In 2009, the Chicago Cubs were nine games up, but struggled for six years after that. This year, they are starting off nine up with an average of .500, which gives them a 39-30 record. Hammel said that quitting is not an option, and they will not lay down in defeat. The Chicago Cubs loaded the bases in extra innings when their first batter walked, which was followed by two consecutive singles. The manager for the Dodgers, Don Mattingly, then brought in a replacement for Joel Peralta, and brought the infield in.
The losing pitcher was Zack Greinke, who only allowed two walks and three hits in six innings. In his last nine starts, he has had 13 innings where he did not let any runs score, but is 0-2 in spite of that strong performance. He said that he was not going to worry about it, because he believes the team is good enough to make this season a wining season. They almost beat Greinke in the beginning of the game with two hits, but he was able to get Starlin Castro to fly out to the right fielder.
The Chicago Cubs played a six-game series with the Dodgers, and were able to knock the first four out of the park. In just over two innings, Hammel only let two hits slip by him, and one was due to his outfielder’s inability to see the ball in the dark sky. The next batter for L.A. popped one up to the shortstop to end the inning. Hammel had six strikeouts, which helped him make a comeback from the loss against the Indians on Thursday. In his last five outings for June, he is 2-0 and has an ERA of 2.01. Hammel said that when his fastball is working, he is a different pitcher because of it.
A young man in the stands who was holding a baby reached up with his free hand and caught a ball which had been popped up by Cubs batter Hammel. The pop fly, which occurred in the second inning, sailed over the glove of Gonzalez. The play was reviewed by the officials after
Mattingly argued for an interference call. After a brief review, Hammel was ruled out. The fan, Keith Hartley, was feeding his son, who was just over seven months, when he reached out and seized the ball as it came right at him.
The Chicago Cubs will try to wrap up the series with the Dodgers and hit Game 6 of the series out of the park as well. On Thursday, the game will start at 1:20 p.m.
Commentary by Katherine Miller-Chichester
Sports Illustrated: Cubs beat Dodgers in 10 innings for fourth straight win
Yahoo Sports: Dodgers-Cubs preview
Photo Courtesy of Ron Cogswell’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License