The Dodgers make me nervous. In last fall’s NLCS there was nothing better than to see the Cubs put an end to Los Angeles’ playoff run. This Memorial Day weekend series has not gone so smoothly. The Chicago Cubs were shutout yesterday 5-0 and now have to face Clayton Kershaw in an attempt to save face and take one game this weekend.
“We haven’t played badly,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We just haven’t hit the ball, and they got timely hits when they needed it. They pitched well, they beat us. That’s it.”
That pretty much sums up every ball game when a team loses. To be fair, John Lackey pitched a good game by taking a no hitter into the fourth inning. Lackey, like the Dodgers makes me nervous. You never know what pitcher is going to show up and last night, was the kind of Lackey who is on his game and means business.
“They really have made very few, if any, mistakes against us and we have not taken advantage of anything,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. “We have hit some balls well but they have been foul balls. Otherwise, our contact has been rather weak the last two days.”
With the loss, the Cubs were shutout for the fifth time this season. From a team that won over 100 games last season, this is a troubling statistic. On the other hand, the Dodgers own the lowest bullpen ERA in the National League. If any team can shutdown the offensive power of the Cubs, it’s these West Coasters.
Today’s game is going to be good. Jon Lester versus Kershaw. These guys are on top of the food chain of pitchers. It’s going to be a low scoring affair.
“It should be rather interesting,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “You always anticipate low scoring with that. The Dodgers are pitching really, really well. Kershaw is a different animal, and so is Jon. It should be interesting.”
I have a gut feeling that the Dodgers and the Cubs could be facing each other again in the NLCS this fall. Pitching vs offence.
“What it means to me,” Maddon said of the back-to-back shutouts, “is we have no chance to win the last two games.”