|Dodgers Take 2-0 Lead|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on October 03, 2008
Cubs - Another Silent Night.Â
You canâ€™t blame Carlos Zambrano for this one, you canâ€™t blame Lou Pinella either, nor the middle of the Cubs lineup which may have lost their gloves, but are hitting over .300 in the series.Â Â But even if you were charitable enough to dismiss all four of the Cubs errors last night and the four unearned runs, the Dodgers scored more than enough to win.Â
Mannyâ€™s average is now .400 since coming to the Dodgers and for the second night in a row he parked another baseball in the seats.Â Tonight the Dodgers won 10-3 and while the Cubs are on a pace to score more runs than they did while being swept by Arizona last year, theyâ€™ve kissed home field advantage goodbye.Â
And the problem they are having isnâ€™t getting on base, or even getting hits, but stringing them together in a timely fashion.Â So far 17 hits and four walks have only added up to five runs.Â While that puts them on a pace to improve on the six they scored while getting swept last year in the NLDS, it doesnâ€™t bode well for their World Series dreams.Â
Once again the standout player for the Cubs was Mark DeRosa who went 2-4 with a run and two RBIs - giving him four of the five RBIs that the Cubs have in this series.Â Â But as we said last night, DeRosa canâ€™t be the one asked to carry this team. The Cubs need to put it all together to overcome a hurdle that only one team in the history has done, coming back from an 0-2 with both losses at home in a five game NLDS.Â
Dodgers - Clutch performance.Â
If you are watching this series, youâ€™ve probably noted one very important fact.Â Much of the credit for the incredible starting pitching the Dodgers have shown so far is credited to the same pitcher, Greg Maddux.
And itâ€™s not just the media dumping acclaim at Madduxâ€™s feet, itâ€™s the Dodgers pitching staff, coaches and even manager Joe Torre whoâ€™ve all noted that the improvement in Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley came just about the same time that Maddux joined the team.Â That makes Maddux, who has pitched just a single inning of this series, the de facto MVP for the Dodgers thus far.Â
Perhaps the best pitcher of his generation is fated to become the best pitching coach of the next generation.Â But if thatâ€™s going to be the case he might want to spend a few minutes talking to Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito, who both seemed to suffer momentary meltdowns in the ninth inning which allowed the Cubs to string together several hits and score two runs.Â
That may not have affected the outcome as the Dodgers were ahead 10-1 at the time but it might have given the Cubs a rope to cling to.Â They now feel that the Dodgers bullpen can be touched up late in a game.Â Â Itâ€™s not much but itâ€™s the only positive (besides the hitting of Mark DeRosa) that the Cubs have earned thus far in the Series.