The Cubs lost 7-1 to the Dodgers on Sunday, in a otherwise competitive four-game series. With the loss, the Cubs drop the series 3-1. Here are 10 observations from the game:
- Unfortunately for the Cubs, Clayton Kershaw fared much better on Sunday than he did the last time he faced the Cubs. After the shortest outing of his career last month at Wrigley Field, Kershaw held the Cubs to one run through eight innings on Sunday.
- By contrast, Cubs right-hander Adbert Alzolay had his worst start of the season against the Dodgers on Sunday. He gave up six runs on two homers in the second inning alone.
- The root of the second-inning damage was a string of free passes to start the inning. Alzolay loaded the bases by hitting Matt Beaty with the first pitch of the frame and walking Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux.
- With the bases loaded, Dodgers rookie Zach McKinstry hit the first grand slam of his career.
- An error extended the second inning. With two outs, Javy Báez fielded a routine groundball, but his throw short-hopped first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo couldn’t pick the throw out of the dirt. Báez was charged with the throwing error. Cody Bellinger was the next batter, and he hit a two-run homer.
- That was Báez’s 14th error of the season, second to only Fernando Tatís Jr. (16 errors).
- Báez erased one of those unearned errors two innings later, with a home run of his own. His solo shot was just the Cubs’ second hit of the game. The first was a Patrick Wisdom single in the third.
- Three of the Cubs’ four hits against Kershaw came on the first pitch of the at-bat. The one exception was Joc Pederson’s fourth-inning double. That came on the second pitch of the at-bat.
- Kershaw’s 13 strikeouts on Sunday were the most he’d thrown in a game since 2017. Kershaw’s eight innings were a season high for the three-time Cy Young winner.
- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo left the game in the fourth inning with left lower back tightness, per the team.
On deck: The Cubs open a three-game series at Milwaukee on Monday. Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks takes the mound against Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta.