Dodgers bats were hot at a cold Wrigley Field. And by Dodger bats we mean mostly James Outman and Max Muncy who combined for 6 hits and 7 RBI in LA’s 9-4 win over the Cubs in Chicago. Dustin May gets the win, his 2nd. Outman’s game put him atop some all-time Dodgers franchise ranks as the Dodgers move to 11-11 on the season, 1.5 games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Before we get into the game action, one cool thing around the game involved Jason Heyward taking some of his Dodger teammates to his training facility in Chicago, which will be a feature on an upcoming Backstage Dodgers on SportsNet LA.
Now, into the highlights. Dodger scoring got started in a frustrating way as they loaded the bases with no outs and scored only one run. That run scored on a double play that was ball crushed (107.1 mph exit velocity) by J.D. Martinez but right at the Cubs’ second baseman.
The Cubs evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom in the first before the James Outman show started in the 2nd. Jimmy connected on his 6th homer of the season, a beauty of a high fly ball into the jetstream in right field.
The bomba was notable in a few different ways. It extended his home run lead among all rookies…
… And it set a new Dodger franchise record for the most home runs by a rookie in March/April.
… he added to it later. But an important note here, James Outman is very good.
His second hit of the day brought in a run in the 4th inning to put the Dodgers up 3-1.
The Cubs got a run back on an RBI double off the bat of Eric Hosmer that Outman nearly snagged in what would have been an incredible recovery after a slight misstep on his first step.
Dave Roberts pulled the right string in the 6th by sending Miguel Vargas up to bat in place of David Peralta. Miggy’s RBI single put the Dodgers up 4-2.
The biggest momentum shift of the day came in the middle of the game when Alex Vesia came on in relief of Dustin May with a runner on first base and one out. Vesia was squeezed by the home plate umpire, leading to a walk of Cody Bellinger. The struggling lefty reliever got out of the jam with an infield pop up and a huge strikeout of Nick Madrigal to keep the game at 4-2
Max Muncy connected on his 9th home run with a no doubter in the Chicago wind.
The homer was crucial at the time as Yency Almonte’s struggles in relief continued. He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs on a home run in the bottom of the 7th.
There was a strange moment to start the inning as Almonte was assessed a ball for a pitch clock violation despite the problem being caused by an issue with his PitchCom.
Max Muncy bought LA a little more breathing room with his second homer of the game, an absolute moonshot to right field to give the Dodgers the 7-4 lead.
Of Muncy’s last 13 hits, 9 have been home runs.
And James Outman capped off his huge game with his 4th hit and 2nd homer of the game. Yeesh.
With 4 more hits, Outman leads all qualified rookies in hits (22), RBI (18), batting average (.314), on-base % (.407), slugging % (.714), and of course OPS with a 1.121 mark.
Dustin May rebounded nicely after a rough outing against the Mets earlier in the week. He allowed 2 runs in 5.1 innings. After recording just 1 strikeout in his previous outing, he K’d 6 Cubs in Chicago.
Alex Vesia pitched well but Yency Almonte continues to be a weak spot in the Dodger bullpen. The right-hander has allowed earned runs in 5 of his 10 outings this season.
Caleb Ferguson’s steady season continued with a clean 8th inning and Brusdar Graterol finish the game in the 9th to give LA win number 11 this season.
The Dodgers look to take the series in Chicago with Clayton Kershaw going for career win number 201. The Cubs counter with Marcus Stroman. First pitch is set once again for 11:20 am PT.