The Los Angeles Dodgers have become quite familiar with the National League Central thus far in the 2019 season, though it’s amounted to a 7-9 record against such opponents thus far. Their latest defeats have come to the Chicago Cubs in consecutive losses.
The series opener swung on borderline pitches that went against Kenta Maeda and allowed the Cubs to lead 6-0 through two innings. Then on Wednesday night, the Dodgers hustled their way to a lead and added to it when Cody Bellinger launched an opposite-field home run.
But after managing to pitch around the Cubs barreling up his pitches, Walker Buehler stumbled in the bottom of the sixth and surrendered a game-tying, three-run homer. Jason Heyward’s three-run shot gave the Cubs a lead.
The Dodgers’ deficit grew to 7-3 but they still managed to claw back into the game thanks to Alex Verdguo’s three-run home run in the eighth inning. While they ultimately came up short, Bellinger found value in the type of affair that was played, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com
“This didn’t feel like April. It felt like later in the season,” Bellinger said of the back-and-forth game. “We need these kinds of games.”
The Dodgers and Cubs of course are no strangers to tightly-contested games. They met in the National League Championship Series in 2016 and 2017, which led to something of a rivalry brewing between the two clubs.
After wrapping up their series Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field, the Dodgers and Cubs will meet again for a four-game set at Dodger Stadium from June 13-16.
Although the Cubs weren’t projected to compete in the NL Central, their current trajectory could lead to another matchup with the Dodgers in the postseason.