Cubs blanked by Dodgers for second straight game
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta struggled on the mound in Game 3, giving up four runs in five innings. - Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs blanked by Dodgers for second straight game

by - Senior Writer -

LOS ANGELES -- For the second straight game, offense was at a premium for the Chicago Cubs, as they collected a measly four hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. Not helping matters for the Cubs was starting pitcher Jake Arrieta’s woeful performance on the mound, with the reigning Cy Young recipient allowing four runs to score in five innings pitched. As a result of both shortcomings, the Cubs were blanked 6-0 by the Dodgers and fell behind in the series 2-1.

Going 2-4 at the plate, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was the only Chicago hitter to experience any success against Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill, who began his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs. During the course of his six innings on the bump, Hill struck out six and, for the most part, mowed through the Cubs’ batting order.

The Cubs’ lone realistic scoring opportunity off of Hill occurred in the top of the second, when first baseman Anthony Rizzo was walked to begin the inning and proceeded to steal second. Thereafter, with one out, Hill walked another batter, and an ensuing passed ball enabled the two Chicago runners to take second and third. However, neither runner advanced any farther, as shortstop Addison Russell, who is hitless in this series thus far, struck out, and catcher Miguel Montero, the hero of Game 1 for the Cubs, grounded out to second and ended the Cubs’ scoring threat.

Through the game’s first two innings, Arrieta fared well, but he began to waver in the third, giving up the first L.A. run on a two-out single to right by rookie Dodgers sensation Corey Seager. The young shortstop, who went 3-4 at the dish, brought home right fielder Andrew Toles. On the play, Toles motored home from second base and beat out a throw to the plate in the process.

Arrieta came unglued in the bottom of the fourth, as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who was hitless in the series upon Game 3’s inception, crushed a 404-foot two-run home run over the right field wall to provide the Dodgers with a commanding 3-0 lead.

Grandal, who definitely redeemed himself for his passed ball from earlier in the game, scored right fielder Josh Reddick with the fourth-inning blast. Reddick sparked the offensive excitement for Los Angeles in the fourth by hustling safely to first on an infield single and stealing second and third soon after.

The offensive fireworks would pick back up for the Dodgers in the bottom of the sixth, with L.A. third baseman Justin Turner chasing Arrieta from the game with a 415-foot solo homer to center, Turner’s second home run of the postseason.

Turner’s shot, which led off the bottom half of the sixth, pushed Cubs manager Joe Maddon to pull Arrieta, thereby stopping the bleeding caused by the ace’s second sub-par performance of this fall’s playoffs. Arrieta earned the loss on the night and fell to 0-1 with two less than stellar starts this postseason. Pitching at Chavez Ravine for the first time since he no-hit the Dodgers to garner his first career no-hitter in August of 2015, Arrieta, needless to say, failed to reciprocate that type of a performance.

The Dodgers added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to push their lead to 6-0. Center fielder Joc Pederson doubled to right and scored fellow Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. Puig reached base via a single to left in the previous at-bat, one of two hits for the L.A. slugger on the evening. Pederson stole third after his double, marking his second steal of the series, and was then driven home on an RBI groundout to shortstop by Grandal.

The Cubs looked impotent at the plate on Tuesday, putting forth little resistance against L.A. in the Dodgers' 6-0 shutout. Hill collected the win after dominating the Cubs’ lineup and moved to 2-1 this postseason. The skunking of the North Siders marked the first time in franchise history that the Cubs were held scoreless twice in the same playoffs.

Chicago will look to rebound tomorrow night in Game 4 of the NLCS, with veteran Cubs pitcher John Lackey set to square off against rookie Dodgers starter Julio Urias. First pitch is set for 8:00 PM EST at Dodger Stadium.

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