Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs waste opportunities, sink 3-2 in Los Angeles

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Aug 21, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) reacts in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 21, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) reacts in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs left opportunities on the bases as Julio Urias was dominant for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

9. 3. 71. Final. 2

What started as a game with tons of promise quickly turned into a head-scratching effort. Dodgers’ Julio Urias certainly did not look the same as 19-year-old pitcher the Chicago Cubs (82-46) faced in June. His poised was tested early, and he passed.

The top of the first inning started with great hope. Dexter Fowler led off with a walk, then moved to third on Kris Bryant‘s single. Anthony Rizzo then stepped up and knocked in Fowler with a single to right field. But then, things changed.

With two on and no out, Ben Zobrist laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runners-up. Urias (5-2, 3.71 ERA) then struck out Addison Russell and Jorge Soler.

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Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21 ERA) did not throw a ton of pitches but did not last long. On the third pitch of the game for Hammel, Corey Seager hit a one-out home run to center. The first inning would end in a 1-1 tie.

Los Angeles (72-57) would go 1-2-3 in the second inning, but Hammel would struggle in the bottom of the third, giving up two runs. He was pulled after 2 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits.

In one of the most interesting plays of the game, Urias step to the plate with Andrew Toles on second, and showed bunt. Rizzo came down the line, maybe 12 feet away from the plate, anticipating the bunt. First attempt, Rizzo showed that he was going to help cover the third-base line.

On the second pitch, Urias slapped a single through the hole at short. As a result, this play put the Cubs back on their heels, and they would never recover. Chase Utley knocked in Toles with a single, and then Justin Turner would single in Utley later.

The third inning would end with the Dodgers leading 3-1.

There were two bright spots for the Chicago Cubs in the game. First, rookie Rob Zastryzny pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Hammel. His command of the fastball was crisp and his breaking ball left hitters off-balance.

Next: Bryant elevated to the next level

The second was Jason Heyward pitching hitting for Zastryzny in the seventh. Heyward singled, scoring Willson Contreras from third. However, he was then caught stealing second with Fowler at the plate. Opportunity lost.

All in all, the Cubs had chances in the first inning to put pressure on Urias. But the rookie pitcher showed his maturity. He won his fourth straight game, going six innings and allowing one run, striking out eight.

The final game of the series is tomorrow afternoon at 3:10PM Eastern Time on TBS. Jon Lester will to the mound for the Cubs and face Brock Stewart. We will host another live thread during the game, so be sure to join us and talk about the Cubs starting at 2:45 PM Eastern.

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