The Chicago Cubs concluded their final game with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday in comeback fashion with an 11-5 win. With the Cubs latest victory, they bested the Dodgers in their regular season series by winning four of the seven games between the two teams.
What does winning a regular season series of seven games between two teams at the end of June mean? Normally, I would say not a whole lot. But because of the recent history between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think it’s a bigger deal.
First and foremost, for the Cubs to win four out of seven games against the Dodgers, it reassured them of a few things. It shows them that they have what it takes to compete with the best of the best in the National League.
In each of the last two seasons, the Cubs and Dodgers have met in the NLCS. In 2016 the Cubs were victorious in six games while the Dodgers returned the favor in 2017, ending the series in five games.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
These two teams are clearly familiar with one another. Any little mental edge one can hold over the other is extremely valuable come playoff time. Even if that something is as small as winning four out of seven games during the season. We all know that playoff baseball is a whole different ball game and anything can happen.
As for the seven games themselves, the Cubs took two of three from the Dodgers at home last week. They could have won all three if not for a blown save by Justin Wilson in game one of a double-header. In Los Angeles, the two teams split four games. The Cubs won in blowout fashion and the Dodgers took the close games.
Standouts from the season series
The Cubs not being able to win the close games against the Dodgers is one troubling takeaway from the series. In all three of the Dodgers victories, Kenley Jansen came in and slammed the door on the Cubs, earning three saves. They will need to find a way to get some runs off of him if they meet in the postseason.
In the series Javier Baez really took a step forward and was the catalyst for the Cubs. He played in all seven games against the Dodgers and hit .538 in 26 at-bats. He hit two home runs, coming in the same game, drove in seven runs and scored eight. That’ll surely help his All-Star campaign – and will surely be a storyline come October.