Dodgers win game three behind Yu Darvish to advance to 3-0 in NLCS

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Yu Darvish (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Yu Darvish (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-1 in an interesting contest at Wrigley Field Tuesday night behind a strong start from Yu Darvish.

Even in a 6-1 win on the road the Los Angeles Dodgers still give their fanbase anxiety. From the opening strike to Chris Taylor to the final swing and miss from Ian Happ, game three of the NLCS never seemed to be a sure-fire victory. When it was, things only got more interesting.

Chicago opened the scoring on the night with a solo home run from left fielder Kyle Schwarber in the first inning. Schwarber took a low and outside pitch from Darvish to the left field seats, again continuing the Cubs’ streak of scoring first off of home runs.

Yu Darvish allowed two more hits in the first inning. Kris Bryant and Wilson Contreras both found the outfield grass in left and right field. Luckily, Darvish got out of the inning without allowing further damage – yet looked to be in some serious trouble.

That was before Darvish got comfortable.

The solo shot would be the only run Darvish would allow and the only run the Cubs would score all game. Darvish went on to throw 6.1 dominant innings, allowing six hits, one walk and striking out seven.

Offensively, the Dodgers’ patched together situational hits to put pressure on the Cubs’ pitching staff. Andre Ethier followed Schwarber’s solo shot with a solo shot of his own to right field in the second inning. In the third inning, Chris Taylor blasted a 444 foot home run to dead center – the longest of the postseason – to take a 2-1 lead.

That would be the closest the game was the rest of the night. Two innings later, Taylor drove in Joc Pederson on a triple after Pederson led off with a double. In the sixth, Cubs’ reliever Carl Edwards Jr. walked Yu Darvish on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs to bring in a run. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wanted to keep Darvish in the game and was rewarded with a RBI walk.

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From there more madness ensued. Los Angeles scored on a passed ball strikeout, that then resulted in a sacrifice fly from Kyle Farmer. Just like that, LA was up 6-1 and the Cubs were deflated.

But, in typical fashion, the Dodgers had to make it interesting and could not avoid using Kenley Jansen. Roberts gave the ball to Ross Stripling – who has not pitched this postseason – in the ninth inning. Stripling allowed a single and double to left field and all of a sudden the Cubs had life.

Luckily for the Dodgers, Jansen came in and shut the door per usual. Jansen struck out two batters to prevent the Cubs from even scratching the surface. This win was as much dominant for the Dodgers as it was demoralizing for the Cubs.

Next: The new narrative of October baseball

Los Angeles will give the ball to Alex Wood in game four to make his postseason debut across from Jake Arrieta. Of course, if the Dodgers can win game four, they will advance to their first World Series since 1988. A 3-0 lead is comfortable at this point, but nothing is guaranteed.