Dodgers Take Game 1

For the first time in 20 years, the Dodgers have taken a lead in a playoff series. That's thanks to James Loney and his grand slam in Game 1 at Wrigey Field in the 7-2 Dodgers win over the Cubs.

The Dodgers were effective offensively because of their plate discipline. Ryan Dempster struggled with the Dodger hitters all night, but staved off bad situations until his 108th pitch in the 5th inning resulted in Loney's Grand Slam. This allowed the Dodgers to face the bullpen early, and they gradually added to the lead.

The Dodgers are also significantly boosted by the presence of Rafael Furcal in the lineup. He might not be 100%, but I'd argue that Frucal at 75% is better than a healthy Angel Berroa or Nomar Gaciaparra playing with whatever ails him on any particular day. The Dodger pitching staff hasn't gotten the credit it's deserved all season long, and the bullpen is underrated too. Making Greg Maddux the closer tonight though was, well, very interesting.

Now all of the pressure in this series is on the Cubs. They were the team on the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, and they have everyone in Cubs nation hoping and praying that they're destined to win it all in the 100th anniversary of their last title. Game 1's result has much of Cubs nation freaking out.

October 1, 2008 9:42 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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