Dodgers see first series loss blowing in wind

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Pitcher Gavin Stone gets roughed up and the Dodgers' offense goes cold to finish off the team's first domestic road trip of the season.

CHICAGO — The Dodgers couldn’t overcome a bad start by right-hander Gavin Stone as well as bad weather in Chicago, falling 8-1 to the Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field. 

It marked the first series the Dodgers (8-4) have lost this season after splitting with the San Diego Padres in South Korea and winning home series with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

The offense mustered four hits — two by Shohei Ohtani, which raised his batting average to .320.

The defense was another matter on a sloppy field through the rain. The Dodgers committed three errors, which contributed to Cubs runs in the first, third and fourth innings.

Stone did not have his best stuff, allowing five runs. Relievers Gus Varland (two) and Ryan Yarbrough (one) also runs. 

Here are three takeaways:

Stone did not look right from the get go on Sunday, and lasted three innings, giving up five runs (one earned) and walking three.

Michael Busch’s first inning three-run double off Stone felt like an early dagger considering the weather was going to a factor.

Overall, the Dodgers allowed eight runs on seven hits — even with the Cubs leaving 18 runners on base. Stone will need to improve his command for the Dodgers to keep the fifth spot in the starting rotation. 

While the weather was cold (47 degrees at first pitch), so were the Dodgers’ bats. Outside of Ohtani, the lineup produced only two hits.

Credit has to go to Cubs starter Shota Imanaga, who diced through the Dodgers lineup with poise. That nasty weather, knocked him out after four innings because of the long rain delay. He gave up two hits and struck out three.

Even in the Dodgers’ win on Saturday, it seemed like the bats were cold all weekend when it counted. They had 25 hits for the series, but in the first two games they left nine batters on base each and another five stranded Sunday.

With the exception of Miguel Rojas, the everyday starters for the Dodgers have been below average to start the season. James Outman, Gavin Lux, Kiké Hernandez, and Chris Taylor have been underperformering so far. 

According to Blake Harris on X, Outman has a 34 wRC+, Lux has a 14 wRC+, Hernandez has an 11 wRC+ and Taylor has a 5 wRC+. These numbers won’t cut it when the top of the lineup has off nights, which they certainly will many more times in the future. 

While the lineup appears stacked, there needs to be adjustments for bottom of the order.

The Dodgers travel to Minnesota to play the Twins in a three-game series beginning at 4:40 p.m. Monday. Left-hander James Paxton (1-0, 0.00) takes the mound to face Minnesota right-hander Bailey Ober (0-0, 54.00).