Dodgers Shut Down Cubs
After losing the first three games of the season, OKC really needed a victory against Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario and the Iowa Cubs. There are no must win games during the first week of the season, but it felt like winning was a pressing matter on this Sunday in early April. During the previous three games versus Iowa, OKC had not held the lead in those games at any point, not even once. That theme changed immediately in the first inning when the Dodgers scored four runs off the Cubs starter Jake Buchanan. After Chris Taylor made the first out, Cody Bellinger took a 2-0 fastball for a ride and for a one out double. O’Koyea Dickson then came up and ripped a single into the gap for the RBI. Then Willie Calhoun flied to left field for a fortunate double. Rob Segedin, who homered later in the game, singled on a line drive and Dickson scored, Calhoun moved to 3B. Willie later scored when Brett Eibner took one for the team with the bases loaded, forcing in the fourth run of the eventful first inning.
Pitching is arguably the headline of today’s game, as the Dodgers scored 9 runs yesterday, but still lost to Iowa 10-9. One of the biggest problems in this series for the Oklahoma club has been the inability to shut down the opposing team the inning after the Dodgers score. In fact, besides Layne Somsen (last night in 9th after Dickson HR), no one else had been able to until Jair Jurrjens in the top of the second today. Jurrjens provided a steady, confident presence on the mound this afternoon. He worked ahead in the count to most of the Cubs batters and he was aggressive in the strike zone, challenging Iowa hitters and using his defense to his advantage. At one point Jair Jurrjens retired 11 straight batters and was cruising along, even when Ian Happ took him deep to centerfield for a solo home run Jurrjens was in complete control. A pitching performance the Dodgers at Oklahoma needed on this day. The bullpen was in a stellar mode as well today, retiring all nine batters faced. Jacob Rhame and Adam Liberatore made this game short, they dominated the final three frames recording one strikeout each.
Today’s Pitching Box Score
|Oklahoma City Dodgers|
|Jair Jurrjens (W, 1-0)||6.0||3||1||1||0||3||1||1.50|
Dickson’s 2017 Batting Totals (3 games)
Oklahoma City put it all together today. It is a difficult stance to say that pitching was the story of the game when the Dodgers pounded out 19 hits to accompany the 12 runs they scored. Every Dodger starter, to include pitcher Jair Jurrjens, had at least one base hit; and with the exception of a well placed fly ball double from Willie Calhoun in the first, line drives all day from the OKC offensive attack. Rob Segedin went 2-5 with 2 runs scored, a home run and 2 RBI’s. Willie Calhoun went 3-4 while scoring one run and doubling in the first inning to help OKC early. Brett Eibner had a perfect day at the plate going 4-4, scoring 3 runs, smashing a home run and driving home 2 runners.
O’Koyea Dickson is batting in a different plain of reality than the rest of the planet currently. In his dimension, baseballs appear larger than they actually are. I apologize for my weak attempts at humor, but I have no other explanation for this red hot start from Dickson, except to surmise that he is more than locked in at the plate. O’Koyea today went 4-5, scoring 3 runs, hitting not only a double to lead off the 8th, but also hitting a home run to lead off the bottom of the 5th inning. Dickson, had 3 RBI’s and filled his box score with crooked numbers of production. O’Koyea Dickson is now batting .714 on this young season. 10-14 with 3 HR’s and 20 total bases thus far. Dickson is on pace for 370 hits this year, we might chuckle, but the pitchers in the Pacific Coast League are not amused. Dickson is making his case early for recognition in a farm system full of big name prospects. Mr. Dickson, quietly goes about the business of hitting, where ever the Dodgers place him in the line-up or in the field, he produces. Congrats on a big day O’Koyea Dickson! Congrats on the first victory of the season for the Oklahoma City Dodgers! Today’s final score: Dodgers 12 Cubs 1. The two teams will conclude their opening five game series tomorrow, with Julio Urias scheduled to start for the Dodgers.