On Friday night, the Chicago Cubs dropped the opener of their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1. Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija cruised through his first four innings of work, but as he moved into the fifth and sixth innings everything fell apart. A parade of hits from the Dodgers during that span -- marked by an RBI double from James Loney in the fifth and a two-RBI single from Hanley Ramirez in the sixth inning -- opened up the game and the Cubs never recovered.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley tossed 7.0 innings and allowed just four hits and one earned run, which set the tone for the bullpen as Cubs hitters managed only those four hits for the entire evening. If you are curious how Chicago has managed to accumulate the second-worst differential between their home record (27-24) and road record (16-37) in the league, Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue offered a bit on how the typical blueprint for road losses worked its way into Friday's contest:
Stop me if you've heard this one before...
Cubs starting pitcher begins well, holds the opposition to one run early, and the Cubs stay in the game, eventually tying the score. Right then, Cubs starting pitcher gives up runs, not quite enough to make you think it's over, but then gives up more runs, putting the game essentially out of reach.
I could stop here, right? How many times this year have the Cubs played a game much like the 6-1 loss to the Dodgers Friday night? How many more rhetorical questions can I ask? Don't answer that.
It's really inexplicable. Jeff Samardzija threw a decent game, just not decent enough; he didn't walk anyone, which is a step in the right direction, but gave up eight hits and five runs and had to be lifted in the sixth.
For more on Chicago sports, stay tuned to . For more in-depth coverage on the Cubs stick with Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago. Baseball Nation.is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.