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Dodgers 5, Cubs 0: Blankety-blank

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The Cubs got shut out for the second straight game.

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Probably the last thing the Cubs wanted from their series in Los Angeles was to enter the final game of the set having to defeat Clayton Kershaw just to win one game of the three, but here we are.

The Cubs were shut out by the Dodgers 5-0 Saturday evening, and unlike the recap from Friday night’s game, I don’t really even have good defensive plays to show you.

I mean, there’s this nice play by Ian Happ [VIDEO].

But that’s nothing more than showing pretty good range at second base, not a spectacular play by any means. The game was Happ’s first major-league start at second, his natural position.

And there’s this dive into the stands by Jason Heyward [VIDEO].

But, as noted by Joe Buck, Heyward didn’t catch that ball. The MLB.com page with highlight videos from this game captions that video by saying “Heyward makes a good effort on a foul ball.”

This is what we are reduced to, apparently: celebrating “good effort.”

The Cubs had five baserunners in this game: singles by Happ (he was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double), Miguel Montero and Addison Russell, a walk drawn by Kyle Schwarber, and Happ on base a second time after he was hit by a Brandon McCarthy pitch. Just one Cub reached second base — Montero, after a throwing error by Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling allowed Albert Almora Jr. to reach base.

It was noted after the game that this was the first time in almost exactly three years, May 27-28, 2014, that the Cubs had been shut out in back-to-back games, that time by the Giants.

That’s true — but only if you limit the search to regular-season games. I’m guessing you remember Game 2 and Game 3 of last year’s NLCS, when the Dodgers shut out the Cubs two straight games. In Game 2, the Cubs had two hits, in Game 3 they had four.

That series worked out all right. The Cubs scored 18 runs against the Dodgers over the next two games at Dodger Stadium and hit three home runs, two by Russell.

Joe Maddon sums up Saturday’s defeat:

With the loss and wins by the Brewers and Cardinals Saturday, the Cubs fell to half a game out of first place.

This recap is over. Just don’t have anything else to say. This team is simply going to have to start hitting the way it’s capable of hitting.

It won’t be easy against Kershaw, although the Cubs did pretty well against him the last time they faced him, Game 6 of the NLCS. Jon Lester, who has been the Cubs’ most consistent starter all year, takes the mound against the Dodgers ace. The game preview will post at 1 p.m. CT.