Roberts: Cold bats 'trying to do too much'

Roberts: Cold bats 'trying to do too much'

CHICAGO -- During the three-game series at frosty Wrigley Field, the Dodgers managed a total of four runs. The wind blew in off Lake Michigan, and several balls that appeared headed out of the ballpark were knocked down.

Still, manager Dave Roberts doesn't believe the conditions -- as tough as they were -- were the sole reason for the Dodgers' offensive woes in Thursday's 4-0 loss to the Cubs.

"I think there's a little of trying to do too much with runners in scoring position," Roberts said. "I think if you look at aggressiveness in the count, we're a little bit aggressive with balls out of the zone and expanding too much.

"I know it's early, but it's a little bit of guys wanting to do too much."

There was no better example of that than the at-bat by right fielder Yasiel Puig with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the fifth inning. Two walks and a single had sparked the rally, and Cubs starter Brett Anderson -- who spent the past two seasons with the Dodgers -- was perhaps a base hit away from being yanked.

Anderson escapes trouble in 5th

But after taking the first pitch for a ball, Puig swung at a ball well out of the strike zone, took a strike and then popped out to first baseman Anthony Rizzo in foul territory.

"That was a big at-bat of the game," Roberts said. "He knows Brett. He takes a ball down below the zone, and he gets a 1-0 fastball and takes a big swing at a ball out of the zone. That changed that sequence right there. You get the bases loaded, we've got him on the ropes a little bit. If that count runs to 2-0, then it could be a different at-bat."

That was the final pitch for Anderson, but it was enough to get him his first win in a Chicago uniform.

"It was a grind, it was a huge grind," Anderson said. "I was happy with the way I battled with what I had."

Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu didn't fare as well. He battled through 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits -- including home runs by Rizzo and Addison Russell.

"The velocity was a little bit down today," Roberts said. "He touched 91 [mph] but pitched at 87, 88. I thought he left a couple of fastballs out over [the plate], one to Rizzo and one to Russell. I thought the changeup was really good.

"If we had gotten a couple of runs early, it might have been a different game for him."

And certainly a better game for the Los Angeles offense.

"We missed the big hit all day," shortstop Corey Seager said. "A credit to them, a credit to Brett for us not doing our job, whatever it is. Pretty much all series, we needed a big hit to kind of separate or give ourselves the lead. We missed it this series."

John Jackson is a contributor to based in Chicago and covered the Dodgers on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.