Dodgers 8, Chicago Cubs 5: Will the West be won with offense?

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig made a basket catch and scored a career high four runs in the Dodgers’ 8-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. (Associated Press photo)

The “bullpen game” idea worked — but give the offense credit, as the box score shows.

Also: Dan Haren is geared up for tomorrow’s start against the Giants, but he insists it‘s not the most pressure-filled series of the season.

The Giants lost to the Padres, 8-2. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West is 3.

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Don Mattingly on the importance of playing the San Francisco Giants.

CHICAGO >> The Dodgers are playing the San Francisco Giants tomorrow, in case you haven’t heard. It’s a three-game series and this is what the standings look like right now.

So, rivalry game in the final week of the season with first place in the division at stake. Perhaps not surprisingly, Don Mattingly didn’t have to explain this to the Dodger players.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu’s submaximal throwing program continues.

I decided to look up “submaximal” on today. There is no picture next to the word, let alone an image.

Therefore, I submit this video for approval for Messrs. Merriam, Webster, Collins, Oxford et. al:

Ryu threw a little longer and a little harder than he did yesterday, about 10 minutes. He felt well enough to playfully throw a baseball off Yasiel Puig‘s butt, after Puig mocked his throwing motion. Ryu met with head athletic trainer Stan Conte, just as he did Saturday. It serves to reason that he’ll continue throwing Monday, when the Dodgers return home to play the Giants.

An MRI revealed inflammation in Ryu’s left shoulder after he left his last start (Sept. 12) with an injury.

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Chicago Cubs 8, Dodgers 7: Who (and what) to blame for a bullpen meltdown?

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez was surrounded by bubbles after hitting the first of his two home runs in the Dodgers’ 8-7 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers’ bullpen melted down in a big way Saturday, leaving everyone searching for an explanation. The box score is here.

The Dodgers could have used another blowout win. Beyond getting them closer to a division title, it presents a golden opportunity for a relatively old team to rest up.

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Poll: Who’s in the Dodgers’ postseason bullpen?

Last year, the Dodgers’ roster for the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series included six relief pitchers. It also featured a starting pitcher (Chris Capuano in the first round, Edinson Volquez in the second) who essentially served as a long reliever/emergency starter.

This year, it’s anyone’s guess what the Dodgers will do after clinching a playoff spot last night.

The bullpen had its issues in an 8-7 loss to the Cubs on Saturday. There are many question marks, but here’s the big one: Who would you bring?

Keep in mind the playoff roster is limited to 25 per round. You’ll need at least eight position players and you’ll want four starters, just in case. But there’s no limit on how many boxes you can check on this poll, which closes October 1. Take it again if you change your mind:

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Watch: Yasiel Puig makes diving catch, turns inning-ending double play.

CHICAGO >> Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig made one of the best catches you’ll see this year in the fifth inning Saturday.

Puig ran down a line-drive to the left-center field gap hit by the Chicago Cubs’ Jorge Soler, dove head-first to make the catch, then threw to second base to complete an inning-ending double play.

(His right shoulder might not look OK, but he was able to bat in the top of the sixth inning and hit a stand-up double.)

Thanks to Chad Moriyama and Daniel Brim for the GIFs:

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