Simply put, Dodgers get it done and Cubs don't
Editor's note: Each day throughout the Cubs' playoff drive, we'll chat with Dan Plesac and share his answers to key questions.
Q. Of the top five Dodgers hitters, only Andre Ethier was kept under wraps early. They knew what to do with the bat, didn't they?
A. The Dodgers have been productive down the stretch, and in this series. They got on base and they got the two-out hits they needed. That's what you need to do in postseason play. Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez didn't do that. That's disappointing.
Q. Hiroki Kuroda had the Cubs beating the ball into the ground most of the night. Was he helped by the Cubs hitters or was he just dealing?
A. The Cubs had some chances in this game. They left some men on base, and you can't do that. They had chances to score. In the postseason, you're not going to get 10-9 games. There were opportunities to score and they didn't get it done. The Dodgers have capitalized on their chances and the Cubs haven't.
Q. What do you say to hitters like Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano after this series?
A. There really is not much to say. It's just disappointing to see this, and it's two years in a row. It hurts a lot more this year knowing you had a team that played so well right from the start. The expectations were high, and rightly so.
Q. How would you assess Rich Harden's performance?
A. He was OK. His velocity wasn't as good and he was not as dominant as he can be. He was walking a tightrope for a couple of innings. His changeup was good. He didn't have his best stuff, but he kept them in it, and that was good. If there's one positive from this game, it had to be Sean Marshall. He threw very well.
Q. Some time during this past year, Cubs fans had forgotten about the Arizona sweep last fall. Will this one linger longer?
A. Sure it will, and it's going to be hard to let this season go because all the promise it showed at the beginning. The Cubs stayed away from injuries down the stretch and were relatively healthy going into this series. That's what you want in the postseason. They had a lot of things going for them.
• Former Cubs pitcher Dan Plesac is Comcast SportsNet's Cubs studio analyst on "Cubs Pre-Game Live" and "Cubs Post Game Live." An 18-year major-leaguer, Plesac received 3 points in the 1988 American League MVP voting.