The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking more and more like the 2016 Cubs.
But even the team that will live forever in baseball history didn't go up 3-0 on any opponent last fall.
The Dodgers continued to outplay the Cubs in every single facet of the game Tuesday night, stunning the Wrigley Field faithful and defending champs with a 6-1 victory.
In other words:
At this point, it would be impossible to ignore the parallels to 2015.
The Cubs are now one game away from getting swept out of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Just like when they ran into the New York Mets' power pitching two years ago.
The Dodgers have run out Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Yu Darvish to mystify the Cubs while Alex Wood — who led baseball in winning percentage with a 16-3 record in the regular season — awaits for Game 4 Wednesday.
The Cubs offense has disappeared and they're getting upstaged by a team that led MLB with 104 wins.
What is it with these Taylors?
Dude, guys named Taylor absolutely kill the Cubs now, apparently.
After Michael A. Taylor nearly singlehandedly willed the Nationals past the Cubs in the NLDS, Chris Taylor is doing much the same thing with these Dodgers.
Chris Taylor wasn't a part of this series last fall and is making up for lost time this week. He has a run in every game of the series to go along with five hits, including a solo homer in Game 1 and a homer and an RBI triple in Game 3 Tuesday night.
Taylor came out of nowhere this year, bursting onto the scene with an .850 OPS, 21 homers, 17 stolen bases and 85 runs and he's been a difference-maker in this series.
All the right moves
Dave Roberts has pushed all the right buttons so far in this series.
After utilizing his bullpen in a perfect fashion the first two games in LA, Roberts then inserted veteran Andre Ethier and young centerfielder Joc Pederson into the lineup against right-handed Kyle Hendricks.
Ethier homered on the first pitch he saw Tuesday night, silencing the 41,871 fans at Wrigley Field after they just watched Kyle Schwarber stake their team to a 1-0 lead just a few minutes before.
Pederson led the fifth inning off with a double and came around to score the Dodgers' third run on Taylor's triple. Pederson's presence also pushed Taylor to shortstop, and we already know how that one worked out for Roberts and Co.
Roberts even, inexplicably, pulled back pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson and let Yu Darvish hit with the bases loaded and two outs in a tight ballgame in the top of the sixth and then watched as the pitcher with four career hits and one career walk stared at four straight balls from Carl Edwards Jr. to force in a run.
It's been quite a long time since something like that happened:
Yu Darvish: 1st P with bases loaded BB in postseason game since Larry Christenson for Phillies AGAINST Dodgers in Game 3 of the 1977 NLCS— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 18, 2017
Walking the walk
To piggy-back off that Darvish base on balls, Cubs relievers have set a new record for postseason futility:
From @SlangsOnSports: The Cubs' reliever 23 walks is most by any team in 8 games or fewer in the postseason.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 18, 2017
The number 23 holds a special place in the hearts of Chicagoans, but that is not the number they want to see here.
The Cubs bullpen that was among the game's best in the first half has flipped the script the last few months, unable to find any stability.
Remember, the Cubs were already looking pretty solid before they went out and added Justin Wilson at the trade deadline. To that point, Wilson had been one of the top relievers in baseball and there was a lot of talk about how great he'd look in the team's October 'pen.
Wilson isn't even active for this NLCS, though it's not like it mattered much.
(Not) talking the talk
The Cubs absolutely needed Bryzzo to step up if they were going to get back to the World Series for the second straight year.
But Bryant had just two harmless singles in Game 3 while Rizzo added a single in four trips to the plate. That hit broke an 0-for-16 stretch from Rizzo since he had that epic "Respect Me!" rant in Game 3 of the NLDS.
But, it's not like anybody else is hitting much either.
Kyle Schwarber's home run in the first inning was the Cubs' only offense and they are now 0-4 this postseason when hitting a homer in a game. That's also the third straight game in which the Cubs jumped the Dodgers with an early homer and yet find themselves one game away from starting their winter earlier than desired.
Part of the Cubs' inability to add on is their complete befuddlement by the LA bullpen, setting a new record by going 0-for-26 against Dodger relievers to start the series:
All told, the Cubs are in a "sub-optimal" position right now, to borrow a phrase from Maddon.
But hey, there was always last year.