Sky is Falling–Brewers 6 Cubs 5 (10 innings)
today at 8:14 pm
Okay, I hope no one actually thinks that after the Cubs suffered back to back defeats for the first time in 2020. It was a frustrating loss two games in a row against a division foe. The Cubs blew a chance to truly bury the Brewers in the short season. The four game swing has the Brewers within five games of the Cubs with one game to go in the series. The season will be a third of the way done and that series win would have put the Cubs in a very strong position. The Cubs can salvage a split despite the disappointment, but it does sting even if it was just a normal bump in a baseball season.
Colin Rea was pressed into the starting rotation and gave David Ross three scoreless frames to start the ballgame. A Ryan Braun double with two outs was the only baserunner allowed during Rea’s first turn through the rotation. Anthony Rizzo put the Cubs on the board with a one out blast in the first inning against Adrian Houser. Houser walked Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras with two outs. Ian Happ doubled to drive in the Cubs second run of the first inning. Jason Heyward walked to load the bases, but Victor Caratini grounded out to end the threat.
The Cubs extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning. Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a single. Anthony Rizzo doubled with one out to drive in the Northbrook native. Houser settled in to pitch through the fifth inning without allowing any more runs.
Rea ran into trouble in the fourth inning. Keston Hiura fouled out to start the frame, but Rea would not record another out. Christian Yelich and Avisail Garcia hit back to back singles, and a Justin Smoak double scored two while chasing Rea from the ballgame. Ryan Tepera would yield a single to Luis Urias allowing the Brewers to tie the game 3-3.
Kyle Ryan worked a scoreless fifth inning. He walked two batters with two outs, but struck out Smoak to keep the score level. Casey Sadler pitched the sixth inning, and was greeted with a Ryan Braun double. Luis Urias walked and a wild pitch allowed the pair to advance 90 feet. That would loom large as Jason Kipnis error allowed Braun to score. The Brewers would hang onto that 4-3 lead until the eighth inning.
Brent Suter was the first pitcher out of the Brewers pen and he pitched into the eighth inning without allowing a run. Steven Souza Jr. was called on to pinch hit against Suter with two outs. Craig Counsell countered Ross with Craig Knebel, but Ross won the decision as Souza hooked a ball into the left field stands to tie the game.
Dan Winkler pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Cubs and Jeremy Jeffress did the same in the ninth inning. David Phelps kept the Cubs off the board in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings. Jeffress ran out of steam as Garcia ripped a double to start extra innings. Jeffress retired Smoak and Ben Gamel, but back to back singles extended the Brewers lead to 6-4.
Alex Claudio was brought on in the save situation. Willson Contreras flew out which allowed baserunner Albert Almora Jr. to reach third. Ian Happ grounded out to drive in Almora in a trade the Brewers were happy to make. David Bote struck out to end the game.
Losing back to back close games is not a fun experience, but there is something about just having big league baseball right now. The reaction to the past two games is best summed up like this.