Hurts-Brewers 6 Cub 5
Sunday at 5:53 pm
The formula that had become ho-hum has strangely disappeared the last three contests. The Cubs starters are not turning in the quality starts and the offense has struggled despite the run totals. Today the bats managed the feat of scoring more runs than they had hits, but it wasn’t enough once again.
What hurts the most about this three game losing streak was the opportunity lost. The Cubs could have established a stranglehold on the Central but the Brewers one run magic continued this weekend keeping them afloat in the division race. The road becomes a lot harder with having to play two double-headers in the next three days with a rotation that is already down to its seventh starter, and Ross will be tested with the first real challenge of his managing career.
There wasn’t a lot of offense overall today. The two starters were both tagged for five runs, and both pitched into the sixth inning at least. Each gave up a three run inning and then a two run inning before it became a battle of the bullpens. Josh Lindbloom was tagged for three runs in the first inning. Lindbloom walked Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras with one out. Kyle Schwarber bounced a grounder through the right side to drive in Rizzo. Steven Souza Jr. then delivered a big double to drive in a pair. Lindbloom then settled in to pitch until the sixth inning without surrendering anymore runs.
Jon Lester sat down the first seven batters he faced, but the wheels came off a bit with one out in the third inning. Luis Urias and Orlando Arcia hit back to back singles. Ryan Braun struck out, but then Keston Hiura launched a ball into the stands to tie the ballgame.
Lester then pitched a clean fourth inning, but Luis Urias hit a triple into the right field corner to led off the inning. Orlando Arcia then made me eat my words from earlier this year about not pulling a Kirk Nieuwenhuis by pulling a cutter into the left field stands to put the Brewers up 5-3.
Lindbloom cruised after the first inning. An Anthony Rizzo walk and Ian Happ single were the only base runners in between the three runs and the start of the sixth inning. Linbloom plunked Willson Contreras to start the sixth inning. Kyle Schwarber was walked and that would be it for Lindbloom. Eric Yardley punched out Souza and David Bote. In between the strikeouts, Ian Happ was hit by pitch. Jason Kipnis delivered a big two out hit to drive in a pair to tie the game. Nico Hoerner grounded out to end the inning.
Recently called up Jason Adams took over in the seventh inning. Orlando Arcia tripled to start the inning. Ryan Braun singled to put the Brewers ahead for good. The Cubs reliever would face the minimum afterwards, but the damage was done as the Cubs could not break through against the Brewers bullpen. David Bote and Nico Hoerner had some nice at bats against Josh Hader, who was assisted by a suddenly generous strike zone in the final inning of the game.
The series was mostly not good, but there were a few bright spots. The Cubs offense was largely unable to tack on runs, but they did manage to manufacture a number of runs. The Brewers were actually far more reliant on bombs than the Cubs were this series. Another bright spot was the two spotless inning thrown by Craig Kimbrel. However, there was always a downside to these bright spots when the Cubs drop their first series. It truly was this.