It was like a surprise party but the birthday boy never showed. The crowd was bubbling, preparing for an explosion. There were 41,000+ people on their feet; a postseason warm-up, if you will. The Cubs wanted to oblige but, in the end, they just couldn’t make it happen.
Jorge Soler delivered the first blow for the Cubs in the bottom of the second inning with Addison Russell on base, a crushing home run that left his bat at 114 MPH. That gave the crowd a reason to party and it also gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
The Brewers came back in the fourth inning. Keon Broxton hit a solo home run that got them on the board. Addison Russell then did something that he rarely ever does, with two outs he airmailed a throw past Anthony Rizzo giving the Brewers life. With Hernan Perez on first base, the Brewers hit back-to-back doubles and, like that, they had a 3-2 lead.
The Cubs tied the game when Mike Montgomery singled in the bottom of the fourth inning to drive in Jason Heyward, who doubled earlier in the inning.
It stayed tied until the seventh inning. With Justin Grimm on in relief, after a solid outing by Mike Montgomery, the Brewers put together a walk and two doubles to score two runs and give the Brewers a 5-3 lead.
The Cubs had runners on base each of the last three innings but could only manage to score one run off a Jason Heyward double. In the end, the Cubs fell just short and ended up dropping the game by the score of 5-4 (Box Score).
Stats that matter
- Montgomery has been very, very good for the Cubs in his role as the #6 starter – 6.0IP, 3R, 4H, 1BB, 7Ks, HR, 85 pitches
- Jorge Soler’s bomb was the moment of the game – 1-for-4, 1R, 2RBI, HR
- Jason Heyward stepped up in a clutch game – 2-for-4, 1R, 1RBI, 2 doubles
The Cubs did their best to win tonight, but couldn’t overcome a motivated Brewers team. For them, this was their playoffs and you could see it in the intensity they were playing with. This game mattered to them.
For the Cubs, they win the division anyway. The Cardinals lost and hey, the Chicago Cubs are your 2016 National League Champions.
The Cubs will bring the party to the field on Friday afternoon as they play host to the Brewers at 1:20 PM CT. John Lackey (9-8, 3.35 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs.