Cubs Record: 94-55 (NL Central Champions)
W: Wily Peralta (7-10, 5.21 ERA)
L: Kyle Hendricks (15-8, 2.06 ERA)
SV: Tyler Thornburg (11)
MVP: Kyle Hendricks
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Not the Cubs offense!
The North Siders dropped another one to the Brewers, this time a 3-1 losing effort. With their loss today, the Cubs dropped three of four in this series against what is seemingly becoming a very talented Brewers ball club.
The Brewers struck first in the 2nd, getting two runs against Kyle Hendricks. The runs came off of two-out RBI singles by Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado and their starting pitcher Wily Peralta. The Crew added an insurance run in the 8th on Chris Carter’s 36th home run of the season.
The Cubs got their first and only run in the 6th inning. Jason Heyward started off the inning with a single. Next up was Miguel Montero who grounded out. Javier Baez took his turn at the plate and grounded into a force out of Heyward at second. So with Baez at first and two outs in the inning, Tommy LaStella hit a sharp double to left to score Baez.
More Cubs scoring chances than you could ask for came and went, but none came through.
Kyle Hendricks was pretty darn good today despite being the losing pitcher. He wasn’t as his best, but he managed to limit the Brewers to two earned runs on six hits over six innings. He also struck out nine and his ERA is an MLB-best 2.06. We’re nearing the end of the regular season and whenever any talk is made about the Cy Young, Hendricks’ name is always right there. Not only was he good on the mound as per usual, he also managed to collect two of the Cubs’ nine hits.
Jason Heyward has struggled greatly at the plate throughout the season, but he’s been showing bursts of life as of late. He had five hits over his last three games and was able to pick up two more hits Sunday, singles in the 2nd and 6th innings.
Brewers starter Wily Peralta gave up nine hits but just one earned run over six innings. He also helped his own cause with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. Peralta’s win didn’t come easily. He succesfully worked his way out of a couple of jams to secure his 7th victory of the season.
Cubs offense in this series had been pretty slow and that was no exception Sunday. They outhit the Brewers 9-7 and had more than twice as many base runners but just could not get the job done. The theme of this series has been missed opportunities. That was to be expected to an extent, Joe Maddon has been resting some of his regulars.
However, despite playing all of his regulars today, Maddon found himself on the losing end. The Cubs were only 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Just as the wins have usually come as a team effort, the losses have come when almost nobody in the lineup can find the right pitches to hit. The Cubs have also shown lack of patience at the plate, which led to their struggles during this game and their other two losses in the series.
CUBS FAILING TO SCORE WITH RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION! The Cubs only scored one run in the game and it surely wasn’t due to lack of chances. They left 23 men on base, whereas the Brewers only left eight. In the 2nd inning, the Cubs had men on 1st and 2nd with just one out but were unable to do anything.
Then in the 3rd inning, they loaded the bases with only one out before Ben Zobrist struck out and Addison Russell popped out to end that scoring chance. In the 4th inning, they had two men on with two outs, but yet AGAIN, they were unable to bring anybody home. They were only down by two runs in the 9th and had men on 1st and 2nd with one out. Unfortunately, Brewers closer Tyler Thornburg was able to strike out the Cubs’ big guys, Bryant and Rizzo, to secure his 11th save.
The Cubs start a three-game series with the Reds tomorrow at Wrigley, led by Jason Hammel. He’s pretty comfortable at home, boasting a sizzling 9-1 record with a 1.77 ERA in 13 starts. He’s coming off of a loss to the Cardinals in which he didn’t pitch poorly, but didn’t get much run support. Hammel has two previous starts against the Reds and he’s been dominant in both. He has a combined 12 innings pitched and has allowed seven hits and no runs while striking out ten batters.
For the Reds, it’ll be right hander Tim Adleman, who is winless over his last five starts. In his most recent start, he limited the Brewers to three hits over five innings. However, his three walks came back to bite him and he went on to give up four runs over five innings. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 CT start