The Cubs wrapped up a frustrating series with the Brewers on Sunday. Chicago dropped their third consecutive one-run game and lost their first series of 2020.
Things started well for the home team with a three-run 1st inning. Kyle Schwarber singled in Anthony Rizzo and a Steven Souza Jr. double scored the other two runs. Brewers starter Josh Lindblom then shut things down over the next four innings.
Jon Lester looked sharp early before hitting big trouble in the 3rd. Luis Urias and Orlando Arcia singled to put two men on with one out. With two down Keston Hiura, who had struggled mightily in the early season, got a mistake pitch and hammered a game-tying three-run homer to center.
The dynamic duo at the bottom of the Milwaukee order struck again in the 5th. Urias led off the inning with a triple and Arcia continued his Cubs killing ways with a two-run jack to left.
Lindblom hit two batters and walked another to load the bases in the bottom of the 6th. Eric Yardley took over on the mound and for a change Chicago did some damage. Jason Kipnis singled home a pair of runs to tie the game at 5.
Newly called up Jason Adam pitched the 7th for the home team and Orlando Arcia (who else?) greeted him promptly with a triple. Ryan Braun, feeling left out of the Cubs pain parade, singled home Arcia with the winning run.
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs struggles the last few years have often been tied to a lack of contact. That was a big issue on Sunday with a whopping 16 strikeouts.
If Hiura’s at-bat in the 3rd had gone differently the outcome might have been reversed. Alas, Lester caught too much of the plate and he paid the price.
Stats That Matter
- Lester ate some valuable innings with two doubleheaders on the horizion: 6 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 5 K, and 0 BB.
- Craig Kimbrel looked excellent pitching in the 8th with two strikeouts in a perfect frame.
- Hader has never allowed an earned run to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs may consider never pitching to Arcia ever again. Bigger picture, they are facing their first losing streak of 2020. The Cardinals series will be big, no time to linger on what happened this weekend.
Chicago begins their three-day, five-game series with St. Louis at 3:05 pm CT. Kyle Hendricks battles Kwang Hyun Kim in the first of two seven inning games. Marquee Sports provides the television feed.