Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/5/21): Cubs 5, Brewers 3 – Early Pitchers’ Duel Turns to Slugfest

After dropping the season opener, the Cubs (3-1) entered Monday’s matchup against Milwaukee (1-3), having won two in a row to take the series from Pittsburgh. Free agent signing Trevor Williams pitched for the first time at Wrigley as a Cubs hoping to ride the momentum of his strong spring into the regular season. He was opposed in this one by veteran lefty Brett Anderson

Williams took a perfect game into the 6th inning and was absolutely brilliant in his Cubs debut, going six innings and giving up two earned runs, one hit, two walks, and six strikeouts. The offense was held both hitless and scoreless until the 4th inning, when the home team got home runs from Willson Contreras, Javy Báez, and David Bote

With a 4-0 lead in the 7th inning, Jason Adam served up a three-run homer to Omar Narvaez that cut the deficit to only one. Andrew Chafin came in to relieve Adam, striking out Daniel Robertson to end the inning and preserve the lead.

In the bottom half of the 7th, Eric Sogard provided some much-needed insurance with a pinch-hit triple down the right field line to score Matt Duffy. Chafin continued into the 8th inning, eventually striking out all four batters he faced. With Craig Kimbrel getting the day off, David Ross asked Alec Mills to get the final three outs. An unusual choice but one that paid off with Mills successfully navigating the 9th and the Cubs holding on to win 5-3 (Box Score)

Why the Cubs Won/Lost

Outstanding performances from Williams and Chafin, a power surge in the 4th, timely hitting late in the game, and a surprise save from Mills led to a Cubs victory tonight. 

Key Moment

Perfect through five innings, Williams found himself in trouble for the first time in the 6th. Narvaez recorded Milwaukee’s first hit when he sent a squibber down the third base line against the shift. Williams would then issue a walk and hit a batter, loading the bases with one out and opening the door for the Brewers to cut into the Cubs’ 4-0 lead.

But with Kenston Hiura at the dish, Williams induced a 5-4-3 double play to escape unscathed. Keeping Milwaukee off the board in the 6th inning proved to be even more important after Narvaez’s homer one inning later. 

Stats That Matter

  • Williams is now 4-3 in 10 appearances against the Brewers, nine of them as a starter.
  • This was actually Mills’ second career save. His first came back in 2019.
  • Collectively, the Cubs struck out 12 batters and walked only two.
  • Báez and Bote went back-to-back with two outs in the 4th inning.

Bottom Line

If the Cubs want to successfully defend their division crown, they have to keep winning these matchups. So far, so good as they’ve taken three of their first four games against teams from the NL Central.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Tuesday night as Adbert Alzolay takes the mound against Freddy Peralta. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm CT and the game will be available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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