The Cubs hoped to earn a split with the Milwaukee Brewers after dropping the first game of the doubleheader by a single run Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, Chicago’s bats went silent and Milwaukee completed the double-dip sweep.
Both starting pitchers were on top of their game Monday night. Aaron Ashby and Drew Smyly did not allow a base runner through the first three innings of work. Smyly left the game with right oblique soreness after warming up for the 4th inning, leaving it up to the Cubs bullpen the rest of the way.
Anderson Espinoza, making his major league debut, came on and immediately gave up a run-scoring double to Rowdy Tellez. Willson Contreras tied the game in the bottom of the 4th launching a tape-measure solo shot onto Waveland.
Contreras’s former backup, Victor Caratini, put the Brewers back ahead the following inning with a wind-aided solo homer that just barely made the basket. Chicago had a golden opportunity to tie the game with the bases loaded and no one out in the 7th, but failed to score.
Why the Cubs Lost
Once again, the Cubs could only muster a single run Monday night. The inconsistent offense has cost them more than a couple of the close losses this year.
Reliever Brad Boxberger faced the Cubs with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 7th. He struck out Nico Hoerner on a questionable called third strike and then coaxed light-hitting Andrelton Simmons to hit into a 5-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Stats That Matter
- Espinoza did a good job stepping in after Smyly left: 4 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 6 K, and 3 BB.
- Christopher Morel extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single Monday night.
- Contreras had a homer, a single, and two walks.
The Cubs had a legitimate chance to win both ends of this doubleheader. Instead, they were the ones that got swept after failing to come through with men on base. Another injury to the starting staff is going to put more pressure on an already stretched unit.