Tuesday’s matchup versus the Milwaukee Brewers was a dinger party and the Cubs weren’t invited. The home team garnered only three hits and failed to score any runs in the loss. Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacín was on fire, recording 10 strikeouts.
Lorenzo Cain led off with a home run against José Quintana, his third of the season and first of his career off of the Cubs starter. Ryan Braun homered in the inning as well with a two run shot to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.
The Cubs put two on against Chacín, including a two-out double from Ben Zobrist, but were ultimately unable to bring in any runs in the first.
Chacín struck out Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras in the second inning, and Quintana followed up with a hard line drive. Unfortunately, it was hit right back at Chacín, who gloved it and threw to first for the final out.
Braun hit another two-run homer in the third after Jesús Aguilar led off with a walk to bring the Brewers up 5-0. The chorus of boos from Cubs fans that usually greets Braun didn’t seem to get into his head today.
Ian Happ led off the Cubs half of the third with a double and advanced to third on a groundout by Anthony Rizzo. The home team did not cash in on the opportunity. Javier Báez struck out looking and Zobrist grounded out to end the inning.
Quintana worked his first 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. He struck out Orlando Arcia and Chacín, followed by a lineout to right by Cain for the final out. Chacín followed up with his own quick inning, inducing a flyout from Heyward to center, a lineout by Tommy La Stella to left, and a sharp flyout to center from Schwarber.
Quintana seemed to regain his control after the early damage was done and went on to retire eight straight through the fifth. He was replaced by Jesse Chavez in the sixth inning, who struck out Hernán Pérez for the first out. Chavez ended the inning with an impressive catch on a hard liner back up the middle from Arcia, but it was overshadowed by the solo shot given up to Erik Kratz one batter prior. The Cubs left the sixth trailing 6-0.
Báez broke his 0-18 streak at the plate with a leadoff double in the Cubs half of the sixth. A bit of drama ensued between skipper Joe Maddon and home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after Zobrist showed some ire on a called strike three. Maddon was tossed, and the Cubs yet again failed to capitalize on a leadoff double.
Albert Almora, Jr. entered the game to pinch hit for Chavez in the seventh and struck out swinging to end the inning.
Jorge De La Rosa took to the mound for the Cubs in the eighth inning and faced Aguilar for the first at-bat. He gave up a single, and Aguilar advanced to second on a groundout by Perez. Mike Moustakas followed with a single to right field, and Aguilar held, likely not wanting to test Heyward’s arm. The Brewers increased their lead to 7-0 with a two-out RBI double from Kratz, scoring Aguilar.
Corey Knebel came in for Milwaukee in the eighth and had a fairly quick inning. He struck out Happ and Báez, with an 11 pitch at-bat from Rizzo sandwiched in between that ended with a flyout to center.
Zobrist was thrown out of the game by Cuzzi at the top of the ninth after a conversation that didn’t appear to be too heated, but a majority of it took place while the game was in a commercial break.
De La Rosa worked a quick ninth, striking out Jonathan Schoop and Cain. Christian Yelich singled, and although a valiant effort with a diving stop was made by La Stella at third, the throw was not in time to first. The inning ended after a long out to left from Aguilar.
Addison Russell hit in Zobrist’s spot against Dan Jennings in the bottom of the ninth and was thrown out by the shortstop, Arcia. The Cubs were unable to break the shutout, with Heyward lining out softly to left and La Stella grounding out to third to end the game.
Today’s game wasn’t pretty, but do not fear, because the Cubs are still in first place. Tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity to remain at the top of the division.
Filed under: Game Recap