First I must apologize for the extreme delay in the recap tonight. It is going to take a weekend or two before I get the timing of everything down once again it seems. While making dinner and getting a few school items in order, I had plenty of time to ponder whether this 4-2 loss was "better" than the 13-10 loss Friday.
I am not sure where I land on it after all that time to be honest. On the one hand, the bullpen threw four scoreless innings which felt like four innings than they've thrown all year. On the other hand, it was another short and not terribly effective outing from a Cubs starter. The formula was suppose to be pummel the opposition and ride a strong, veteran staff. The pummeling has happened with regularity but only a couple of starts would be anything close to resembling good.
It is still early, but the worst Cubs start since 1997 is causing some blues. The holes on this roster are pretty visible, and yet the nature of baseball means that the story of 2019 is still being written. It wont feel any better if the team drops the home opener, since we will all get two days to ponder things.
The Cubs offense was held in check by Zach Davies for the first five innings. The Cubs managed to put a base runner or two on in three of those frames, but the big hit eluded them over half way through the game. The Brewers wouldn't have that issue.
Lorenzo Cain singled through the left side of the infield and Christian Yelich continued his best Barry Bonds impression crushing a two run blast two batters into the game. Hendricks settled in to record six outs without allowing any more damage, but the Brewers started squaring Hendricks up again in the bottom of the third.
Lorenzo Cain, Yelich and Travis Shaw singled back to back to back to start the third inning. Cain scored for a second time and the Brewers had a three run lead that would be enough. The Brewers would get another tally in the fourth inning. The bottom of the order did the damage. Zach Davies reached to load the bases on a bunt single. It looked like Hendricks might escape without any further damage getting Cain to pop out to second, but Yelich hit a deep fly to center extending the Brewers lead to 4-0.
Hendricks was pulled in the fifth inning for pinch hitter David Bote. The Cubs put a runner in scoring position with two outs that frame, but came away empty handed once again. Tyler Chatwood pitched a tightrope walk of an inning. He looked better but he still walked two batters. A third reached on a dropped third strike, wild pitch to load the bases with two outs. Craig Counsell elected to leave Davies in the ballgame, and he obliged the Cubs with an inning ending flyball.
The move backfired almost instantly for Counsell. Anthony Rizzo reached on an Eric Thames error to start the inning. Javier Báez singled to put the Cubs in business, but that business was in jeopardy after a Kyle Schwarber grounded into a double play. Willson Conteras blasted a homer to get the Cubs on the board. That ended Davies afternoon.
Alex Claudio recorded the final out of the sixth inning and the first out of the seventh inning in the first two batters he faced. Claudio walked Albert Almora Jr. and then Ben Zobrist ripped a single to put the tying run on base. Josh Hader entered the game and the Cubs could not reach base in their next eight tries against the elite left hander.
The good is that the trio of Tyler Chatwood, Kyle Ryan and Allen Webster combined for four scoreless innings. It wasn't always pretty but zeroes are zeroes at the end of the ballgame. The bullpen might be shaping up from historically bad and the Cubs finally get to play a home game.
Yeah I don't have much in the way of positives for this team right now. So instead lets remember how great 2016 was. It was pretty great.