Undesirable Outcome -- Brewers 8, Cubs 5

The Chicago Cubs were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon, losing 8-5 in the third and final game of the series.

Brewers starter Adrian Houser worked a quick first. Ben Zobrist led off with a ground out, Kyle Schwarber struck out looking, and Nick Castellanos flew out to left.

The Brewers had a bit more luck against Cubs starter Jon Lester in their half of the inning. Lorenzo Cain led off with a single, followed by back-to-back walks to Yasmani Grandal and Christian Yelich. Ryan Braun then grounded into a double play and scored Cain to put them ahead 1-0.

The third inning was nothing short of bizarre. Addison Russell was hit by a pitch; the ball appeared to hit him in the head/helmet. After several minutes of delay in which the medical staff evaluated him and he was bleeding from the nose, he stayed in the game. He then stole second base and scored on a throwing error from Yelich. David Bote singled and Lester hit an RBI double to put the Cubs in the lead at 2-1. They added one more run on a single from Zobrist and the inning ended with the score at 3-1.

Russell exited the game in the bottom of the third, with Bote taking over at shortstop and Ian Happ entering the game at third base. Lester worked a 1-2-3, with a strikeout from Houser, and ground out to short from Cain, and a called strikeout from Grandal.

The Brewers offense successfully pulled ahead 6-3 in the fourth inning. Yelich led off with a single, followed by an RBI double from Braun. Eric Thames struck out, but Hernán Pérez singled to tie it. Cory Spangenberg grounded into a forceout with Pérez out at second. The three further runs were gained after a walk to pinch-hitting David Freitas and a pinch-hit home run from Tyler Austin.

Brent Suter relieved Houser in the fifth inning and got a leadoff strikeout from Zobrist. Schwarber grounded out to shortstop, and Rizzo flew out to right after a single from Castellanos to end the inning.

Thames led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to center field to increase the Brewers’ lead to 7-3. Pérez popped out to second, but Spangenberg followed with a triple to right field. The Cubs then called on Duane Underwood to take over for Lester. Lester went 5.1 innings with seven hits, eight runs (all earned), three walks, and seven strikeouts. Underwood gave up a single to pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor and the inning ended with the Brewers winning 8-3.

Jay Jackson took over pitching for the Brewers in the seventh and faced Bote at leadoff, who struck out swinging. Jackson was then replaced by Drew Pomeranz. He faced pinch-hitter Tony Kemp, who grounded out to first. Zobrist then flew out to center for out three.

Danny Hultzen made his debut with the big league Cubs in the bottom of the seventh. After hitting Yelich with a pitch and giving up a single to Ben Gamel, he got strikeouts from Thames, Pérez, and Spangenberg.

The Brewers sent Alex Claudio to the mound for the eighth and he got ground outs from Schwarber and Castellanos, followed by a fly out to left from Rizzo.

Pedro Strop pitched for the Cubs in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Trent Grisham. Travis Shaw struck out looking, and Cain grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Cubs faced Jimmy Nelson on the mound for the ninth inning. He walked Willson Contreras, and Jason Heyward then homered to put the Cubs within three at 8-5. After a strikeout from Happ, pinch-hitter Victor Caratini singled to left. Josh Hader was then called in to replace Nelson on the mound, and he struck out pinch-hitter Robel García swinging and Zobrist looking to end the game.




Source: FanGraphs


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  • I think this about wraps up the season.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    Couldn't agree more! It may also signal the end of Maddon's tenure here!

  • In reply to Scott Tomkiewicz:

    I've been as critical of Joe as anyone. That said he's been asked to do without a legit closer and lead off man more often than not. When he's had them I'd say the results speak for themselves. And lest we forget the FO did nothing to address the teams obvious shortcomings heading into '19.

    I too believe he'll be at St Elsewhere next year. And that team will perform. But IMHO he's not the problem. The FO's inability to develop any meaningful pitching over 8 years is. At the end of the day that's why they're wearing financial handcuffs.

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    In reply to Cubmitted:

    Cubmitted, You are 100% correct. In the 8 years this FO has been in charge they have drafted and developed exactly zero pitchers that have made an impact at the major league level. ZERO!! That is almost impossible to believe. Really other than Bryant and I'll give them Schwarber, their draft picks have been terrible. Almora the sixth pick and Happ the ninth pick. Just a terrible job by this FO. Yes they won a world series but they have really struggled since then. Question, if they didn't have the resume that they do, would their jobs be in jeopardy? Heyward, Morrow, Chatwood, Kimbrell, Descalso not to mention not properly evaluating their own players and prospects. They talk a great game but at the end of the day it comes down to results. Our arrow is definitely pointing down and it has been for three years.

  • In reply to Joe Pluth:

    But they spent a lot of money, traded & gave him established pitchers. Almora was a bad pick. Jury still out on Happ. He was rushed, as was Schwarber. Now people want Hoerner rushed up as well. Not defending them but it’s not like he didn’t have anything to work with either.

  • In reply to Joe Pluth:

    The same Theo that gave Crawford all that money

  • In reply to Scott Tomkiewicz:

    Let;s hope so. We should be able to bear these goobers with out JV team

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Obvioulsy we are voicing our frustrations with a season still undecided.

    Nonetheless, it is apparent that the current team configuration is broken and a retooling is all but assured.

    Still 20 games to go and anything can happen, but as along time Cub fan, I know the signs and frankly, this team is not worth my time and attention.

    I am disappointed and did not see this as the evolution of the team after 2016. Just goes to show that baseball will break your heart if you become too emotionally invested in something you have absolutely no control over.

  • In reply to brownjay:

    Well said, although I hesitate to use the word "undecided." This team plays like they've shut down mentally already.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I watched video of the Cubs players being interviewed prior to yesterday's game, after news of Javy's thumb broke. They were all asked a variation of "where do you go from here?".

    I have a pretty wide vocabulary. Two words that come to mind to describe the mood are "solumn" and "dejected". They felt that kick to the groin as solidly as I did.

  • In reply to brownjay:

    Agreed! This group once seemed fearless & feared. That’s no longer the case. Hasn’t been that way for too long now.

  • Does Theo have to wait for the offseason to start before making trades? What a pathetic stretch run.

  • Cubs lose, Cards win, elimination number drops to 16 and I throw up a little in my mouth.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Order another beer to wash it down. That's what I do.

  • Wasn’t it a 4 game series?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yes and the Cubs won the first game. It was not a sweep. Though it felt like it, so I understand the error in the recap.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Good to see that a respectable site and writer can’t even get facts straight. Simple facts for that matte. So much negativity on here about cubs. I will get blasted but I truly believe cubs from tomorrow San Diego, Pirates, reds, cards, and 1 game of Pittsburgh series which totals 15 games will have a 11-4 run. The cards who have tomorrow off will cool off and have 14 games during that stretch will be 7-7. I am feeling it. I also believe we will get better news about Baez tomorrow.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I'll have what you're having. Must be some good stuff

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    ...and Bote will hit .950 for the rest of the season using a bat that, it turns out, was made from the horn of a unicorn, Darvish will strike out the side after adding the Bugs Bunny "Slow Ball" to his repertoire, and MLB will issue new face masks to home-plate umpires that utilize pixie-dust to cause strikes to be seen in color while balls are seen in black and white. The Ricketts family will try to purchase the technology for Cubs hitters. Say, what IS that you're drinking???

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I have plenty of good stuff that I am drinking. I still believe this line up and pitching staff is capable of putting together a 12-3 spirt.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It would take an epic turn around and as a fan you hold out hope. It’s just hard to seeing this group pull it off. It would make a great story and be a boost heading into the post season.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I believe the expression is you get what you pay for...

    More seriously though, mistakes happen. I appreciate the esteem you hold the site in, but everyone writing here is an amateur doing this out of enjoying the hobby of writing. I've made plenty of simple mistakes over the years. One that I remained mortified over to this day was consistently misspelling Jerad Eickhoff's name in a recap and having Meghan Montemurro tweet at me (probably more John to be honest) my mistake.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    I gotcha. Spelling a difficult name is little different then a simple fact. I do appreciate the fact you give up time to write a recap.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It was merely the first example that came to mind of a simple mistake I made. There have been plenty. But most of us who engage in this hobby are neurotic enough about our writing that we beat ourselves up enough over mistakes like that already. Thanks for your time reading.

  • Next pitch 9:10 pm. Let's go blue!

  • Today sucked, this weekend really sucked, and 2019 is basically over. But I try to look on the bright side.

    Congrats to Hultzen. He made The Show, and that was highly doubtful for many years. His story of perseverance and determination is inspiring. He could have quit several times, and almost did, several times, but he realized his dream. Good for him.

    I have to say good things about Javy's replacement. I was impressed with that steal of 2B the pitch after getting drilled, and then scoring. That showed me something, a little fire I haven't seen. I could make a joke about getting some sense knocked into him, but I won't. In all seriousness, Javy's replacement has a bruised cheek and is in the concussion protocol. Now what? Nico?

    Back to reality. Or maybe not. I really don't want to.

    Don't make me.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Machin has been on fire right now, and Iowa's season is over; I wonder if he can play shortstop?

  • Fire Theo before he overpays for our unproductive core and were stuck with more of his bad contracts. He's as responsible as Joe.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    He's way more responsible than Joe.

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    I'm hoping Nico but could be Dixon Machado or Zack Short.
    Don't forget that we are still 2 games ahead in the WC race. For years we'd have been thrilled to be ahead but we've been there, done that. No one is satisfied with that, but you can't win a WS without getting into the playoffs.
    If this team can win a few games in a row maybe they will get a second wind. Something has to get this team going.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That is true. It's a shame more injuries have cropped up. Especially at the stretch run. Replacing All-Stars who are a former MVP and runner up is no small task.

    They don't appear to be heading in the right direction but it ain't over until it's over. All that said if they lay down Theo and Joe need to go. Not sure on Jed. But big contract decisions are right around the corner. And in truth they've steadily regressed since '16. A new administration should be given a year to evaluate.

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    In reply to Cubmitted:

    The win total went up in 18, so not technically regressing, but I get what you’re saying. That said, there won’t be a new administration. Maybe a new manager.

    They at least seemed to have acknowledged the problems with leadoff and the pitching philosophy, so hopefully they’ll continue to follow through on addressing those areas.

    Changes need to be made, and with the right ones, I think the window can stay open.

  • I think you all know the results, but I’ll stick to the format.

    StL beat PIT. ARZ lost to CIN. The new Magic Numbers (MNs):

    Division: 25
    Playoffs (WC): 19

    There has never been an Elimination Number in the Countdown. I have been on the cusp each of the past 2 weekends, and now I am pushed over. Cubs09 has already started. The reality is that the Cubs are closer to being eliminated from the division race than they are to clinching a playoff berth.

    Elimination Number (division): 16

    The division MN decreased by 5 the past week, the average per week decrease since the Countdown started is 5. That obviously isn’t going to cut it. The WC MN decreased by 6 the past week, the average over the past 3 weeks, and that is barely sustainable.

    There are now 3 closest pursuers in the WC race, ARZ, MIL, and PHI. All have the same number of losses. The upcoming schedules:

    StL starts a 3-game set in COL on Tuesday.
    ARZ starts a 4-game set at NYM today.
    MIL starts a 4-game set in MIA today.
    PHI starts a 4-game set at home vs ATL today.

    I will continue counting down the MNs until the Cubs are eliminated. Call me a sucker for punishment.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Thanks Norway. I'm glad you're on the job, but this has to be the saddest recap you've written in at least 4 years.
    The fat lady hasn't even arrived at the theater yet.

  • Who did Hultzen replace on the Cubs 40 man roster?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Taylor Davis DFA.

  • Totally agree with the FO failure to produce any pitching at all. Total failure!

    This comment will be met with a horde of criticism, so be it. The Gleyber Torres trade for 3 months of Chapman will go down as one of the most lopsided deals since the Lou Brock trade. It will get dismissed though, as the Cubs won the WS. Totally gutless by Epstein, as he knew it was a safe move. I contend he got pants-ed by the Yankees. He could have gotten Addrew Miller for less.

    Lastly, Maddon will be gone not necessarily because the collapse (again) was all, or even some of his fault. It will be because his players are not listening to him. He has known the problems with this offense for at least 2 years now and has addressed it the length with the players. They have shown they are capable for using all fields and making contact when they need to. Instead they fall back into the swing for the fences approach which has been a recipe for major inconsistencies.While their pitching has been inconsistent as well, it has been good enough to win the division.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    You can have Torres back!!! The rest of us will enjoy the World Series over 100 years in the making. Also, where was he gonna play?? Short, nope had an all star in Russel...2nd, nope an all star (recently signed) zobrist...oh utility man, wait we had the unicorn Baez. Hmmmmmmmm...but I can totally see the future!!!

    I agree that some of his trades are garbage...complete garbage. The Lematheu trade really comes to mind. But, you can have Torres and we’ll be happy with the World Series.

  • In reply to MiniMogul:

    Really. Russel is a wife beater and Zoe is old and can play anywhere. Torres an All Star for years to come. Bet he's glad he's on the Yankees though.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    The Chapman trade was not a safe trade but a very daring go for it all that year deal.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    I am fascinated with the notion that the Cubs could have gotten Andrew Miller for less than Aroldis Chapman. What exactly would it have cost the Cubs to land Miller?

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    You, I, and thousands other know this is not true. But it sure fits the “Theo is a terrible team President” narrative for those who blame him.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I am honestly curious what the commenter thinks the price for Miller was going to be because it was widely reported at the time that it meant giving up Kyle Schwarber. And while there is a solid argument that the 2018 on Cubs would be better with those players swapped out, that completely ignores the pretty significant role Schwarber played in winning 3 of 4 games in Cleveland to end the drought.

  • Ok, I think I am in the same boat of all you posting above. If you were to make changes to the current roster what would you do?

    I'd be willing to trade Bryant, but besides the Braves who have a plethora of MLB ready and younger talent, which teams are capable meeting the asking price?

    What would you want for Bryant, Schwarber, Happ, etc?

  • In reply to berber31:

    They aren't trading Bryant

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Agreed. A lot of people on this blog want to trade Kris Bryant, although it's mystifying to me. Why trade arguably your best player? Also someone who is relatively cheap thru 2021? And someone who has done nothing but good in the clubhouse.

    I know he is a Boras client, but the Cubs have dealt with his clients in the past, with no issue whatsoever. See Yu Darvish for further info.

  • In reply to berber31:

    If they trade Bryant it better be to the American League. How about for Francisco Lindor?

    I wouldn't trade Bryant and I can't get into what players for who and all that trade speculation. It's September for crying out loud!

    But I do think/hope the Cubs will trade Caratini, Happ, and Russell. Maybe Almora.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Trading those pieces won’t bring squat. Go big or go home. Time to rebuild before Theo handcuffs us with more garbage, etc Chatwood Darvish Heyward Edwin Jackson for gods sake and don’t forget Morrow . Now Kimbrel is the latest waste. Trade at least two core players and start over. Build a farm system like Theo promised instead of trying to buy a World Series. The cardinals are just getting better and better. Look at there young pitching. Both Jack Flaherty and Luke Weaver taken after Kyle Schwarber. Everyone they bring up throws 95 plus. That’s how relieve pitchers miss bats. Not by signing rehab projects like Theo does and hope they pan out. Fire Theo . He’s responsible for this mess.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Cubs philosophy was draft hitters and buy pitchers. Don’t think they missed on pitchers in the draft since it wasn’t their method. Could disagree on draft philosophy but they probably don’t win w/s in 2016 drafting pitchers.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    "Build a farm system like Theo promised instead of trying to buy a World Series" Exactly. That is what Epstein promised "wave after wave" instead he has put this club once again in a rebuilding mode.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    If winning a world series and being in the playoffs for the last four years and a chance to get there again this year, all with a core of younger players is "rebuilding mode", then sign me up for more of that.

    And as far as wave after wave, you don't really think that Rizzo and Castro were in the same wave as KB and Javy. Or Schwarber and Almora and Contreros. He promised waves, and he delivered. All waves were big parts in year 5 of his plan. And it culminated in WS. And the farm system was hurt because we used those waves and got bad draft slots. That is how the system works.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    It is not time to rebuild. They have plenty of players in their prime. Add a few complimentary players this offseason and take your chances in the playoffs.

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