What can we say? It hasn't been a good year for the Cubs again as they were eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend.
Let’s take a look at the recap of the series vs. the Brewers:
9/06 vs. Brewers: W 8-5
9/07 vs. Brewers: L 3-5
9/08 vs. Brewers: L 1-3
9/06- It was a game of firsts for Lake and Rusin. Rookie outfielder Junior Lake showed his power as he hit his first career grand slam. Cubs’ starter Chris Rusin allowed two runs in his 3 2/3 innings of work and also contributed to his own cause with the first two RBIs of his career. Closer Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for what was his 30th save, marking the third time he’s reached that mark. The Cubs scored early, they got five runs in the first against Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse. Three consecutive Cubs singled, with one run scoring on Nate Schierholtz’s hit. Ryan Sweeney then walked to load the bases and one out later; Lake hit his fifth home run of the season and his first grand slam. The Brewers scored in the second on Norichika Aoki’s sacrifice fly and former Cub Aramis Ramirez hit his 127th home run at Wrigley Field with one out in the third to close the gap by only three runs. In the third inning Ryan Sweeney and Donnie Murphy singled and then Lake bunted for a base hit to load the bases. That’s when Rusin delivered a two run single and opened a five run lead once again. Rusin was pulled after throwing 85 pitches over 3 2/3 innings and Carlos Villanueva picked up the win after throwing 2 1/3 innings in relief; this was his third win in his last four appearances. The Brewers made it interesting in the eighth inning when Scooter Gennett hit his first career pinch-hit home run, a three-run homer which brought the Brewers within two. In the bottom of the eighth, Murphy scored on a throwing error by shortstop Jean Segura to add another insurance run to Kevin Gregg, who finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.
9/07- The Cubs had a 2-0 lead until the fourth inning. Brian Bogusevic walked to lead off the second and Luis Valbuena followed with his 10th. home run of the year. Cubs’ starter Jake Arrieta was cruising until the fourth where Milwaukee loaded the bases and Logan Schafer tripled to clear the bases and give the Brewers the 4-2 lead. Brian Bogusevic did hit a solo home run in the sixth to close the gap and make it 4-3 but the comeback stopped there. Korean pitcher Chang-Yong Lim made his Cubs debut; he is the 54th player used by the Cubs this season, a new franchise record. He walked pinch-hitter Sean Halton and served up a single to Aoki but he escaped trouble when Jean Segura grounded into a double play. The Cubs outhit and out homered Milwaukee but still ended up with the loss.
9/08- Scott Baker had his first start since 2011 after having Tommy John surgery and he had a terrific return. He delivered five strong innings giving up only two hits, no runs, and became the 55th player used by the Cubs this season, extending their franchise record. Brewers’ starter Yovani Gallardo was even better, shutting down the Cubs over seven innings aside from Junior Lake who had the only run of the game for the Cubs; a solo homer. Chicago now has 96 home runs at Wrigley, which leads the National League in homers at home. The Brewers struck in the seventh when pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi hit a two-run single and pitcher Yovani Gallardo added an RBI single off James Russell to give the Brewers the lead and the win. This was their 21st loss in the last 28 games at home.
The Cubs can play a big role in shaping the postseason picture, as they travel from Cincinnati then to Pittsburgh. Essentially, all that’s left to determine is who will be crowned NL Central Champion and which teams will meet in the Wild Card game. So, there’s quite a difference between that. You either cruise into the NL Division Series or you have to battle it out in a one and done showdown. That’s what’s on the line for the Reds who kick off a three-game series with the Cubs tonight at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati enters the series on a four-game winning streak. Here are the probable pitchers and game details:
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds
Monday, September 9, 2013 @ 6:10 p.m. CT (in progress)
Travis Wood, LHP (8-11, 3.17 ERA) vs. Bronson Arroyo, RHP (13-10, 3.62 ERA)
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 @ 6:10 p.m. CT
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m. CT
Thank you so much for reading and as always, Go Cubs!