Pain--Brewers 15 Cubs 2

This was not a fun game to watch. I would have turned it off well before the nine innings were complete if not for writing the recap. The Cubs offense was anemic against a pitcher on a pretty good run. Ben Zobrist had the first base hit with a two out single. Kyle Schwarber launched a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to get the Cubs on the board in the series. The Cubs added another run with Leonys Martin‘s first Cubs hit. A two out double in the ninth made the final tally 15-2

Mike Montgomery got the first batter he faced on a groundball to third. Monty struck out Domingo Santana but Santana reached on a dropped third strike getting by Alex Avila. Ryan Braun hit a fly ball into center for the second recorded out of the inning. Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar both walked, but the bases were left loaded on a Manny Pina groundout.

The wheels fell off after a perfect second inning from Monty. Hernan Perez walked to start the inning, and reached third on a shallow fly ball from Santana that dropped in front of Jason Heyward. Montgomery walked Ryan Braun to load the bases and Travis Shaw put the Brewers on the board hitting a double right over the first base bag to score 2. Justin Grimm entered the game and he balked in Ryan Braun facing his batter. Jesus Aguilar then hit a bloop single to drive in another run. Pina singled and Broxton walked to reload the bases and no outs. Orlando Arcia doubled to score another pair of runs. Chase Anderson hit a run scoring sacrifice bunt and Perez drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly. The 8-0 lead ended much of the drama in this game very early.

Rob Zastryzny was asked to eat some innings for the Cubs starting in the fourth inning. He pitched a shutout inning, but the Brewers offense continued to have everything go right in the fifth inning. Broxton drew a leadoff walk and then an error by Ben Zobrist at second base turned a double play into a pair of runners in scoring position. Chase Anderson smacked a ball just past a draw in Zobrist to score one. Arcia attempted to score on the play but was tagged out. It became less important of a play as Hernan Perez hit a home run to give the Brewers an 11-0 edge. Zastryzny retired the next four Brewers in a row. He then hit Manny Pina with a pitch and two outs in the sixth inning. Broxton and Arcia hit back to back singles to extend the Brewers leadd 12-0. Chase Anderson hit a swinging bunt that died in fair territory as a perfect metaphor for this game. Perez knocked in another pair making a two touchdown lead.

Zastryzny would pitch another scoreless inning before giving way to Dillon Maples. Maples got Jett Bandy, but Broxton drew another walk. Arcia hit yet another single to give the Brewers another scoring chance. Maples spiked a breaking ball in the dirt that a now catching Kyle Schwarber had no chance on, and that gave the Brewers their fifteenth run on the afternoon. Felix Pena pitched the ninth and was the only pitcher that escaped the game unscathed with a 1-2-3 inning.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Unsung Hero
Rob Zastryzny was not particularly sharp this afternoon, but he did something important. The loss still counts as only one loss. It becomes more a loss if the bullpen gets torched in the loss. The Cubs have a very extended bullpen right now, but it is also clear that the team is feeling the effects of this long stretch of games. Zastryzny kept the bullpen in tact for the huge game tomorrow taking it on the chain for four innings. He also picked up his first base knock which was one of the six on the day for Cubs bats.

Auditions
The Cubs didn’t get many silver linings out of this one, but at least by being out of it allowed the manager to pull most of the starters. This has been a long stretch that is clearly wearing on this team, and a few guys got looks to see about decisions later in the season hopefully. Dillon Maples showed off the very good stuff, but the problems you have a with a young pitcher who has electric stuff is evident. Leonys Martin is starting to become interesting to me with his limited playing time so far. He isn’t going to be a regular anytime, but he might be a valuable piece at the end of the bench. Kyle Schwarber had a chance to catch a couple of innings and really didn’t embarass himself. He had two tough assignments with guys throwing upper 90s and wicked sliders. It isn’t much, but it is another day off the calendar in first place.

Random Reference
Kyle Hendricks takes the ball tomorrow and a win means that despite the fireworks of the past two days the Brewers will have only gained a single game. I feel pretty good about that situation. So here is my prediction.

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    That was, not fun. Period. Now I think the Cubs really must win tomorrow to gain any kind of self-confidence back. This is like when Milw was in last time. Of course, it's hard to win when we walk so many in the first inning, have a passed ball (there were several today) and get behind in an eye blink.
    We Denizens have to shake it off, come back tomorrow, see the first half of the Bears game (they will surprise us and win) and see the Cubs win too.
    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Bears aren't winning

  • I have never seen a very good quality team play so schizophrenic. There are few words.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    What about the 2017 Dodgers? They are pretty crazy right now

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Perhaps. By they had sustained success until the last 15 games. This team has played this way all year.

    The head scratcher for me started with the April sweep the Pirates laid on us and then Rondon's meltdown giving up the HR to Gardner. This team all of a sudden looked vulnerable. They played well for a few stretches and then have had a nice run post All Star break. Now with some brutal losses it appears we are back to the unknown.

    But as I have said all year, just get in. Anything can happen.

  • Wasn't really confident in the cubs coming into the series.The pitching match ups were much more favorable for the brewers.

  • Cubs have had their bottom 2 starting pitchers lined up against 2 of Milwaukee's top 3.

    Still 3 games up after today. Win tomorrow with Kyle on the mound and get back on track.

    And hopefully we'll get Contreras and Russell back in the lineup soon. Depth issues starting to show IMO.

  • In reply to North Side Pat:

    you cant play the Reds or the Pirates every game, you're going to face tough pitching its baseball. Maybe you guys should've played todays game tonight, the offense looked a little sleepy.

  • I'm not concerned about losing this game, the series, getting swept of even missing the playoffs, despite the fact that it is a real possibility. My concern is that the sustained success we were promised, sold on, might have been a pipe dream. The pitching only gets worse next year when Q (who has yet to be able to pitch in high leverage situations) is counted on as the #3 starter, John Lester another year older and Mike Montgomery, a decent RP is asked to carry the load as the #3 SP, something he has proven he cannot do as of yet. It's very possible the assumed long run of success has ended before it really started. At least we have, and always will have, the World Series Championship of 2016. And that is all I ever asked for so I can't complain too much.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    You got all of that from 1 loss?? I am happy to see Cubs in 3 straight post seasons. I have never seen that in my lifetime and I am not that young.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    LOL. So Quintana and Montgomery will both be the #3 starter ... OK. Who promised you the Cubs would win it all every year? Shame on them. Cubs played a tight pitchers dual Friday and a crap game today. Tomorrow is another day. The Cubs are the team still leading the division. Please slowly back off the ledge.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    LOL. Nice snide ignorant comment. I like whenever someone points out the flaws of the team, which I didn't do as I was pointing out the future issues, someone like you says to back away from the ledge. Listen, the Cubs won the WS. That did it for me. I don't need to see them win again and I'll die happy. But the reality is the team is void of pitching. Oh and to the previous poster....last I checked, the season wasn't over and the Cubs hadn't made the playoffs yet.

  • My problem with this game was that Maddon gave up in the 4th inning. Two embarrassing loses in that last week, but the beat down vs. the Bucos was one thing. Pulling starters for the AAA team in the 4th vs. the team 3 games behind you is lame. I don't like waving the towel that early. This team is capable of big come backs. Today would have been a good day for it.

  • My biggest concern is that Maddon has been throwing in the towel all season. This continued of playing Zobrist and batting him 4th is almost malfeasance. Today was another perfect example: screwed up an easy DP ball, too slow to react to groundballs and while he got a pair of hits, as usual they were totally unimportant. Yesterday was equally as bad. Took 2 called third strikes with runners in scoring position. Would prefer to see LaStella. Two more years of Z scares me as he seems a Joe favorite at the expense of the team.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Zobrist doesn't make up the lineup card. Less than 1 year removed from being a WS MVP means he doesn't know how to play anymore? The best hitters fail 7 out of 10 times yes? Could you or I have gotten 2 hits yesterday?

    This is not the lineup that plays in October. Contreras may very well be back before the Mets are gone also. Today, Sunday is a big game but not a critical one......win or lose we are still alright, although a win would be big with the 2 game swing. Would rather be 4 up on them than 2. This is fun to watch, the first game was a good ballgame, yesterday's was a turdburger, it happens.

    What company in town is selling all these parachutes anyhow?

  • I think Maddon just has the boys playing baseball. He does not seem too concerned about going to the well after two long seasons until the bell rings. At that time he wants a physically and mentally alert and hungry team.

  • Not much to say from the Magic Number Watch. StL beat Pit again, so both StL and MIL are 3 back. The Magic Number remains at 18.

  • As one of the greatest philosophers of our time once said, "Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes... well... the bear eats you."

    Also, I have said this before, but I really think Montgomery excels out of the pen... he does not as a starter. Leave him in the pen. Find another arm to fill the #5 starter roll next year.

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