Carefree Day at the Ballpark--Cubs 9 Brewers 1

It took two and half years into a three year deal, but the Cubs saw the pitcher that caused them to strike early in the deep freeze offseason of 2018. Tyler Chatwood was dominant on a blazing hot afternoon. A Keston Hiura walk was the only blemish through four innings. In command of his pitches, Chatwood was extremely tough on the Brewers lineup. He would yield a run in the fifth inning, but his six strong innings made for another easy afternoon of managing for David Ross.

Christian Yelich looked awful throughout the whole series, but Cubs starters completely destroyed him the entire weekend. The reigning NL batting champ posted an 0-10 against Cubs starters while striking out five times. That is unlikely to continue for much longer, but it made the series a lot easier while the dangerous Yelich was effectively neutralized apart from a hanger he crushed yesterday.

The other big story of the afternoon was the Cubs offense. The bats tacked on some home runs late, but the Cubs were able to deliver the big hit again and again against the Brewers starter Freddy Peralta and then former closer Corey Knebel to make this a carefree day at the ballpark.

WPA CHART


Source: FanGraphs

Peralta pitched a clean first inning, but Kyle Schwarber stroked a double to start the second inning. He advanced to third on a wild pitch putting Jason Heyward into his optimal plate situation. Heyward’s one out groundball put the Cubs up 1-0. Peralta navigated around a two out plunking of Anthony Rizzo to make it into the fourth inning.

Schwarber drew a walk to start the fourth and Willson Contreras smacked a double to drive in Schwarber. Peralta walked Jason Heyward which led Craig Counsell to pull his starter. Corey Knebel then gave up back to back to back singles which saw the Cubs stretch their lead to 5-0 and effectively end the ballgame with the way Chatwood was pitching.

The Brewers got one of those runs back in the fifth inning. Chatwood walked Omar Narváez with one out. Chatwood punched out Lorenzo Cain, but back to back singles from Ben Gamel and Orlando Arcia drove in the Brewers lone tally. Eric Sogard lined out to Javier Báez to end the threat. Chatwood gave up a two out double to Justin Smoak in the sixth inning, but completed six frames for his first win in 2020.

Casey Sadler was given a chance in the seventh, but he walked two of the three batters he faced. Kyle Ryan was summoned and rewarded Ross with an inning ending double play. Ryan and Jeremy Jeffress combined the rest of the way to hold Milwaukee to just the one run.

Eric Lauer completed the fourth inning and he would pitch 2 innings keeping the Cubs at 5 runs. Willson Contreras hit his first bomb of the season against Bobby Wahl in the seventh inning. Familiar face Justin Grimm pitched the eighth inning for the Brewers and he looked like the Justin Grimm that was run out of town. Grimm walked Josh Phegley and Ian Happ hit his second home run of 2020 making it 8-1. Anthony Rizzo added a blast to extend it to 9-1.

Random Reference

The only player colder than Christian Yelich in this series was new Cubs leadoff man Kris Bryant. A soft single in the sixth got Bryant on the hit board, but it was a quiet series despite some solid at bats. Unfortunately this has begun the talking point of the Cubs leadoff man woes once again. It is an extremely small sample size, but those cries about the Cubs failing to address the “leadoff spot” will only grow louder. And it might make Kris Bryant feel a bit like this.

Comments

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  • So after three games any observations on Ross as a manager? I really don’t have any specific examples but he seems to let the game play out more. Maybe less involved in the minutiae of the game than Maddon. Again nothing concrete, just a feeling.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Would Maddon have pulled Hendricks after eight? Would he have say Schwarber and Heyward vs a lefty yesterday? Maybe even sat Happ and moved Bryant to left and played Bote at third? Yeah, I can see him doing all that.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Maddon was loathe to ever let Hendricks go through a lineup three times. The guy did almost pitch a perfect game, so maybe he would have left him in.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    That’s kind of what I was getting at. It’s early but it seems Ross is more content to let situations play out where Maddon seemed to feel he HAD to do SOMETHING. Again more of a feeling as there not a lot to base it on.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yep. I like it. Although, the Cubs did lose yesterday’s game! I’d like to Schwarber and Happ play every day, but I think Heyward should sit vs lefties, whether that means Bryant in right and Bote at third, or Almora in center. So I hope Ross isn’t too rigid the opposite way.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Souza. No Bote, please.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I did hear Ross talk about his mound visit with Hendricks with 2 out in the 9th on Opening Day. Ross admitted to some butterflies on his walk out, and said the initial conversation was more as a teammate than as a manager.

    He asked Kyle what he had left, and Hendricks said he could get the next guy. Ross said that's when he became a skipper.

    "Good," Ross told Hendricks. "Cause that's all I'm going to give you."

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Burnes started Saturday he's a righty. The Brewers started 3 righties in the series I believe.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You’re probably right. Never mind! Sorry. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow...

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Yes, yes, yes and yes some more. On the bright side he kept a lot of mileage off Hendricks arm. I always go back to '16 WS with Joe. I don't know if it was the pressure of the Cubs finally winning one or what. But his in game forever changed during and after that post season.

    Ross might be the right guy at the right time like Maddon was. I hope he's filling out the lineup card for a long time to come.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think by adding a DH to the NL it takes away a lot of strategy. Only way to compare Joe and David is to play under the same rules.

  • In reply to Heyhey:

    Yes and no. I think there are certain things that change the dynamic for sure, but also things that don’t. I’m going to continue to watch for signs of my hypothesis that Ross is more likely to let the game play itself out as opposed to Maddon actively trying to anticipate. Obviously managing is a combination of both just looking for that balance DH or no. We’ll certainly learn more as time goes on.

  • Actually it was Happ's 2nd 2020 homer, but who's counting?

    Nice to see the Cubs score some runs without hitting it over the fence.

    Where is "Thank you sir, and may I have another?"

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Good catch. That is what I get for writing this one fast.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    You're rusty. Might need to send you out to South Bend until you get up to speed.

    I won't even ask about that avatar.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    If you insist...

    The Reds lost, the DirtyBirds lost, our boys handed the Brew Crew their 2nd loss in 3 games, and we share a hold of the division lead.

    "Thank you. May I have another?"

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    If you insist. Don't mind if I do.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    We're all trying to get our mojo back.

    We'll get there. Like riding a bicycle.

  • For what it's worth, and a reminder of the reality we're dealing with, at least 4 Marlins players have just tested positive for Covid-19. One on Saturday, and an additional 3 on Sunday. There seems to be somewhat of a team-wide outbreak, and their scheduled flight back to Miami from the weekend series in Philadelphia has been postponed.

    Just shows how fragile this whole baseball experiment is. It could disappear at a moment's notice.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    We can't let a few cases here and there stop us. For all we know this virus could be around for years. People need to work and live. Americans are probably not just going to sit at home singing 'Are you lonesome tonight'. Adjustments, yes, but shutting down not an answer. It's a surrender.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I get that but if there continue to be team wide outbreaks I can’t see the season finishing for a variety of reasons.

  • In reply to TC154:

    30 minutes after writing this rumors are swirling that the season is very close to being cancelled :-(

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm just getting back online now and the news isn't good. Positive tests on the Marlins are at least 11 of the 33 players traveling with the team, and many more staff. Their game tonight has been cancelled, as has the Yankees vs. Phillies game scheduled for tonight in Philly. I'm hearing something about issues with the Reds and the Cubs game could be in jeopardy.

    That was after 3 minutes online.

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