CI Recap (4/8/17) – Cubs 11, Brewers 6: De Facto Home Team Registers 17 Hits, No Homers
For some reason, the Brewers have had the Cubs’ number at Miller Park in recent years. Not sure there is a root cause to it, just seems like it’s been a struggle for the home team at Wrigley North. The Chicago offense never got into gear Friday night in a 2-1 loss. But fill-in starter Tommy Milone was just what the doctor ordered.
Kyle Hendricks got his first start of the season Saturday night and the Brewers jumped on the Professor immediately. Jonathan Villar led off the game with an opposite-field homer to left center, after which an Eric Thames single, and Travis Shaw double to right to gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
Albert Almora started a rally off of Milone in the 3rd inning with a single. Kyle Schwarber doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd for Kris Bryant, who finally exorcised the early-season demons and ripped a double to left to tie the game. A Ben Zobrist RBI grounder gave the Cubs the lead.
Hendricks singled to open up the 4th inning and Almora walked to set the stage for a run-scoring Bryant single to increase the lead to 4-2.
It appeared the Cubs starter had settled down, retiring 10 straight batters at one point. Then Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a one-out walk in the 4th. Newly acquired outfielder Nick Franklin pounded a long homer to right center to tie the game at 4-4.
Addison Russell hit his second double of the game in the 5th. With two outs, Javy Baez (no worse for wear) was no-pitch intentionally walked to get to the pitcher. A wild pitch by reliever Jhan Marinez advanced the runners and would prove costly to the Crew. Hendricks and Almora hit back-to-back infield singles to score both runners.
Chicago extended the lead to 7-4 in the 7th inning when Baez singled with one out and advanced to 2nd on a passed ball by catcher Jett Bandy (yes, that is his real name). Almora picked up his third hit of the night to score Javy.
The Cubs put the game away in the 8th inning after Brent Suter (not the Blackhawks former center Brent Sutter) gave up a hit and walked two to load the bases. Willson Contreras doubled home two and was followed by a two-run Baez single to make it an 11-4 game.
Justin Grimm cleaned up the last two innings despite allowing a two-run bomb to Jett Bandy (seriously, that’s a real name) before closing out the 11-6 Cubs win.
Stats That Matter
- Kris Bryant finally got of the schneid Saturday, going 3-for-6 with two doubles and 3 RBI. No one was really worried about KB, but it’s still nice to see him have a big game.
- In a similar vein, it was also good to see Addison Russell go 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and 2 runs scored.
- Albert Almora went 3-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBIs. Oh, he also made another great run-saving catch in center. At this point it’s almost kind of a given that Air Almora will make at least one great play a game.
- Kyle Hendricks gave up some hard contact on Saturday, but his line of 6 IP. 4 ER, 5 H, 6 K, and 1 BB was more than enough for the Cubs offense. It goes to show just how good The Professor was last year that this is considered a bad start.
The Cubs have a scary lineup when everything is clicking. It hadn’t happened before the game Saturday night and I think it’s safe to say the Brewers are just the first of what will be many victims.
The Brewers and Cubs face off in the rubber match of the three game series Sunday afternoon. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester were flipped in the rotation, so Arrieta faces off against Zach Davies. The game is at 1:10 CT on WGN and 670 The Score.