This game was a great pitchers’ duel for most of the day. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the duel ended in the top of the 7th. In that inning, the Brewers sent seven men to the plate and scored three runs to extend their lead to 4-0, which was more than enough for them to take the first game of the series. (Box score)
The offense was poor today, but that does not mean the Cubs lacked chances to score runs or that they weren’t making good contact. Seemingly every well-hit ball fell foul or went straight to a defender. Bryzzo was only able to get on base twice all game, with both members reaching via a walk.
José Quintana pitched well today, throwing 6.2 innings of three-run ball and allowing only four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Two of those walks came around to score in the 6th inning, when it was obvious he could not hit the zone with any consistency.
Maddon may have waited too long to take him out of the game, but the manager has shown confidence in his starters and surely wanted to see how Quintana responded to that situation. The lefty simply couldn’t find a way to get out of the inning and even one run allowed would have been too much in this one.
Why the Cubs Lost
The offense was virtually nonexistent today and the bullpen didn’t help matters.
Albert Almora Jr. led off the 6th inning with a double, almost guaranteeing that a run would come home to tie the game. Sadly, Kris Bryant lined out to third, Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second, and Javy Báez struck out swinging to end the threat. This half inning was a microcosm of the offense today.
Stats that Matter
- The bats went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
- This was the third time the Cubs have been shut out all season.
- In 2.1 innings of work, the bullpen allowed four runs on four runs (three earned), walked four, and struck out two.
In a game in which the Cubs had an opportunity to stick it to a division rival, they absolutely fell on their faces. Luckily, this is baseball and they’ll play two more games against the Brewers this weekend, so they could still very well come away with a series win.
Tomorrow at 1:20pm CT, Cole Hamels and the rest of the Cubs will face Zach Davies and the Brewers. ABC-7 will carry the broadcast.