The Cubs looked to shake off a sweep at the hands of the Pirates as they faced the Brewers on a cold night at Wrigley Field. Once again a lack of timely hitting and relief pitching spelt doom for the Northsiders.
John Lackey continued his 1st inning struggles on Monday night. Eric Thames continued his Brian LaHair impression with an one-out double. Ryan Braun followed with a long homer to left to make it 2-0 Milwaukee.
Kyle Schwarber generated a run in the bottom of the inning like a true leadoff man. War Bear greeted starter Chase Anderson with a perfect bunt down the line to reach. He then advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a two-out Ben Zobrist blooper.
Star Wars villain Jett Bandy greeted Lackey with a solo shot in the 2nd to increase the lead to 3-1 Brewers. The Cubs answered back again in the bottom of the inning after Jason Heyward and Miguel Montero singled to put two on for Albert Almora Jr. Almora continued his great start, doubling down the line and tying the score.
Thames responded with his fifth homer in as many games to put Cheeseheads ahead 4-3 in the 3rd. Both starters settled in after that and the game remained at that tally into the 8th inning.
Mike Montgomery was the latest member of the Cubs bullpen to run into problems. Thames singled (his third hit of the game) and scored on a Braun double. Braun then attempted to steal 3rd and Willson Contreras (who had entered as a pinch hitter and then replaced Montero) threw the ball away to score the runner.
The Cubs put together a #TeaseRally in the 9th when Brewers closer Neftali Feliz allowed the first two hitters to reach. An Almora 5-3 double play defused the rally and the Crew closed out the 6-3 win.
Stats That Matter
- Miguel Montero got his first two hits of the season, going 2-for-3. Being a backup makes it hard for Montero to get at bats, so this is good to see.
- John Lackey gave up a lot of hard contact in his outing: 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 K, and a BB. Lackey did battle and give his teammates a chance to rally back, but it was not meant to be.
- Eric Thames is insanely hot right now, like surface-of-the-sun hot. The Brewers first baseman’s five consecutive games with a longball tied a Milwaukee record held by Cubs legend Jeromy Burnitz. Going from Korean League MVP candidate to MLB success is pretty amazing. Just wish it wasn’t against the Cubs.
The Cubs have lost four straight games at home, which I will admit is not great. I don’t think it’s cause for panic, though. Last season’s team had three losing streaks of at least four games, all of which took place between June 20 and July 9. In fact, they lost nine of 10 in early July, including the debacle of a sweep at Citi Field. I guess what I’m saying is don’t leap off that ledge just yet.
The Cubs look to end the losing streak Tuesday night with Brett Anderson on the bump. Jimmy Nelson goes for Milwaukee at 7:05 CT on WGN and 670 the Score.