The Cubs looked to build off their most impressive win of the young season Friday night in Milwaukee as Kyle Hendricks dueled rookie Brandon Woodruff. Chicago had the clear edge the first four innings, holding a 2-0 lead thanks to hits from Addison Russell and Victor Caratini.
The wheels came off for the Professor in the bottom of the 5th inning, when two-run homers by Eric Thames and Travis Shaw gave the Brewers a 4-2 edge. The Cubs tied the score the next half inning on a little-league home run by Javy Baez, which was an RBI triple and a throwing error for those scoring at home.
The score remained at 4-4 until the 9th inning, when the Chicago bullpen finally cracked after heavy Milwaukee pressure. The Brew Crew walked off with a 5-4 win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs lost
The Cubs offense ground to a halt after the 6th inning, forcing the bullpen to be perfect. Eventually the relief corps faulted and Milwaukee took advantage.
Manny Pina walked against Mike Montgomery with one out in the bottom of the 9th. Hernan Perez then hit a weak grounder to third and Kris Bryant made an ill-advised throw that got away, allowing Pina to reach third. Orlando Arcia dumped a bloop single to right to give the Brewers a 5-4 win.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks generated tons of soft contact early in the game, holding the Crew scoreless through four. Then a single by relief pitcher Josh Hader to lead off the 5th inning seemed to throw things out of whack. Thames and Shaw crushed two no-doubt bombs in the inning to end Hendricks’ night early.
- Baez only had one hit, but what a hit it was. With Addison Russell on second, Javy split the right field gap, scoring Russell easily. He then broke for third, losing his helmet in the process. Sure enough, the ball hit El Mago in the back of the head and bounced away, allowing him to score.
This game was as close as close can get, which seems all too common with these teams. The rivalry between these division foes will be must see TV this summer.
Game three of the series is a day game at 3:05pm CT. Yu Darvish does battle with Zach “Budget Hendricks” Davies in a game that airs on ABC-7.