The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers met at Wrigley Field on a sweltering Sunday afternoon for the rubber match of their three-game series. The combination of a quality start from Tyler Chatwood and a big 4th inning from the bottom of the lineup was more than enough for Chicago to take the series.
Kyle Schwarber doubled in the 2nd and scored on a Jason Heyward grounder to give the Cubs an early lead. Chatwood rolled through the first four innings baffling hitters with a hard cutter while allowing no hits.
Chicago got to Brewers starter Freddy Peralta in the 4th inning. Willson Contreras doubled home Schwarber and Corey Knebel entered for Peralta after a Heyward walk. Nico Hoerner, Victor Caratini, and Ian Happ hit consecutive singles off Knebel to build a 5-0 advantage.
Chatwood allowed just one run in six strong frames. Contreras hit a towering home run in the 7th inning, while Happ and Anthony Rizzo both hit opposite-field shots off former Cub Justin Grimm in the 8th to close out the scoring at 9-1. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The best way to neutralize a shaky bullpen is a good starter and a lot of offense. Mission accomplished on both aspects by the Cubs Sunday.
Orlando Arcia batted with two on and one out in the 7th. The Brewers down 5-1 had Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich looming. Kyle Ryan coaxed Arcia to hit into a 5-3 double play by Kris Bryant to end the inning.
Stats That Matter
- Bryant and Heyward got their first hits of 2020. Both took longer than you’d hope for but both were good to see.
- Happ had a great catch in addition to his work at the plate: 2-for-4, 1 R, 3 RBI, HR
- Contreras was locked in and looked comfortable behind the dish: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR
Winning series gets you into the playoffs, particularly when those wins come against division rivals. This is a great start for the Cubs.