The Cubs entered Tuesday night riding a three-game losing streak after dropping the final two matchups with Pittsburgh last weekend as well as game one against Milwaukee Monday. Kyle Hendricks was originally scheduled to oppose Brandon Woodruff for the second consecutive time but the Cubs ace was a late scratch due to caution after feeling ill, forcing Alec Mills to make an emergency start.
Mills cruised through the opening frame, inducing three straight groundouts and needing only nine pitches to retire the side. The Brewers, however, regrouped in the 2nd when Luis Urias crushed a two-run bomb to left field on the first pitch of the at-bat. Mills lasted four innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits with no walks and no strikeouts on 41 pitches. It was an admirable effort on short notice.
The bullpen pitched five scoreless innings, giving up one hit and four walks with four strikeouts. Andrew Chafin opened the door for the Brewers in the 8th when he allowed the tying run to move into scoring position, but Craig Kimbrel came in to record the final out of the inning, ultimately earning a four-out save.
Offensively, the Cubs were kept off the board until the 4th inning when Willson Contreras scored on a Kris Bryant sacrifice fly. Their bats went silent until the 8th, when Contreras — who earlier had been hit by yet another Brewers pitch — added a two-run hammer to left that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead. (Box score)
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 14, 2021
Why the Cubs Won
Cubs pitching held the Brewers to three hits while a Bryant sac fly and late-game heroics from Contreras gave the team just enough offense to secure the win.
Down 2-1 in the 8th inning, Contreras hit a tank that put the Cubs ahead and eventually gave them a W.
Stats That Matter
- Pedro Strop recorded the win in his first action for the Cubs since 2019. He pitched one inning, striking out one batter and allowing one hit and one walk.
- Kimbrel recorded a four-out save, giving him consecutive saves of more than three outs for the first time since June 3 and 6 of 2017. This was the 351st save of his career.
- Contreras and Bryant accounted for nearly all of the offense, but they were also the only two batters to leave runners in scoring position with two outs. Not a criticism, just a quirk.
It felt like the Cubs stole this one. Sometimes, that’s exactly the kind of game you need to reset the system and break out of a slump. Now let’s see if they can string some wins together and go streaking.
Jake Arrieta (2-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound against Corbin Burnes (0-1, 0.73 ERA) for game three as the Cubs attempt to win the series. Arrieta is 4-1 with a 2.76 ERA in seven career starts against Milwaukee. Burnes is the first pitcher in history to have back-to-back starts of six or more innings with no walks and one hit allowed. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.