The Cubs were hoping to celebrate Independence Day with a victory over the first place Brewers. A really great effort from starter Justin Steele gave Chicago a chance however, more offensive issues led to defeat.
Chicago took the lead when rookie Nelson Velázquez hit his first career home run, an absolute laser to left off of Eric Lauer, in the 3rd inning. Steele had the best outing of his career Monday giving up just one hit through six.
The Cubs left-hander came back out for the 7th inning and ran out of gas. Catcher Pedro Severino hit a run-scoring double to tie the game at one.
Seiya Suzuki announced his return to the lineup with some 9th inning fireworks Monday. He ripped a ball off the wall against Josh Hader that skipped away from centerfielder Jonathan Davis allowing Seiya to race all the way around the bases for a go-ahead inside-the-park home run.
David Robertson came on for the save and hit big trouble after a single and a ground-rule double with one out. A hit batter and a walk to Christian Yelich tied the game but Robertson struck out Willy Adames to send it to extras.
Why the Cubs Lost
A quality pitching performance was wasted when they again failed to come through with runners in scoring position.
Eye on the Future
- Velázquez demonstrated the kind of tremendous power he has on the homer.
- Justin Steele continues to emerge as a viable starter going forward: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 9 K, and 4 BB.
- Christopher Morel continues to have good at bats drawing three walks on Monday.
Stats That Matter
- It was nice to have Suzuki back in the lineup, he had a single in addition to the inside-the-park home run.
- Willson Contreras had a tough day and came out of the game early.
That was a frustrating game the Cubs could have easily won. That being said, the important part is several young players look good and continue to build success at the major-league level.