Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven – Cubs 4, Brewers 15
WP – Marco Estrada (2-5) LP – Justin Germano (2-4) Save – None
Monday night’s game was much closer than the final score indicates. The Cubs trailed the Brewers 6-4 going into the ninth before Milwaukee blew the game open against Alex Hinshaw. Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart went back-to-back-to-back off Hinshaw and put up five quick runs before Hinshaw could record an out. The Brewers scored nine runs in the ninth off Hinshaw and Lendy Castillo. Joe Mather recorded the final out and became the first position player to pitch for the Cubs since Gary Gaetti faced the Phillies on July 3, 1999.
The Brewers scored 15 runs on 21 hits with only three walks (all in the ninth) and beat the Cubs for the sixth game in a row. Monday night was the second time in just over two years the Brewers recorded 21 hits in a single game against Cubs’ pitching (August 2, 2010). Ryan Braun (4-for-6 with a home run, a double and five RBI) and Aramis Ramirez (3-for-5 with two home runs, a double and four RBI) drove in nine of the Brewers’ 15 runs.
The Cubs led Monday’s game 3-1 after four innings before the Brewers put up a three-spot against Justin Germano in the fifth. The Cubs had numerous chances to tie or take the lead before the Brewers turned a close game into a blowout in the ninth.
Alfonso Soriano (2-for-5 with two doubles, a RBI and a run scored), Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI and a walk), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored) and Brett Jackson (1-for-2 with a home run and two walks) each had a good night at the plate before the game got out of hand in the ninth. The Cubs managed nine hits and six walks but were a miserable 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base when the game was still in question.
The Cubs struck out 15 times on Monday night … in the last four games against the Brewers, the Cubs have struck out 52 times.
Justin Germano was solid in the first four innings but for the second start in a row he could not make it through the Brewers’ lineup the third time. Germano allowed five runs on 10 hits without a walk and four strikeouts in five-plus innings.
Michael Bowden allowed an inherited runner to score in his inning of work and Alberto Cabrera pitched a scoreless seventh. Manny Corpas served up a solo shot to Carlos Gomez in the eighth.
Alex Hinshaw and Lendy Castillo could not throw a quality strike. Hinshaw gave up five runs on four hits and a walk without recording an out. Hinshaw served up back-to-back-to-back bombs to Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart … the first time the Brewers hit three home runs in a row since September 9, 2007 (Cincinnati Reds). Hinshaw threw 17 pitches, 10 for strikes. Lendy Castillo allowed four runs on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Castillo struggled with his command again and threw 33 pitches, 16 for strikes.
Starlin Castro was charged two more errors on Monday night … one while the game was still in question in the other in the 45-minute top of the ninth inning.
Josh Vitters had another not-so-good night. Vitters had issues in the field, appeared to miss a sign and went 0-for-5 at the plate with three strikeouts and four runners left on base. While Brett Jackson has shown improvement, Vitters continues to look lost.
With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 49-78 on the season …
The Cubs did nothing in the first. Marco Estrada struck out two of the three batters he faced and threw only 14 pitches, nine for strikes.
Justin Germano worked his way in and out of trouble in the second. Jonathan Lucroy grounded out to second to start the inning. Carlos Gomez smoked a 0-1 pitch toward third. Vitters was playing in, dove toward the line and stopped the ball from ending up in the corner. Gomez reached on an infield single with one out. Jean Segura grounded a 1-1 pitch back to the mound. Germano fielded and threw to Barney at second. Gomez was forced but Segura beat Barney’s throw. Germano hung a curve to Marco Estrada on a 1-2 pitch and Estrada deposited the ball into shallow left. Segura ended up at third with two down. Germano struck out Aoki swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Germano needed 32 pitches, 22 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.
The Cubs were not able to push a run across the plate in the second after a two-out double by Steve Clevenger. Alfonso Soriano grounded out to third and Castro flied out to deep left center for the first two outs. Steve Clevenger crushed a 0-2 pitch to deep center. Clevenger just missed a home run and settled for a double off the top of the vines. Brett Jackson walked on four pitches. With runners on first and second and two down, Darwin Barney lined out to left center (0-2 pitch) to end the inning. Barney was 1-for-10 during the homestand after his at bat in the second inning. Estrada threw 32 pitches, 21 for strikes, in the first two innings.
Justin Germano faced the minimum in the third after allowing a leadoff single to Rickie Weeks. Ryan Braun rapped into a 6-3 double play and Ramirez lined out to Jackson in deep center to end the inning … 45 pitches for Germano after three, 29 for strikes.
The Cubs finally put runs on the board against Estrada in the third inning. Justin Germano struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt for the first out. David DeJesus lined a single into center on a 1-2 pitch. DeJesus broke for second on a 1-0 pitch to Vitters. Vitters looked at a strike and appeared to miss a sign. DeJesus slid in safe at second when Weeks dropped Lucroy’s throw. Vitters popped out to Weeks in shallow right for the second out.
Anthony Rizzo blooped the first pitch into shallow left. Ramirez went out and got a glove on the ball but could not haul it in. DeJesus did not break stride and crossed the plate with the Cubs’ first run of the game. Alfonso Soriano followed and launched a 1-2 pitch to deep left center. Carlos Gomez ranged back and tried to make a leaping catch at the wall. Gomez did not need to jump and misplayed the ball. Rizzo paused near third base but scored the Cubs second run on Soriano’s 27th double of the season. Starlin Castro drove a 1-0 pitch into right. Soriano scored and the Cubs took a 3-1 lead. Castro took off for second on a 1-2 pitch to Clevenger. The ball ended up in the dirt and Castro made it easily to second. Clevenger worked a walk.
Brett Jackson walked for the second time on the night (3-2 pitch) to load the bases for Darwin Barney. Barney’s slump continued and he looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning. The Cubs made Estrada work in the third … Estrada threw 69 pitches over the first three innings, 45 for strikes.
Germano struck out Hart looking at a 3-2 pitch to start the fourth. Jonathan Lucroy pulled a 1-1 pitch into left center. The ball one-hopped the ivy and Lucroy ended up at second with a double. Carlos Gomez flied out to left for the second out. Jean Segura hit a 1-2 pitch toward short. Castro bobbled the routine grounder and the inning continued for Marco Estrada. With runners on first and third with two down, Estrada grounded out to short for the third out … 64 pitches for Germano after four, 41 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Estrada struck out the side (81 pitches, 54 for strikes).
After four, the Cubs led 3-1.
The Brewers jumped on Germano in the fifth inning and put a three-spot on the board. Germano struck out Aoki swinging. Rickie Weeks singled to center on a 3-2 pitch. Ryan Braun then pulled a 0-1 pitch into the left field corner. Weeks scored and Braun took third on Castro’s throw to the plate. Sveum brought his infield in … but it would not matter.
Justin Germano threw a first pitch fastball to Aramis Ramirez … and Ramirez deposited the ball into the bleachers in left center. And just like that, the Cubs trailed 4-3. Hart flied out to left center and Lucroy struck out swinging to end the inning. Germano needed 88 pitches, 56 for strikes, to complete five innings of work.
Other than a one-out double by Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Rizzo popped out to Segura in shallow left to start the inning. After Soriano ripped a double into the left field corner, Starlin Castro smoked a grounder to Ramirez and Clevenger struck out swinging to end the inning … 92 pitches for Estrada after five, 63 for strikes.
After five, the Cubs trailed 4-3.
Justin Germano gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Gomez (1-2 pitch to left center) and Dale Sveum went to his pen for Michael Bowden. Gomez stole second on a 1-0 pitch to Jean Segura. Bowden paid a lot of attention to Gomez at second but was able to strikeout Segura swinging for the first out. Ron Roenicke pulled Estrada back and sent up Travis Ishikawa to hit with Gomez on second and one out. Ishikawa flied out to center. Gomez tagged and advanced to third. Aoki pounded a 2-1 pitch into right. Gomez trotted home with the Brewers’ fifth run. Aoki took off for second on the first pitch to Weeks. Clevenger made a strong throw and appeared to throw out Aoki at second. Aoki was called safe (replays showed Barney missed the tag). Weeks flied out to right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Kameron Loe took over in the sixth and Brett Jackson greeted him with a home run to right center. Jackson launched a 2-1 pitch to the second row of the bleachers … Jackson’s fourth home run (third of the homestand) cut the Brewers’ lead to 5-4.
Darwin Barney drove Loe’s first pitch into right and advanced to third on a double off the bat of Bryan LaHair. LaHair hit for Michael Bowden and smoked a 2-2 pitch off the base of the wall in center. David DeJesus stepped in with runners on second and third with no outs. Ron Roenicke brought his infield in up by one. DeJesus struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch for the first out.
Josh Vitters continued his struggles at the big league level. Vitters looked at two straight out of the zone before taking a strike. Vitters struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Loe pitched around Anthony Rizzo and walked him on five pitches. Alfonso Soriano stepped in with the bases loaded and two down … Soriano ripped a 0-1 pitch toward the hole at second. Corey Hart made a diving strop and threw to Loe to end the inning.
After six, the Cubs trailed 5-4 and were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base through six innings.
Alberto Cabrera faced the minimum in the seventh. Ryan Braun reached on an infield single. Starlin Castro made an excellent stop on a ball ticketed for center but his spinning off balance throw was just a little late. Ramirez hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Barney and Castro did a good job turning the double play and Corey Hart grounded out to second for the third out.
The Brewers’ defense bailed out Francisco Rodriguez in the seventh. Starlin Castro led off the seventh with a walk. Steve Clevenger struck out looking and Brett Jackson struck out swinging. Darwin Barney reached on an error by shortstop Jean Segura. With runners on first and second with two down, Sveum went to his bench for Luis Valbuena. Valbuena lined a 0-1 pitch into right. Norichika Aoki made a tumbling, diving catch on a sinking liner to end the inning. The Cubs were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base in the first seven innings.
The Brewers added on in the eighth against Manny Corpas. Jonathan Lucroy popped out to Castro in shallow left for the first out. Carlos Gomez lined a 1-2 pitch into the basket in left center … 6-4 Brewers. Corpas retired Segura on a grounder to third and struck out pinch hitter Nyjer Morgan looking to end the inning.
Jim Henderson took over for the Brewers in the eighth … and issued a leadoff walk to David DeJesus. Vitters popped a 1-2 pitch into right for the first out. Anthony Rizzo struck out swinging. Alfonso Soriano grounded out to short (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Brewers broke the game open in the ninth off Alex Hinshaw. The newly acquired lefty walked Aoki on four pitches to start the inning then surrendered a single to Rickie Weeks. Ryan Braun crushed a 0-1 pitch. The ball ended up on Waveland and the Brewers took a 9-4 lead on Braun’s mammoth shot. Aramis Ramirez followed with his second home run of the night. Ramirez smoked a 1-2 pitch into the bleachers in left … 10-4 Brewers.
Corey Hart followed and launched a 2-2 pitch to the back of the bleachers in left center … 11-4 Brewers. Sveum went to his pen at that point for Lendy Castillo. Castillo had problems again and the game went from bad to worse. Castillo walked the first batter he faced, Jonathan Lucroy, then served up a single to Carlos Gomez. A wild pitch on a 0-2 offering to Jean Segura allowed both runners to move up ninety feet. Segura hit a grounder up the middle that Castro fielded … and threw into the stands. Both runners scored and the Brewers took a 13-4 lead. Cody Ransom grounded out to third, Rizzo picked Vitters’ low throw for the first out. Castillo walked Aoki on four pitches.
With two on and one down, Weeks struck out but Braun ripped a single into left. Segura scored, 14-4 Brewers. Sveum went back to his pen for … Joe Mather.
Mather gave up a single to Jeff Bianchi (a Cub-for-a-minute in the off-season). Bianchi was hitting for Ramirez and he plated Aoki with the Brewers’ final run of the game. Martin Maldonado grounded out to third to finally end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing in the ninth against Livan Hernandez.
Travis Wood is scheduled to face Yovani Gallardo under the lights on Tuesday night.
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO