Game Seventeen – Cubs 2, Brewers 4
WP – Wily Peralta (1-1) LP – Scott Feldman (0-3) Save – Jim Henderson (4)
The Cubs handed the third and final game of the series to the Brewers on Sunday afternoon. After giving the Brewers four unearned runs on Saturday night that was the difference in the game, the Brewers scored three unearned runs on Sunday afternoon that led to the sweep. The Cubs have dropped eight in a row and 18 of their last 20 games at Miller Park.
The inability of the Cubs to execute on defense has gone from bad to ridiculous. The Cubs were charged with two more errors on Sunday, that is 17 charged errors in 17 games, and for the season the Cubs have allowed 14 unearned runs. And unfortunately, the Cubs committed more mistakes in the field during the three games in Milwaukee than the six errors they were charged during the weekend series.
Scott Feldman was very good for three innings before walking the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Feldman escaped his own jam in the fourth by allowing only one run but he could not pitch around his third charged error of the season in the fifth. Feldman botched a groundball off the bat of Jean Segura that would have ended the fifth with the Cubs still leading 2-1. Ryan Braun stepped in and crushed a 2-2 hanging breaking ball from Feldman and the Brewers took a 4-2 lead.
Scott Feldman completed five innings for the first time in three starts and allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits with three walks, six strikeouts and one huge error in five innings. Feldman threw 90 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Michael Bowden, James Russell and Shawn Camp retired all nine batters they faced over the last three innings. The Brewers scored four runs on three hits in Sunday’s finale.
The Cubs offense had another rough ballgame while making another Brewers’ starter look very good in the process. Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a run scored) extended his hitting streak to 13 games and was on board for Anthony Rizzo’s sixth home run of the year in the third. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) collected two of the Cubs’ five hits and drove in both runs.
The Cubs hitting with runners in scoring position woes also continued on Sunday. The Cubs went 0-for-6 with RISP and left six on base in the series finale. The offense is just 3-for-the-last-32 with runners in scoring position.
With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs have dropped six straight on the road and are 5-12 after 17 games.
Scott Feldman and Wily Peralta were both sharp in the first two innings. Feldman retired the side in order in the first on 13 pitches, eight for strikes. The Cubs managed a Welington Castillo single in the second, but that was all. Feldman set down the side in order in the second and it took him only 23 pitches, 15 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.
Wily Peralta retired Feldman (strikeout) and DeJesus (groundout to first on a 3-1 pitch) to start the third. Starlin Castro kept the inning going with a single to center on a 0-2 pitch. Castro extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
Anthony Rizzo stepped in and quickly fell behind in the count. Rizzo worked the count back to even then lined a 2-2 pitch from Wily Peralta. Rizzo’s sixth homer of the season ended up beyond the wall in right center and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Soriano walked on four pitches but Schierholtz flied out to center to end the inning.
Scott Feldman gave up his first hit to Carlos Gomez to start the third. Feldman did not let the hit affect him and he retired the next three batters in a row to end the inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the fourth before the game started slipping away from Feldman in the bottom of the fourth.
Scott Feldman issued a leadoff walk to Jean Segura to start the fourth. Feldman refocused and struck out Braun swinging for the second time on Sunday. Segura stole second on a 2-1 pitch to Weeks and advanced to third when Castillo’s throw ended up in centerfield. Feldman ended up walking Weeks and the Brewers had runners on first and third with one out. Weeks took second with Maldonado at the dish. Feldman issued his third walk of the inning to Maldonado that loaded the bases with one down.
Feldman continued having command issues while being visibly unhappy with the homeplate umpire Phil Cuzzi.
Alex Gonzalez chopped a 3-1 pitch toward third. Luis Valbuena charged and fielded the ball cleanly. Valbuena looked at home before deciding to get the sure out at first. Segura scored, 2-1 Cubs. Feldman caught Gomez looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Feldman discussed the strike zone with Cuzzi after the inning and had to be pulled away by Welington Castillo.
After the Cubs went down in order, quickly, in the top of the fifth, the Cubs’ lead evaporated in the home half after their second error of the game.
Yuniesky Betancourt drove a 2-1 pitch to deep center to start the inning. DeJesus ranged back and appeared to make a leaping catch at the wall. The ball came out of his glove when he banged into the padding. Betancourt did not run out of the box and had to settle for a double. Peralta could not get the bunt down and struck out swinging. Feldman refocused and struck out Aoki swinging (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Jean Segura hit a 2-0 pitch back up the box. Feldman fielded but bobbled the ball. Segura reached on the Cubs’ second error and the inning continued for Braun.
Scott Feldman made some of his best pitches of the game to Braun in his first two at bats … then made his worst pitch of the game the third time he faced Braun. Braun launched a hanging curve on a 2-2 pitch to the second deck beyond the left field wall. And just like that, the Cubs trailed 4-2. Feldman retired Weeks to end the inning and his outing.
The Cubs had a chance to at least tie it up in the seventh. Darwin Barney walked and Julio Borbon reached on a single pinch-hitting for Michael Bowden. A wild pitch with DeJesus at the plate advanced Barney and Borbon to second and third before David DeJesus flied out to center on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.
Nate Schierholtz walked and stole second in the ninth but was stranded when Luis Valbuena struck out swinging and Darwin Barney grounded out to second to end the game.
The Cubs open a three-game series in Cincinnati on Monday night … Travis Wood versus Mike Leake in game one.