Brewers Bash the Cubs – Cubs 5, Brewers 6

Game One Hundred Five– Cubs 5, Brewers 6

WP – Rob Wooten (1-0) LP – James Russell (1-3, BS 7) Save – Jim Henderson (13)

The Cubs took a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning of game one on Tuesday afternoon  after scoring five runs in the sixth on four two-out singles. But Carlos Villanueva issued a one out walk to Jeff Bianchi and departed with two on after giving up a single to Yuniesky Betancourt. James Russell replaced Villanueva and his first pitch to Khris Davis ended up in the right field bleachers and tied the game at five. Russell could not get out of the inning before giving up a run scoring double to Jean Segura that ended up being the difference in the game.

The Brewers hit three home runs that accounted for five of their six runs, while the Cubs offense managed five runs on 12 hits … 11 singles.

Carlos Villanueva pitched better than his final line indicates. Villanueva surrendered two runs, on two solo home runs, while he was on the mound and put together his best outing since returning to the rotation. Villanueva was charged with four runs after Russell served up the three-run shot to Davis. Villanueva gave up six hits, walked two and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings. Carlos Villanueva (1-for-3 with a RBI) also drove in a run with a single in the fifth.

James Russell had another bad outing and was charged with his seventh blown save of the season … the Cubs’ pen has blown the lead 21 times this season in 48 chances.

The Cubs offense finally strung together hits with runners in scoring position. Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in the Cubs’ first two runs of the day and tied the game at two in the fifth. Welington Castillo (3-for-4 with a double, a RBI, a run scored and a walk) had a very good game and drove in Luis Valbuena (1-for-4 with a walk) with the Cubs’ third run of the game.

David DeJesus (2-for-5 with a RBI) singled in the Cubs’ last run in the fifth inning. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored) and Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with a run) scored runs on Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs outhit the Brewers 12-10 but only one of the 12 hits went for extra bases.

The Cubs were 4-for-13 with RISP and left 13 men on base on Tuesday afternoon. Since the break, the Cubs are 13-for-97 with runners in scoring position.

With Tuesday afternoon’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 48-57 on the season.

After Carlos Villanueva retired the Brewers in order on 17 pitches, 10 for strikes, to start the game, the Cubs wasted a chance to take an early lead. David DeJesus singled to center. Junior Lake then crushed a 1-0 pitch into the gap in left center … that Gindl hauled in at the ivy for the first out. Anthony Rizzo walked. Schierholtz hit a weak grounder toward first. Bettencourt fielded the ball and threw to second and forced Rizzo. With runners on the corners and two down, Castro rolled one to third to end the inning.

The game remained scoreless through the second inning.

Carlos Villanueva faced the minimum in the third and needed 43 pitches, 29 for strikes, to complete three frames on Tuesday.

The Cubs could not push across any runs in the third. Anthony Rizzo worked a two out walk and advanced to second on a single to right by Nate Schierholtz. Castro grounded out to Weeks for the third out. Gallardo threw 53 pitches, 29 for strikes, in the first three innings … and the Cubs were 0-for-3 with RISP and left five men on base in the first three inning.

After Aoki flied out to left for the first out in the fourth, Jean Segura launched a 2-1 pitch into the bleachers in left field and gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Lucroy followed with a double down the left field line. Villanueva walked Gomez and the Brewers had runners on first and second with one down. Gindl dribbled a grounder to first. Rizzo touched the bag for the second out as both runners moved up ninety feet. Jeff Bianchi hit a chopper toward third. Valbuena fielded the ball cleanly but forgot how many outs there were and threw home. Castillo was still paying attention and grabbed the low throw and tagged out Lucroy to end the inning.

The Cubs left two more on base in the fourth. Gallardo threw 66 pitches in the first four innings, 39 for strikes, and the Cubs were 0-for-6 with RISP and left seven men on base in their first four innings.

Yuniesky Betancourt extended the Brewers’ lead to 2-0 in the fifth. Betancourt hit a solo shot to left to start the inning. Villanueva retired Gallardo, Weeks and Aoki in order to end the inning. Villanueva threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes, over the first five innings.

After Junior Lake popped out to right for the first out in the fifth, Anthony Rizzo ripped a single into center. Schierholtz fouled out to third. Starlin Castro kept the inning going with a single to center (3-2 pitch). Luis Valbuena worked a walk and the bases were loaded for Darwin Barney.

Yovani Gallardo jumped ahead of Barney 1-2 before landing awkwardly on his follow through. Gallardo limped around the mound and had to leave the game. It was announced a short time after he departed that his left hamstring tightened up. John Axford replaced Gallardo and Barney stepped back in with a 1-2 count. Darwin Barney looked at ball two then ripped a single into center. Rizzo and Castro scored, game tied at two. Welington Castillo followed with a single to left, Valbuena scored and the Cubs took a 3-2 lead.

With runners on first and second with two down, Carlos Villanueva drove a 1-2 pitch into right. Barney scored on Villanueva’s first run scoring hit in five seasons. With runners on the corners, David DeJesus pulled a 2-2 pitch into right. Castillo jogged home with the Cubs’ fifth run. Junior Lake struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

At the end of five, the Cubs led 5-2.

Carlos Villanueva retired the side in order in the sixth. Villanueva threw 92 pitches through the first six innings, but stayed in and started the seventh.

Villanueva retired Gindl on a pop fly to Barney for the first out. But issued a walk to Jeff Bianchi. Betancourt singled to right center, Bianchi advanced to third and Dale Sveum went to his pen for James Russell.

Khris Davis drove the first pitch from Russell into the stands in right … and just like that the game was tied at five. Russell’s struggles with right handed batters continued and he blew his seventh lead of the season. Russell was left in and the Brewers quickly took the lead. Aoki singled to left with two down, then stole second and third base. Russell paid no attention to him. Jean Segura golfed a 1-1 pitch over Lake’s head in left. Aoki scored and the Brewers took a 6-5 lead. Welington Castillo then threw out Segura trying to steal third to end the inning.

The Cubs could not cash in a two-out double by Welington Castillo in the seventh.

After seven, the Cubs trailed 6-5 and were 4-for-12 with RISP and left 10 men on base.

The Cubs could not push across any runs in the eighth or ninth innings despite putting runners on base and they dropped the opener of the day-night doubleheader.

Jake Arrieta faces Tyler Thornburg in game two on Tuesday night.

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  • BosephHeyden

    And, unfortunately, this game is the reason why, even though every other team is bad enough that a 9 game deficit isn’t impossible, it isn’t happening for the Cubs. Always one part of the team to negate what the others did.

  • SirGladiator

    This is another example of where it’s nice to have a bullpen, and a manager. Obviously Russell shouldn’t have been facing that guy, Parker should have been. Of course this was a double-header day so sometimes managers make strange decisions, but this was just plain bad. If you’re gonna make a bad decision because you ‘have’ to, it should be in the 2nd game, not the first one. Use the right players in game 1, and whoever’s left for game 2 is who’s left. Hitting coach, manager, bullpen, the needs we most need to address in the off season.