Game One Hundred Fifty-Three – Cubs 5, Brewers 1
WP – Jake Arrieta (3-2) LP – Kyle Lohse (10-10) Save – None
Jake Arrieta dominated the Brewers for seven innings and squeezed in a run while his teammates hit three home runs that accounted for the other four runs as the Cubs snapped their five-game losing streak and finally beat the Brewers on Thursday afternoon.
Jake Arrieta once again showed the Cubs a glimpse of how good he can be on a big league mound. Arrieta retired 11 in a row after walking the first batter of the game and took a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning. Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer off Arrieta in the seventh, his only mistake on the afternoon. Arrieta had excellent command, walked only one batter while striking out five. Arrieta also mixed in an excellent curveball, a pitch he has been working on, that helped keep the Brewers off balance.
Jake Arrieta allowed one run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts on 88 pitches, 65 for strikes, in seven innings. Pedro Strop and Kevin Gregg closed out the game with two scoreless innings.
The Cubs offense woke up on Thursday and hit three long home runs off of the Brewers’ staff. Luis Valbuena (1-for-5 with a home run) launched his 12th longball of the season in the first inning, a solo shot off of Kyle Lohse that ended up in the second deck and gave the Cubs a one run lead. Nate Schierholtz (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) lined a two-run homer off of Lohse in the third with Anthony Rizzo (3-for-5 with a double and a run scored) and Brian Bogusevic (1-for-1 with a home run) tattooed a 3-2 pitch from Donovan Hand in the ninth that clanked off the centerfield scoreboard.
After managing only 11 hits in their previous two games combined, the Cubs pounded out 13 hits on Thursday. Logan Watkins (3-for-4) not only collected three hits in his third big league start but he made a sensational diving stop to take a hit and a RBI away from Scooter Gennett to end the eighth inning. Junior Lake (2-for-4 with a run scored) put together another multi-hit game and scored the Cubs’ fourth run in the sixth on a squeeze bunt from Jake Arrieta (0-for-1 with two sac bunts and a RBI).
Welington Castillo (0-for-3) had to leave Thursday’s game in the sixth inning with a sharp pain in his right knee. Castillo hurt his knee running to first on a grounder to shortstop after reportedly feeling pain in the knee crouching behind the plate earlier in the game. Welington Castillo could be done for the year.
The Cubs ended the 11-game road trip (4-7) the way it began, with a win, and finished the season series against Milwaukee with a 6-13 mark after salvaging the finale of the four-game series.
With Thursday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 64-89 on the season.
After Starlin Castro (1-for-5) grounded out to second to start the game, Luis Valbuena launched a 1-1 pitch down the right field line. The ball ended up in the second deck and Valbuena’s 12th longball of the year gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Rizzo followed and struck out, his fourth strikeout in five at bats at the time, and Schierholtz grounded out to first to end the inning. The Cubs made Lohse work a little (18 pitches, 12 for strikes) and gave Jake Arrieta a 1-0 lead before he took the mound.
Jake Arrieta jumped ahead of Norichika Aoki 1-2 before walking him on the sixth pitch of the at bat. To Arrieta’s credit, he really focused after getting the walk out of the way. Gennett tapped back to the mound for the first out. Aoki advanced to second on the play but did not advance after Gomez lined out to right and Ramirez flied out to right to end the inning. Arrieta threw 14 pitches in the first, eight for strikes.
The Cubs were not able to add on in the second. Ryan Sweeney walked to start the inning. After Castillo flied out to center, Junior Lake singled to right. With runners on first and second with one down, Logan Watkins singled to right and loaded the bases for Arrieta. Lohse struck out Arrieta and induced a grounder to second off the bat of Starlin Castro to end the inning. Lohse had to work to get out of the jam and threw 43 pitches, 29 for strikes, over his first two innings.
After the Brewers went down in order in the second, the offense gave Arrieta a little breathing room. Valbuena popped out to third (3-2 pitch) for the first out. Anthony Rizzo followed and hit a 2-2 pitch off the end of his bat and into left field. Lohse fell behind Schierholtz 3-1. Nate Schierholtz lined Lohse’s next pitch over the wall in right center and into the Cubs’ pen. Schierholtz’s first homer since August 30 and his 21st of the season, gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Sweeney grounded out to second and Castillo struck out swinging to end the inning. It took Kyle Lohse 72 pitches, 46 for strikes, to record nine outs on Thursday.
Jake Arrieta made quick work of Milwaukee in the third. Arrieta threw only 36 pitches, 23 for strikes, over his first three frames and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning.
The game remained 3-0 Cubs until the sixth inning. Arrieta gave up a two out single to Ramirez in the fourth and needed just 62 pitches, 45 for strikes, to complete five innings on Thursday.
Burke Badenhop replaced Lohse in the sixth inning after the Cubs ran up his pitch count over the first five innings (100 pitches, 62 strikes) of the game. Welington Castillo grounded out to short to start the inning and grabbed what appeared to be his right hamstring running to first base. Castillo limped off the field. Junior Lake singled to left and advanced to third when Badenhop threw Watkins’ sac bunt attempt away. Arrieta stepped in with runners on the corners and one down. Jake Arrieta pushed a bunt toward the first baseline that Badenhop fielded as Lake was hustling down the line. Badenhop took the sure out, Lake scored, Watkins ended up at second and the Cubs had a 4-0 lead. Castro flied out to right to end the inning.
The Brewers went down in order in the sixth … 74 pitches for Arrieta after six innings, 54 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing against Mike Gonzalez in the seventh and Arrieta took the hill in the home half up by four runs.
Carlos Gomez led off the seventh with a homer to center. The Brewers’ second hit of the game broke up the shutout, 4-1 Cubs. Ramirez grounded out to third and Schafer struck out swinging but Jeff Bianchi reached on a ground rule double to right. Jake Arrieta ended his afternoon by retiring Juan Francisco on a grounder to Rizzo for the third out.
The Cubs led 4-1 after seven innings.
Other than a J.C. Boscan one out single, the Cubs did nothing in the eighth against Alfredo Figaro.
Pedro Strop replaced Arrieta for the eighth inning and served up a ground rule double to center off the bat of Sean Halton. Aoki grounded out to short, Halton advanced to third but was stranded when Logan Watkins made a terrific diving stop in the hole between first and second to take a hit away from Scooter Gennett to end the inning.
Brian Bogusevic hit for Pedro Strop to start the ninth. Bogusevic launched his sixth longball of the season off the centerfield scoreboard, 5-1 Cubs. Starlin Castro followed with a single to center off of Donovan Hand. Valbuena bounced into a 3-6-3 double play. Anthony Rizzo doubled to right with two down, his third hit of the game. But Schierholtz tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
Kevin Gregg took the hill for the ninth with the Cubs up 5-1. Gregg retired all three batters he faced, with a pair of strikeouts, to close out the win for Jake Arrieta.
The Cubs begin their final homestand of the season on Friday afternoon with the first of three against the Braves. Scott Baker is scheduled to face former Cubs’ starter Paul Maholm in the opener.