Game One Hundred Fifty-Two – Cubs 0, Brewers 7
WP – Tyler Thornburg (3-1) LP – Chris Rusin (2-5) Save – None
Wednesday’s game ended before it had a chance to begin. Chris Rusin gave up five runs in the first inning and four of them scored on one swing of the bat. Sean Halton hit the first grand slam of his career and the Brewers cruised to another easy victory over the Cubs.
Dale Sveum’s team was shutout for the 14th time this season and managed only four hits. Only one Cub reached second base and the Cubs’ put two runners on base at the same time just once on Wednesday … not a single player in a Cubs’ uniform reached third base.
Ryan Sweeney (2-for-4 with a double) collected two of the Cubs’ four hits and Nate Schierholtz (2-for-4) added two singles. The Cubs walked four times and were 0-for-2 with RISP and left eight runners on base. Tyler Thornburg made his second career start against the Cubs and has not let them touch the plate in 12 innings.
Chris Rusin just didn’t have it on Wednesday. Rusin struggled with his command and appeared to have trouble finding a consistent release point. While Rusin was a little wild in the first inning, he received no help from the homeplate umpire, Toby Bashner. Rusin labored through a 31-pitch first inning and allowed the game to get out of hand. Rusin surrendered five runs on three hits and two walks in the first inning with the big hit coming off the bat of Sean Halton, a grand slam. Rusin settled down somewhat in the second and third inning before serving up a solo homer to Khris Davis in the fourth. Rusin was lifted after throwing 65 pitches, 41 for strikes, in four innings. Rusin was charged with six runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Alberto Cabrera could not throw strikes again on Wednesday. Cabrera gave up one run on one hit with two walks, a hit batsman and one strikeout in an inning of work. Cabrera threw 30 pitches, 15 for strikes. Cabrera has a good arm and the ability to record outs in the majors. Cabrera has not shown any improvement from last season and with the fact that he is out of minor league options he will be part of the many decisions the Cubs must make during the off-season.
Hector Rondon, Chang-Yong Lim and Blake Parker pitched the last three innings and combined to retire all nine batters they faced.
The best thing that can be said about the Cubs from Wednesday’s game is at least the no-hit streak remained intact and lived on for another day.
The Cubs lost their 13th game of the year to the Brewers (5-13) and dropped to a season-low 26 games under .500 with a 63-89 record.
After the Cubs went down in order on 14 pitches, eight for strikes, in the first inning, Chris Rusin struggled with his command and he let the game slip away just 15 minutes after it began. Rusin missed his spots and when he found the zone, he was not getting the call.
Rusin retired Aoki on a grounder to third for the first out. Rusin walked Jean Segura (3-2 pitch) then gave up a single to center to Jonathan Lucroy. Aramis Ramirez ripped the first pitch he saw into center. Segura scored, 1-0 Brewers. Gomez popped out to Schierholtz for the second out. Rusin then walked Khris Davis (3-2 pitch) to load the bases. Sean Halton stepped in and drove a 3-2 pitch out to right. The ball left the park and the Brewers took a 5-0 lead. Rusin struck out Gennett swinging to end the inning.
Chris Rusin threw 31 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning and allowed the Brewers to score five runs on three hits and a pair of walks.
The game remained 5-0 Brewers until the fourth inning. Rusin settled in a little and retired the Brewers in order in both the second and third innings.
Chris Rusin started the fourth after throwing 50 pitches, 30 for strikes, in three innings. Rusin could not put away Khris Davis and he lifted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center. Davis’ second home run of the season against Cubs’ pitching and tenth of the year gave the Brewers a 6-0 lead. Rusin retired Halton (grounder to second), Gennett (strikeout) and Thornburg (flyout to center) to end the fourth. Rusin threw 65 pitches, 41 for strikes, in four innings on Wednesday.
The Cubs were down 6-0 after four innings.
Tyler Thornburg mystified the Cubs again in the fifth … 1-2-3 for the Brewers’ right hander and 73 pitches, 45 for strikes, after five frames for Thornburg.
Alberto Cabrera replaced Rusin for the fifth and really struggled with his command again. Cabrera plunked Aoki with a 2-1 pitch to start the inning. Aoki limped to first but had no problem stealing two bases with his team leading by six runs. Aoki swiped second with Bianchi at the plate. Bianchi flied out to right for the first out. Aoki then stole third on the first offering to Lucroy. With the infield in, Lucroy bounced a 0-2 pitch back up the middle. Cabrera deflected the ball to Castro, who made an excellent barehanded pick and threw out Lucroy at first. Aoki held at third. Cabrera issued a four-pitch walk to Aramis Ramirez and put runners on the corners with two down.
Carlos Gomez pulled a 0-1 pitch into the gap in left center. Aoki scored, 7-0 Brewers, and Ramirez stopped at third on Gomez’s double. Cabrera then walked Khris Davis and loaded the bases with two outs. Cabrera struck out Sean Halton swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs were down 7-0 after five innings in another embarrassing game Miller Park.
Hector Rondon, Chang-Yong Lim and Blake Parker tossed scoreless frames while the Cubs’ offense was non-existent again on Wednesday night.
Jake Arrieta faces Kyle Lohse in the finale of the series and season series against the Brewers on Thursday afternoon.