Cubs Can’t Command a Win Over the Brewers – Cubs 3, Brewers 5

Game One Hundred Forty-One – Cubs 3, Brewers 5

WP – Johnny Hellweg (1-3) LP – Jake Arrieta (2-2) Save – Jim Henderson (23)

The Brewers dominance over the Cubs continued on Saturday afternoon as Milwaukee beat the Cubs for the ninth time in 14 tries this season. Cubs’ pitching allowed only five hits, but issued seven walks and hit two batters, while the Cubs’ offense handed Johnny Hellweg his first big league victory.

Luis Valbuena (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) gave Jake Arrieta an early 2-0 lead with his 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the third. But Arrieta lost his command in the fourth inning and surrendered four runs on three hits and two walks. After Arrieta walked the bases loaded, Logan Schafer delivered the big blow of the game, a bases clearing triple.

Jake Arrieta retired the first six batters he faced and did not allow his first hit until the fourth inning. Arrieta needed only 38 pitches to record the first nine outs of the game. Arrieta pitched ahead in the count and was rather sharp the first time through the lineup. Arrieta started pitching from behind in the count and had little command after the third inning. Arrieta labored through a long, 32-pitch fourth inning that cost him and the Cubs the game.

Arrieta ended up going five innings and he allowed four runs on three hits with three walks, a hit batsman and four strikeouts on 83 pitches, 49 for strikes. Arrieta retired the side in order in three of the five innings he pitched.

Brooks Raley was very sharp and set down all four batters he faced. Chang-Yong Lim made his big league debut and was rather shaky. Lim gave up a hit and walked a batter but induced a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the jam in the seventh.

Alberto Cabrera (11 pitches, four strikes) and Zac Rosscup (18 pitches, six strikes) walked three batters in the eighth but did not surrender any runs. Blake Parker allowed the Brewers’ fifth run to score in the ninth. After Norichika Aoki reached on an error by Starlin Castro, Jonathan Lucroy tripled him in.

Luis Valbuena and Brian Bogusevic (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) were the Cubs’ offense on Saturday. Bogusevic lined a solo homer into the bleachers in right off Johnny Hellweg in the sixth that accounted for the Cubs’ third and final run.

The Cubs managed only six hits and three walks while making life very easy for Johnny Hellweg. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4) and Jake Arrieta (1-for-1) collected the Cubs’ other three hits.

Chang-Yong Lim became the 54th different player used by the Cubs this season when he made his debut in the seventh inning, a new franchise record. The Cubs used 53 different players last season. Lim also became the 32nd different player to make his Cubs’ debut this season.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 60-81 on the season.

After Jake Arrieta retired the Brewers in order on 10 pitches, seven for strikes, in the first inning, the Cubs threatened in the first but came away empty. Aoki robbed Starlin Castro of extra bases with a leaping catch near the wall in right for the first out. Hellweg plunked Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo blooped a single over Segura in left center. But Schierholtz popped out to Segura in shallow center and Sweeney grounded out to second to end the inning. Hellweg threw only 19 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes.

Jake Arrieta retired the Brewers in order in the second … 23 pitches for Arrieta after two , 14 for strikes.

Brian Bogusevic put together a long, 10-pitch at bat after falling behind 1-2. Bogusevic walked to lead off the second. Luis Valbuena hit a high fly ball out to right on a 1-1 pitch. The ball kept drifting and ended up in the first row of the bleachers in right. Valbuena’s tenth longball of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Castillo grounded out to short for the first out. Arrieta then singled to left center on a 2-2 pitch but Castro rapped into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Hellweg needed 39 pitches, 25 for strikes, to complete two innings on Saturday.

The Brewers put a couple of runners on in the third, but Arrieta was able to wiggle his way out of trouble. Juan Francisco became the first Brewers’ baserunner when Arrieta plunked him with a 1-1 pitch in the back. Valbuena threw out Schafer at first after he tried to bunt for a hit. Francisco advanced to second on the play. Arrieta struck out Hellweg for the second out. Aoki walked and the Brewers had two on with two down for Segura.

Jean Segura popped out to Darwin Barney in shallow right, near the line, to end the inning. Arrieta threw 38 pitches, 21 for strikes, over the first three innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the third … 50 pitches, 33 for strikes, for Hellweg after three innings.

The Brewers broke through against Arrieta in the fourth and the 2-0 lead the offense staked Arrieta to quickly disappeared.

Jonathan Lucroy singled to right center to start the fourth. Arrieta walked Aramis Ramirez. With runners on first and second with no outs, Scooter Gennett ripped a 0-2 pitch into left past a diving Starlin Castro. Lucroy scored, 2-1 Cubs, and Ramirez ended up at third with one out. Arrieta walked Gindl and loaded the bases with no outs.

Jake Arrieta reached back and struck out Juan Francisco swinging for the first out. But Logan Schafer pulled a 2-0 pitch into the gap in right center. The ball slowed down as it approached the wall. Ramirez, Gennett and Gindl scored on a bases clearing triple and the Brewers took a 4-2 lead. Arrieta retired Hellweg on a pop out to Barney with the infield in for the second out. Aoki pulled a 3-1 pitch toward the hole at second. Barney did an excellent job of stopping the bullet and threw out Aoki at first to end the inning.

Arrieta threw 32 pitches in the fourth inning and 70 pitches in four innings, 39 for strikes.

The Cubs managed a two-out walk by Valbuena in the fourth, but that was all. After four complete, Hellweg threw only 66 pitches, 42 for strikes, and the Cubs trailed 4-2.

Jake Arrieta set down the side in order in the fifth … 83 pitches, 49 for strikes, for Arrieta on the afternoon.

Logan Watkins hit for Arrieta and walked to lead off the fifth. Castro grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice but took over at first after beating Gennett’s throw. Gennett then took away a hit from Barney by ranging into the hole at second. Castro advanced to second on the play but was stranded when Rizzo flied out to left center to end the inning.

Brooks Raley retired the Brewers in order in the sixth.

Brian Bogusevic cut the Brewers lead to 4-3 in the sixth. Bogusevic lined a 2-2 pitch with two down into the bleachers in right for his fourth homer of the season. Johnny Hellweg retired Valbuena on a flyout to center on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning … and his outing. Hellweg was allowed to throw 99 pitches over six innings, his longest outing at the big league level.

Brooks Raley started the seventh and Logan Schafer flied out to center for the first out. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Chang-Yong Lim.

Chang-Yong Lim walked pinch-hitter Sean Halton then gave up a single to his former teammate. Aoki singled to left and the Brewers had runners on first and second with one out. Segura grounded into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.

The Cubs ran themselves out of a possible big inning in the seventh. Two of the three outs were made at second base. Welington Castillo led off the inning by lining a 0-2 pitch from Rob Wooten out to left field. The defensively challenged Caleb Gindl dropped the ball but Castillo tried to advance to second and was thrown out by ten feet. Junior Lake hit for Lim and reached on an infield single. Lake dribbled a 1-2 pitch up the third base line. Ramirez fielded the ball but his throw to first was late. Lake took off for second on a 0-1 pitch to Castro. Lucroy threw him out and Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs trailed 4-3 at the end of seven.

Alberto Cabrera started the eighth and struck out Lucroy swinging (3-2 pitch) for the first out. Cabrera then walked Ramirez and Sveum went to his pen for Zac Rosscup. Gennett struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Rosscup issued back-to-back walks to Gindl and Betancourt to load the bases. Ron Roenicke pulled back Logan Schafer and sent up Carlos Gomez to hit with the bags juiced. Gomez lined a 2-0 pitch right to Sweeney in center to end the inning.

Brandon Kintzler faced the minimum in the eighth after Rizzo singled to left with one out. Schierholtz lined into a three-unassisted double play to end the inning.

Blake Parker struck out Jeff Bianchi swinging (2-2 pitch) for the first out in the ninth. Aoki reached on a fielding error by Castro. Parker retired Segura on a flyout to Schierholtz in right center. But Jonathan Lucroy hit the Brewers’ second triple of the afternoon, Aoki scored and the Brewers took a 5-3 lead. Parker hit Ramirez with a 2-2 pitch in the ribs. With runners on the corners and two down, Parker struck out Scooter Gennett swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Jim Henderson in the ninth.

The Cubs wrap up the series and nine-game homestand on Sunday. Scott Baker is set to make his Cubs debut against Yovani Gallardo.

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Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • GaryLeeT

    And now, a diversion from your regularly scheduled MLB Cub’s loss. The D-Cubs are 4-0 in the post season, with a team era of 0.25. That’s an insane post season number, at any level of pro ball.

  • Brp921

    The Cubs have finished a little stronger than I thought they would. Looking at the standings and remaining schedules, they can finish anywhere from 3rd to 5th in the draft order, most likely, with an outside chance of a little lower pick. I think the people who were saying 4th a while back will be the winners.

    • Tony_Hall

      And with a record of 60-81 and 21 games left, we won’t see a 100 losses (at least I don’t think we will lose 19 out of 21), and we could still see 70 wins (a benchmark some have hoped for by next year) and might not see 90 losses (another benchmark hoped for by next year).

      Now more likely is a final record of 66-68 wins and 94-96 losses. Of course the biggest difference is the draft order at this point, and as much as you don’t think we can fall out of the Top 5, we can as we are only 1.5 games ahead of 6th and then each next spots are another game.

      • Brp921

        We have as tough a schedule as is out there though and that’s why I don’t think they would drop farther than 5th and the White Sox have a pretty hard schedule through the rest of the year so I don’t think we’ll move up to 3rd. I haven’t checked any other scedules bot ours and Milwaukees and the Sox. But like I said in a previous post, we picked Baez at #8 so if we do drop a little in the draft order we should still get a good player.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree on all points. The actual draft position is not as important as the area of the draft.

  • cubtex

    All I can say is…..Let’s play some football! Bears are finally starting today. It has been another painful baseball season and another year filled with AAAA players. When people are happy that the team looks like it won’t lose 100 games 2 years in a row….that says it all! Go Bears!

    • Tony_Hall

      Where did you see anyone celebrating not losing 100 games?

      When JH was going for it year after year, even though most people knew the team needed rebuilding, many of us said that every year he does this adds a year or two to the rebuild, and it has. If he had started a few years before being fired, he may still be the GM and we may already be a playoff team again.

      Yes there are faster ways to get a respectable team, winning 80 games is pretty easy, you just keep adding FA’s and trade away your young players for established vets. Winning 80 and being respectable is not that hard to accomplish, but gets you no where in terms of winning a World Series.

      I want to win a World Series, not 80 games and be able to say we were close, only 2-3 moves away next year.

      Just because many of us are on board with rebuilding this franchise from the ground up, doesn’t mean we are happy for not losing 70, it sucks. We all want a winning team and many of us want it to be a sustainable winning team that can be competitive year after year, and not these flash in the pans, hope you win in the playoffs the one or two year every 10 that you make it.

      So if you ever wonder why people take shots at you with comments, it is comments like the one you just made that cause it.

      The glass isn’t half empty, it is half full.

      • cubtex

        Thanks for explaining this to me. I always wondered why so many love losing so many games. So….it is to one day win a WS? I got it now. Thanks