Game Twenty-Two – Cubs 1, Brewers 6
WP – Mike Fiers (1-3) LP – Jake Arrieta (3-2) Save – None
On a hitter’s day at Wrigley with the wind blowing out, the Brewers jumped on Jake Arrieta and never looked back while the Cubs spent the afternoon striking out against Mike Fiers. And the Cubs dropped the middle game of the series to the Brewers at the old ballyard.
The Cubs had a bad day. And for one of the few times this season, the Cubs were not in the game at all. Nothing seemed to go right offensively, defensively or on the mound. The two positives from Saturday’s game: the Cubs collected five hits and neither Anthony Rizzo nor Addison Russell were hurt when the two collided in the second inning.
Jake Arrieta didn’t have it Saturday afternoon and lasted just five innings. Arrieta really struggled with his command, especially in the first two innings. Arrieta was up in the zone and missed in the middle of the plate … a bad combination for any pitcher especially on a day the wind is blowing out at Wrigley. The Brewers squared up Arrieta rather well, but it was two bloop hits that cost him two more runs. And in all fairness to Arrieta, he received little help from his defense.
Jake Arrieta gave up two runs on a Ryan Braun two-run shot in the first inning. Bloop singles by Martin Maldonado and Carlos Gomez in the second inning led to the Brewers’ third run. And a single to center past Starlin Castro, that should have been turned into an out, off the bat of Jean Segura accounted for the Brewers’ fourth run.
Jake Arrieta labored through his other three innings of work before turning the game over to the pen. Arrieta gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Arrieta threw 90 pitches, 63 for strikes, in five innings of work.
Jason Motte kept the Brewers off the board in the sixth and hit the high-90s with his fastball. Gonzalez Germen struggled again in the seventh and gave up a run before Phil Coke was summoned to clean up his mess. Coke retired the only two batters he faced to close out the seventh.
Edwin Jackson would have pitched two scoreless innings if not for errors by Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo that led to a Little League Home Run and the Brewers’ sixth run of the game.
The Cubs managed just one run for the third straight game after not recording a hit until the fifth inning. The Cubs let Mike Fiers off the hook in the first inning after he walked two of the first three batters he faced. Fiers struck out the side in the first and cruised through six innings.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) broke up the shutout in the sixth inning with a solo home run to center. The Cubs managed only five hits and three walks.
Mike Fiers struck out 12 batters on Saturday afternoon in six innings of work … 12 of the 18 outs recorded over his six innings of work were strikeouts. The Cubs allowed him to settle in, expanded the strike zone and made him look rather good once again at Wrigley Field.
For the game, the Cubs struck out an alarming 18 times in nine innings. And not one time did the Cubs put runners on base in consecutive at bats.
Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a walk), Miguel Montero (1-for-4) and Chris Denorfia (1-for-3 with a walk) reached base in Saturday’s loss.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 13-9 on the season …
The Brewers jumped on Jake Arrieta in the first inning and put two quick runs on the board. Jean Segura reached on an infield single to center (3-2 pitch). Addison Russell showed off his range and almost made a sensational play, but the ball hit off his glove and Segura reached with the first of his four hits on the day.
Ryan Braun stepped in sitting fastball and he got one. Braun juiced Arrieta’s first pitch to dead center. The ball ended up in the shrubbery just to the left of straightaway center. And just like that, the Brewers took a 2-0 lead. Arrieta continued to struggle and walked Adam Lind. Khris Davis struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) and Elian Herrera flied out to left for the third out. Arrieta threw 23 pitches, 14 for strikes, in the first inning.
The Cubs put two in the first inning against Mike Fiers. Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo walked, but Fiers struck out the side (Fowler, Bryant and Montero) as the Cubs didn’t put a ball in play in the first inning.
After one complete, the Cubs trailed 2-0.
Martin Maldonado led off the second with a bloop single to center. Arrieta struck out Hector Gomez. Fiers bunted back to the mound. As Arrieta was fielding the ball, Maldonado moved to second base. Carlos Gomez blooped a 0-1 pitch into right. Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell both raced out and dove for the ball at the same time. Rizzo and Russell collided. Russell appeared to take the worst of the collision when his head hit the grass. Maldonado scored on the play and made it 3-0, but at that point the score was irrelevant.
The trainers quickly went out to check on the two players. Rizzo and Russell were obviously shaken up. And both players stayed in the game. When play resumed, Gomez swiped second on the first pitch to Segura and stole third base on a 1-2 pitch to the Brewers’ shortstop. Jean Segura rolled the next pitch to the left of the second base bag. Starlin Castro missed a grounder that should have ended the inning. Gomez trotted in and celebrated his run as the Brewers took a 4-0 lead. Segura stole second but was stranded when Braun flied out to the wall in left. Braun just missed popping another one out.
Jake Arrieta needed 45 pitches, 30 for strikes, to complete two innings. And after two, the Cubs trailed 4-0.
The scored remained 4-0 through the third and fourth innings.
Chris Denorfia broke up Mike Fiers no hit bid with one out in the fifth and Addison Russell singled with two outs in the fifth. But Jorge Soler struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Brewers led 4-0 after five innings.
Anthony Rizzo broke up the shutout in the sixth and grabbed a little momentum with a solo homer to center. Rizzo’s third longball of the season made it 4-1. Fiers struck out Kris Bryant and Miguel Montero lined out to second to end the inning.
After six complete, the Cubs trailed 4-1.
Any momentum gained in the sixth inning quickly went away in the seventh. Gerardo Parra hit for Fiers and doubled to right to start the inning. Logan Schafer bunted Parra to third with one out. Gonzalez Germen served up a 1-2 pitch to Jean Segura. And Segura’s first triple of the season off the wall in right center made it a 5-1 game. Germen intentionally walked Braun before turning the game over to Phil Coke. Adam Lind struck out swinging and Starlin Castro made a sensational diving stop on a ball hit into the hole at short by Khris Davis. Castro threw to second and forced Braun to end the inning.
The Cubs gave the Brewers their sixth and final run of the game in the ninth inning on a rather embarrassing play that simply should not happen in the big leagues.
Logan Schafer hit a routine grounder to Castro that should have been the second out of the inning. Castro’s throw to Rizzo was low and skipped past him. Rizzo did not Respect 90 and causally went to pick the ball up. Rizzo appeared to assume that Schafer was just going to stop at second. Well, Rizzo was wrong. Rizzo picked up the ball and threw toward third base assuming (again) someone was covering the bag. No one was at third, the ball skipped into foul ground, Schafer scored on a Little League Home Run and made it 6-1 Brewers.
Milwaukee did not tack on any more runs in the ninth and the game mercifully came to an end when Junior Lake struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch against Francisco Rodriguez.
Jason Hammel faces Jimmy Nelson in the series finale with the Brewers on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).