Game Twenty – Cubs 4, Brewers 3
WP – Adam Warren (2-0) LP – Jimmy Nelson (3-2) Save – Hector Rondon (4)
Addison Russell delivered a two-out, two-run triple in the sixth. Anthony Rizzo plated Javier Baez with a two-out double in the seventh and the Cubs hung on and defeated the Brewers on Tuesday night at old ballyard.
The Cubs found a way to win a game on an extremely cold night at Wrigley Field. Three of the Cubs four runs scored on a pair of two-out hits by Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo. Dexter Fowler tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Cubs walked six times and two of those free passes scored.
The Brewers took an early lead on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Aaron Hill. Kyle Hendricks walked Chris Carter to start the second and he moved to third on a double from Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Hill lifted a 2-1 pitch to left that was deep enough for Carter to trot home. Hendricks settled down and did not allow another run on what ended up being a short outing.
The Cubs tied the game in the fifth after Jorge Soler (0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) walked and moved to second on a single from Addison Russell (2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI). David Ross (1-for-3 with a sac bunt) moved both runners up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt. Joe Maddon rolled the dice and sent up Tommy La Stella (no official at bat, one walk) to hit for Hendricks with one down in the fifth and the Cubs trailing 1-0. Jimmy Nelson appeared to pitch around La Stella and walked him to load the bases.
Dexter Fowler (0-for-3 with a walk and a sac fly RBI) unloaded on a 2-2 pitch and pulled it to deep right center. On any other day it would have been at least a bases clearing double. Instead, Nieuwenhuis made the catch. Soler tagged and scored the tying run. Jason Heyward (0-for-5) rolled out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs took advantage of a Brewers error in the sixth inning. Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) reached on a dribbler to third that Aaron Hill botched. After Rizzo flied out to left center, Ben Zobrist (0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored) walked. Soler flied out to right center.
Addison Russell came through again. Russell drove Nelson’s first pitch into the alley in right central. Bryant and Zobrist scored as Russell hustled to third with a triple. And the Cubs took a 3-1 lead. Ross struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs added a big insurance run in the seventh. Javier Baez (1-for-2 with a run scored) hit for Adam Warren and blooped a single to center. Baez took off for second on a 0-1 pitch to Fowler. Baez was called out as it appeared he was tagged before he touched the base. Baez made an incredible slide to avoid the tag. The umps took another look and the call on the field was overturned.
Fowler stuck out looking and Heyward flied out to left. But Bryant worked a two out walk.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) ripped a 2-1 pitch through the shift. Yadiel Rivera made a diving stop in short right field. Baez scored, Bryant motored to third and Rizzo went to second on what was first scored as a single. The Cubs took a 4-1 lead. Rizzo’s hit was later changed to a double. With runners on second and third, Zobrist was robbed of a hit by a diving Rivera, this time on the infield, to end the inning.
Pedro Strop started the eighth and struggled. Strop could not throw strikes and walked two batters. Craig Counsel went to his bench for Ryan Braun and he delivered a two-run double to right that cut the Cubs lead to 4-3. Strop struck out Santana and Maddon went to his pen for Travis Wood. Jonathan Villar popped out to Zobrist to end the inning.
The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Heyward grounded out to first base to end the inning. And the Cubs went to the ninth with a one-run lead.
Hector Rondon struck out Jonathan Lucroy swinging on a 3-2 pitch and Chris Carter grounded out to third base. Kirk Nieuwenhuis singled to right on a 2-1 pitch. Aaron Hill pulled a 0-2 pitch to deep left that on any other night would have sailed over the wall. Kris Bryant, who moved to left field in the eighth inning, caught the ball just inside the line near the track to end the game.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 15-5 on the season.
Kyle Hendricks was effective Tuesday night. Hendricks pitched from behind in the count and it cost him a run in the second inning. For as much as Hendricks appeared to be off to his credit he made the pitches when he needed to. Hendricks retired the side in order in two of his final three innings. Hendricks faced the minimum after laboring through the second inning.
Under different weather conditions Maddon would have likely left Hendricks in longer. Hendricks was lifted for a pinch-hitter, Tommy La Stella, with runners on second and third and one out in the fifth. The Cubs were trailing 1-0 and with runs figuring to be a premium on a frigid night at Wrigley, Maddon did not want to waste the opportunity. Dexter Fowler ended up tying the game with a sac fly after La Stella walked to load the bases.
Kyle Hendricks received a no-decision after allowing one run on two hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Hendricks made 69 pitches, 44 for strikes, in five innings.
Adam Warren faced six batters Tuesday night in relief of Hendricks. Warren retired all three in the sixth and all three in the seventh. Warren struck out three and made 36 pitches, 23 for strikes.
Pedro Strop did not have it Tuesday and allowed two runs. Travis Wood did his job and picked up the final out in the eighth.
Hector Rondon notched the save after retiring three of the four batters he faced.
Cubs’ pitching gave up three runs on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts … all three free passes scored.
Weather permitting … Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Taylor Jungmann on Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT) under the lights at Wrigley.