Game One Hundred Twenty – Cubs 9, Brewers 6
WP – Jake Arrieta (15-5) LP – Zach Davies (9-6) Save – Aroldis Chapman (27)
Kris Bryant was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate on a hitter’s day at the old ballyard. Bryant hit two dingers, scored four times and drove in five runs. Bryant led the offense on a day Jake Arrieta struggled with his command and walked a career-high seven batters. The Cubs outhit a rough day for the pitching staff and completed the first ever four-game sweep of the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
Kris Bryant (5-for-5 with two home runs, a double, four run scored and five RBI) led an offense that pounded out 14 hits with two walks. Bryant scored the first run of the game on a groundout by Ben Zobrist (0-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI) in the first inning. Bryant launched a two-run homer in the third inning off Zach Davies and took Blaine Boyer deep to center in the sixth. Bryant hit dingers No. 29 and 30 on the season and became only the fifth player in Cubs’ history to hit 30 or more homers in age 24 or younger season, joining Ernie Banks (1955), Ron Santo (1964), Sammy Sosa (1993) and Anthony Rizzo (2014).
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and a RBI) hit two more doubles, drove in and scored a run. Matt Szczur (2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) doubled and scored two runs. Addison Russell (2-for-4 with a RBI) had two more hits and for a short time passed Bryant in RBI on the season.
Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in a run in the third and Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a run scored) scored the Cubs’ ninth run in the eighth inning on Bryant’s fifth hit of the game.
Jake Arrieta had a rough day on the mound. Arrieta retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. Arrieta’s only blemish was a two-out walk to Brewers’ pitcher Zach Davies in the third inning. Arrieta walked four of the next six batters he faced. The Brewers’ first hit was a three-run homer by Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the fourth inning.
Arrieta did not appear to get on the same page with Willson Contreras at all. Arrieta walked a career-high seven batters before he was lifted with two outs in the sixth inning. Arrieta struck out three, gave up three hits and five earned runs. Arrieta served up two home runs, the first time Arrieta allowed multiple homers at Wrigley since May 29, 2015 (Royals). Arrieta made 103 pitches, 56 for strikes.
With limited options in the bullpen, Maddon turned to Spencer Patton in the sixth. Patton issued two more walks that forced in the Brewers’ fifth run. Patton wiggled out of the bases loaded two out jam when Scooter Gennett grounded out to second base.
Spencer Patton allowed a run on one hit and three walks in his two innings of work.
Justin Grimm recorded the last out in the eighth. And Aroldis Chapman retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.
Cubs’ pitching allowed six runs on six hits and 10 walks with only five strikeouts.
The offense stepped up on a day Jake Arrieta did not have it. The Cubs completed its 13th series sweep of the season, one more than a year ago.
The Cubs went to work right away against Zach Davies. Kris Bryant singled to center with one down in the first inning. Bryant drove a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and beat the shift. The ball was to the right of the second base bag just out of the reach of a diving Gennett. Anthony Rizzo doubled to right and the Cubs had runners on second and third with one out.
Ben Zobrist rolled a 3-1 pitch toward first. Bryant was off on contact and scored, 1-0 Cubs. Rizzo went to third on the play and scored when Addison Russell singled to left center. Jorge Soler was caught looking to end the inning.
The Cubs led 2-0 after one complete.
The Cubs added on in the third. Matt Szczur ripped a 1-2 pitch from Davies into right center. Szczur stopped at first with a single.
Kris Bryant was sitting fastball and pulled Davies’ first pitch into the bleachers in left. Bryant’s 29th homer of the season gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Ben Zobrist re-started the third with a one out walk. Addison Russell just missed a two-run homer to left. Russell pulled a 2-2 pitch to deep left that hit high off the ivy. Braun misplayed the ball. Russell settled for a very long single. Soler flied out to right center.
Willson Contreras doubled to right on a 1-1 pitch. Zobrist scored easily, 5-0 Cubs. With runners on second and third with two outs, Javier Baez flied out to right to end the inning.
The Brewers started chipping into the five-run lead in the fourth. Arrieta took a no-hitter into the fourth and retired Gennett (flyout to right) and Braun (chopper back to the mound). Arrieta lost his command at that point. Arrieta issued back-to-back two out walks to Hernan Perez and Chris Carter.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis made it a two-run game. Nieuwenhuis only hits Cubs’ pitching and he drilled a three-run shot into the bleachers in right center. The first hit of the game off Arrieta cut the Cubs’ lead to 5-3. Arrieta retired Maldonado on a grounder to Bryant to end the inning.
The Cubs got two of the runs back in the home half on three straight doubles. Matt Szczur doubled to left center with one out in the fourth. Kris Bryant doubled to the left field corner. Szczur scored and Anthony Rizzo doubled to right. Bryant scored, 7-3 Cubs. Davies struck out Zobrist and Russell flied out to left to end the inning.
After four complete, the Cubs had a 7-3 lead.
Jake Arrieta labored through the fifth inning. Arrieta walked two and gave up a double to Gennett. But Willson Contreras picked off Flores at first base for the first out of the inning. Arrieta needed 80 pitches, 44 for strikes, to complete five innings.
The Cubs were not able to add on in the fifth against Rob Scahill. The game went to the sixth with the Cubs leading 7-3.
Hernan Perez deposited Arrieta’s first pitch of the sixth inning into the bleachers in left, 7-4 Cubs. Arrieta walked Carter. Nieuwenhuis dribbled a 2-2 pitch up the first baseline. Arrieta fielded the ball and flipped to Rizzo for the first out. Carter went to second. Arrieta struck out Maldonado swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out of the inning.
Contreras’ first of two passed balls on the afternoon allowed Carter to take third after a 2-1 pitch to Flores. Arrieta walked Flores and Maddon went to his pen for Spencer Patton.
Keon Broxton batted for Scahill. Patton walked Broxton and loaded the bases with two outs. Willson Contreras appeared to pickoff Broxton from first base. The call didn’t go the Cubs’ way and replay confirmed Broxton just got back. Patton walked Jonathan Villar and forced in Carter, 7-5 Cubs. With the bases loaded, Patton fell behind Gennett 2-0. Scooter Gennett bailed out Patton when he rolled the third pitch of the at-bat to Baez at second to the inning.
The Cubs got one of the runs back in the sixth against Blaine Boyer when Kris Bryant went yard for the second time on the afternoon. Bryant launched his 30th dinger of the season into the shrubbery beyond the center field wall … 8-5 Cubs.
Spencer Patton hung a zero on the board in the seventh. The Cubs did nothing against Carlos Torres in the home half. And the game went to the eighth with the Cubs leading by three, 8-5.
The Brewers made it a two-run game again in the eighth. That guy, Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck in the eighth. Nieuwenhuis doubled to right and moved up to third when Maldonado flied out to right. Flores grounded out to Rizzo, Nieuwenhuis scored, 8-6 Cubs. Patton walked pinch-hitter Manny Pina and Maddon went to his pen for Justin Grimm.
Villar singled to center and put the tying run on first base. With runners on the corners and two down, Grimm retired Gennett on a grounder to Rizzo to end the inning.
The Cubs added on in the eighth. With the way Cubs pitching was struggling with the strike zone, the offense could not slow down.
Javier Baez started the eighth by tomahawking a 1-2 pitch from Corey Knebel into left field. Dexter Fowler, who entered the game with Grimm in the top of the inning on a double-switch, flied out to deep right center. Matt Szczur walked.
Kris Bryant smoked a 2-2 pitch to left. Baez scored, 9-6 Cubs. Rizzo lined out to left and Zobrist flied out to right to end the inning.
The game went to the ninth with the Cubs leading 9-6.
Aroldis Chapman gave up a one out single to Hernan Perez. But that was all. Chapman nailed down is seventh save with the Cubs after Nieuwenhuis grounded out to first base for the 27th out.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to a season-high 34 games over .500 with a 77-43 record on the season.
The Cubs begin a nine-game road trip on Friday night (7:40pm CDT) with the first of three against the Rockies at Coors Field. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face lefty Tyler Anderson.