Game One Hundred Forty-Six – Cubs 4, Brewers 5
WP – Jimmy Nelson (8-14) LP – Justin Grimm (1-1) Save – Tyler Thornburg (10)
Jorge Soler gave the Cubs an early lead with a two-run homer in the second. The Brewers scored three in the fourth inning to take a one-run lead. Mike Montgomery drove in Jason Heyward with his first big league hit in the fourth and tied the game at three. But Justin Grimm surrendered a two-run pinch hit double to Scooter Gennett and the Cubs were not able to mount a comeback. The Cubs dropped the opener of the four-game series to the Brewers at the old ballyard.
The Cubs had to put off the division winning celebration for at least one day with the 5-4 loss.
Mike Montgomery had a good outing. Montgomery made two mistakes in his six innings of work. One came after an error by Addison Russell that extended the fourth inning. Montgomery gave up a solo homer to Keon Broxton, the Brewers second hit of the game, in the fourth. A throwing error with two outs by Russell allowed Hernan Perez to reach. Back-to-back doubles by Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia scored two runs and put the Brewers up by a run.
Mike Montgomery (1-for-2 with a RBI) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a single to center. It was Montgomery’s first big league hit and RBI. Jason Heyward (2-for-4 with two doubles, a run and a RBI) scored and tied the game at three.
Mike Montgomery left the game after six innings tied at three. Montgomery was charged with three runs, one earned, on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Montgomery made 85 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Justin Grimm had a rough outing for the first time in almost two and a half months. Grimm gave up two runs in the seventh on two doubles and a walk. Joe Smith picked up the final out in the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth. Spencer Patton retired the Brewers in order in the ninth.
The Cubs offense had plenty of chances, again, to score runs. In the end it was a one-run loss after the Cubs went 1-for-5 with RISP and left nine men on base.
Jorge Soler (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) launched a two-run homer. Jason Heyward doubled twice and scored in the fourth on Mike Montgomery’s single. Heyward doubled in Ben Zobrist (0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored) in the eighth with the Cubs fourth run. The Cubs had runners on the corners and one down in the eighth but pinch-hitter Willson Contreras was called out on strikes.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a run scored) had a bad night in the field. Russell was charged with two errors for the first time in his career.
The Cubs did not play a bad game. The Brewers played like they were determined not to let the Cubs celebrate. Jimmy Nelson beat the Cubs for the first time in his career.
The Cubs took an early lead in the second inning after a gift from the Brewers’ defense. Addison Russell popped a 1-0 pitch straight up. The ball carried out toward third base and Hernan Perez was camped under it. For some reason, Perez did not try to catch the ball. It looked like the Brewers’ shortstop called him off. The ball fell in between the two on the infield. Russell was given credit for a single on what was a routine out.
Jorge Soler followed and hit a rocket into the bleachers in left. The ball was the hardest hit by any Cubs’ player this season (114.1 mph) and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Heyward grounded out to short for the first out. Miguel Montero re-started the second with a single to right center. Maddon let Montgomery hit and struck out swinging. Fowler also struck out swinging. And at the end of two, the Cubs led 2-0.
The Brewers got on the board in the fourth and took the lead after an Addison Russell throwing error gave them an extra out. Keon Broxton made it a 2-1 game with a solo homer to center. After Montgomery retired Braun on a grounder to short and caught Carter looking at a 0-2 pitch, Hernan Perez hit a 2-2 pitch to the hole at short. Russel fielded the ball. His throw was off the mark for the second time on the night, this one Rizzo could not bail him out. Perez went from first to third on a double down the right field line by Domingo Santana. Orlando Arcia doubled to left. Perez and Santana scored and the Brewers took a 3-2 lead. Maldonado grounded out to Bryant at third to end the inning.
Jason Heyward doubled down the left field line with one out in the fourth. Montero flied out to right center on a 1-2 pitch. Heyward tagged and went to third with two outs.
Mike Montgomery singled to center on a 1-0 pitch. Montgomery drove in Heyward with his first big league hit and tied the game at three. Dexter Fowler singled to center and put two on with two down. But Bryant went down swinging to end the inning. The game was tied at three after four innings.
The game remained tied until the seventh. Montgomery retired the last six batters he faced and turned it over to the bullpen.
Justin Grimm struggled for one of the few times since the end of June and gave up a pair of runs after walking the eight-hole hitter. Santana started the eighth with a double to right center. If Santana ran the bases correctly with his speed it might have been a triple. Grimm caught Arcia looking at a 2-2 pitch. Grimm walked Martin Maldonado of the .190 hitting Maldonados and the Brewers had two on with one out and Nelson due up.
Craig Counsell went to his bench and sent up Scooter Gennett to hit for Nelson. Gennett lashed a 0-2 pitch down the left field line. The ball landed just fair before hitting the sidewall. Santana and Maldonado scored, 5-3 Brewers, on a double from Gennett. Grimm caught Villar looking for out No. 2. And Maddon went to his pen for Joe Smith. Broxton went down swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cubs managed only a Kris Bryant single in the bottom of the seventh. And Bryant was picked off second with Ben Zobrist at the plate to end the inning.
The game went to the eighth with the Cubs trailing by two runs, 5-3.
Joe Smith pitched around a leadoff single by Ryan Braun and a throwing error by Addison Russell to keep it a two-run game. Smith picked off Braun from first base. Braun was called safe, the umps took another look and the call on the field was overturned. Perez reached on a throwing error by Russell but Zobrist made a sensational diving catch on a ball ticketed for center field off the bat of Santana to end the inning.
The Cubs cut the Brewers lead in half in the eighth. Ben Zobrist walked to start the inning. Carlos Torres struck out Russell and Soler. Craig Counsell went to his bullpen for his closer, Tyler Thornburg.
Jason Heyward doubled to the right field corner. Zobrist scored, 5-4 Brewers. A passed ball allowed Heyward to take third. Montero walked. Matt Szczur ran for Montero and Maddon sent up Willson Contreras to hit for Joe Smith. Thornburg got the calls and Contreras was called out on strikes to end the inning.
At the end of eight, the Cubs trailed 5-4 and that would be the final score.
Anthony Rizzo walked with two outs in the ninth. Javier Baez ran for him but Zobrist grounded out to short to end the game.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 93-53 on the season.
John Lackey takes on Chase Anderson on Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).