The Brewers came out swinging today, scoring five runs in the first inning. After Ryan Braun doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, Prince Fielder was intentionally walked to load the bases. Casey McGehee followed with a two-run single that bounced off the second base bag. Mike Hammerin' promptly made it 5-0 with a three-run shot to left center. It was the first time Rich Harden allowed five runs in an inning since August 9, 2005. The Brewers kept scoring, knocking Harden out in the 3rd with a 7-0 lead. It was Harden's shortest major league start.
Casey McGehee had four hits, falling a double short of the cycle. His home run in the sixth inning was a mammoth blast that traveled out of the park over left center. J.J. Hardy also homered. Corey Hart and Ryan Braun chipped in doubles while the team combined for fourteen hits and five walks.
Braden Looper was shaky to start and his defense didn't help. A Corey Hart error in the first led to a bases loaded situation that wound up scoreless after an Alfonso Soriano groundout. A couple slick double plays and conservative basecoaching by Cubs 3rd base coach Mike Quade kept the Cubs scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd innings despite iffy defense at third. Milton Bradley hit a two-run homer in the fourth to put the Cubs on the board, but Looper then settled down and went six for his third straight quality start. Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey, and Chris Narveson each pitched a scoreless inning to finish the victory.
Have a happy rest of the Fourth, party safe, and enjoy fireworks tonight.