On this day in 1997 the American League Brewers opened an interleague series in Chicago, beating the Cubs 4-2 at Wrigley Field. Jose Valentin went 2-for-4 with a homer and drove in three runs in the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
The Brewers and Cubs met three times as interleague opponents that season (with the Cubs taking two of three) before the Brewers moved to the NL Central in 1998. All told the two teams have met 240 times, with the Brewers leading the all-time series 122-118. Here are some fun facts about the series:
- Ryan Braun has 127 career hits against the Cubs, making him the only Brewer with more than 100.
- Prince Fielder took Cub pitchers deep 22 times during his time as a Brewer, narrowly edging out Jeromy Burnitz (21) for first place on that list.
- Ben Sheets pitched 27 games against the Cubs, including a 12 strikeout performance in a 1-0 win in 2004.
- The Brewers have two complete game shutout wins against the Cubs in franchise history, and Chris Capuano has both of them. Both came in 2006.
- Carlos Zambrano leads all Cubs with 13 career wins against the Brewers. Sammy Sosa leads all Cubs with 117 hits in the all-time series, but Aramis Ramirez is second with 105. Sosa's 41 home runs against the Crew almost doubled up second place (Derrek Lee had 24).
These two teams have already met five times this season, with the Brewers leading the series 4-1. They next meet at Miller Park on June 25.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- Jonathan Lucroy, who turns 27. We covered his birthday in this space two years ago.
- 2002 Brewer Ben Diggins, who turns 34.
- 1984-85 Brewer Bobby Clark, who turns 58.
- Seattle Pilot Billy Williams, who turns 80.