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Series Preview #23: Brewers' Best Games Against The Cubs




38-28 (1st place, NL Central)
25-39 (5th place, NL Central)

GAME 1: June 13, 2011 @ 7:05 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

: June 14, 2011 @ 7:05 p.m. CDT

(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

GAME 3: June 15, 2011 @ 7:05 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

GAME 4: June 16, 2011 @ 1:20 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

Wrigley Field   Chicago, Illinois

SBN Coverage: Brewers vs Cubs coverage

A View from the Other Dugout: Bleed Cubbie Blue

Game 1 Randy Wolf (4-4, 3.49) vs. Ryan Dempster (5-5, 5.96)
vs. Cubs (0-1, 3.00) vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)
Game 2 Yovani Gallardo (8-3, 3.96) vs.   Randy Wells (1-1, 6.50)
vs. Cubs (0-0, 7.20) vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)
Game 3 Chris Narveson (3-4, 4.32) vs. Carlos Zambrano (5-3, 4.40)
vs. Cubs (1-0, 0.00) vs. Brewers (1-0, 6.00)
Game 4 Zack Greinke (6-1, 4.69) vs. Matt Garza (2-6, 3.84)
vs. Cubs (0-0, ---) vs. Brewers (0-1, 7.94)


We've already talked to Joe Aiello of View From The Bleachers once this season, so it's time to take a look at Brewer batters' best performances against our neighbors to the south.

5) Rickie Weeks, April 10, 2009: +.551 WPA

The Brewers and Cubs wasted no time heating up their rivalry in 2009, as they played a great game in the Brewers' home opener and fourth game of the season. The Brewers scored runs in the first and third to open up a 2-0 lead, but Braden Looper and Seth McClung allowed the Cubs to claw back into the game and claim a 3-2 lead in the middle innings.

That was all the scoring until Rickie Weeks came up in the ninth with one out to face Cubs' closer Kevin Gregg. Weeks was 0-for-4 on the day at this point but had reached on an error and scored in the first. With Chris Duffy on first base, Weeks doubled to left to drive in the tying run, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Ryan Braun's walkoff fielder's choice to close out a 4-3 victory.

Follow the jump for more!

4) Casey McGehee, April 10, 2011, +.603 WPA

To paraphrase Dante from Clerks, Casey McGehee wasn't even supposed to be here today.

McGehee was hitting .206/.243/.235 entering play on this day, and Craig Counsell started at third base to give the Brewers' everyday third baseman an opportunity to rest and start fresh. What happened instead was probably better.

After going back and forth through the first few innings the Cubs had struck what looked like it might be a fatal blow in the seventh, manufacturing a run to take a 5-4 lead. That was the score when Casey McGehee came to the plate with two outs in the eighth, with Yuniesky Betancourt on second and Kerry Wood on the mound. McGehee took a first pitch ball, then hit the second pitch he saw out to left to give the Brewers a 6-5 win. John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth to record the save.

Here's video of McGehee's shot:


3) Russell Branyan, August 18, 2004: +.686 WPA

Branyan was very good in his two seasons as a Brewer, but by WPA this was his best game. He had only been a Brewer for less than a month, but he entered this game hitting .270/.357/.703 and on this day he made all three numbers go up.

The Brewers' first three runs of the game scored on a Branyan homer off Matt Clement in the third inning, playing Scott Podsednik and Bill Hall. Branyan homered again to tie the game in the eighth, a two run shot off Mike Remlinger to lock up the score at five. That was still the score until the top of the eleventh, when Corey Patterson hit a home run to give the Cubs a 7-5 lead. Branyan legged out a bunt single to open the bottom half, but was stranded on third to end the game.

It was the first of Branyan's three multi-homer games as a Brewer.

2) Casey McGehee, 6/8/2010: +.707 WPA

McGehee never seems to miss a chance to make the Cubs regret getting rid of him.

This one was a pitcher's duel through seven innings, as neither Ted Lilly nor Yovani Gallardo allowed a run to cross the plate. The Cubs finally broke through in the top of the eighth, scoring a run off of Carlos Villanueva, but Corey Hart responded with a solo home run off Ted Lilly in the bottom half of the inning. The Cubs scored another run off John Axford in the top of the ninth, but needed to retire the top of the Brewers' order in the ninth to finish it off and couldn't do it.

Rickie Weeks was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Carlos Gomez tried to bunt him over, but popped it up. After Weeks stole second, Prince Fielder was intentionally walked to bring up Ryan Braun. Braun grounded out, but Weeks and Fielder each moved up ninety feet to set the stage for Casey McGehee, who singled through the middle to score both runs and give the Brewers a 3-2 victory.

1) Geoff Jenkins, September 23, 1998: +.860 WPA

This one probably hurt the Cubs more than it helped the Brewers. The Brewers entered this day 72-85, losers of four straight and with nothing left to play for in their first season in the NL Central. Their new rivals, however, were 88-70 and locked in a three way battle with the Mets and Giants for the NL Wild Card, the only NL playoff spot that hadn't already been decided.

The Cubs had this game in hand early, and were leading 7-0 when the Brewers came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. All the Brewers did was score four in the seventh, another in the eighth and three in the ninth for an 8-7 walkoff victory. Geoff Jenkins didn't have the best of days, but he played a significant part in the Brewer rallies by walking to load the bases for Jose Valentin in the seventh (he doubled to drive home two runs), getting hit by a pitch in the eighth.

Finally, in the ninth Jenkins came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, trailing by two runs. He lofted a fly ball to left...and Brant Brown couldn't make the play, allowing three runs to score and the Brewers to walk off with the win.

I wasn't able to find video of the play, but you can hear Ron Santo's reaction here. The Cubs did eventually win the NL Wild Card, but were swept in the NLDS by the Braves.