WP: Jason Hammel (6-3)
LP: Wily Peralta (4-5)
HR: Anthony Rizzo (9,10)
MVP: Scooter Gennett (+.038)
LVP: Wily Peralta (-.146)
It seems like Wily Peralta can't catch a break lately. That trend continued today.
The game started off well enough for Peralta. He easily went through the Cubs batting order the first time around, retiring all nine batters in a row. However, in the second inning, play stopped as Ron Roenicke & the trainers went out to look at Peralta, noticing something from the dugout. After the game, it was revealed that Peralta was feeling some tightness in his back. He stayed in the game and pitched through it, and said after the game that it didn't affect him at all. However, it wasn't long after this that things started to unravel.
In the fourth inning, Emilio Bonifacio walked to lead off the inning. On the next play, Junior Lake grounded out, but on the play the Brewers tried to turn a double play. However, the umpire ruled that Bonifacio was safe on the front end, and the call was upheld on a challenge. Then, Anthony Rizzo followed that up with a two-run home run to put the Cubs up 2-0. Peralta then walked Starlin Castro and got a fielder's choice groundout from Nate Schierholtz, and Jonathan Lucroy caught Schierholtz trying to steal to the end the inning.
Peralta got through the next inning with no problem, retiring the three batters on twelve pitches. In the sixth, he allowed a leadoff single to Jason Hammel, then got a fly out and a strike out for the first two outs. Anthony Rizzo then followed up with his second home run of the game, a two-run shot to put the Cubs up 4-0. Starlin Castro followed that with a double and Nate Schierholtz walked, and that ended the day for Peralta. Zach Duke came in to replace Peralta, and couldn't strand those inherited runners. He allowed hits to the first three hitters he faced before ending the inning with a strikeout, and the Cubs had a 7-0 lead. Peralta ended the day with 5 2/3 innings pitched, six runs allowed, five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. It was easily his worst start of the season.
Zach Duke returned to work the seventh inning and pitched a clean inning. Wei-Chung Wang then came in for the second straight day. He pitched a perfect eighth inning, then allowed a triple and a single in the ninth to increase the Cubs lead to 8-0. That would be the final margin for the game.
The Brewers never put together any kind of offensive threat in this game. They scattered four hits throughout the game, two of those coming from Scooter Gennett. They also didn't draw a walk in the game and struck out eleven times. You can attribute some of that to a good start by Jason Hammel (who pitched seven scoreless innings with four hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts), and I'm sure that the team could talk about the difficulty hitting during a day game again. However, it looked like they were reverting to some of the habits that they had just broke out of.
This game also continued a trend of low run support for Peralta. He hasn't won a decision since May 2, and entering today, had the lowest run support of any of the starters at 2.9 runs per start. Yovani Gallardo gets slightly more support with 3.0 per start, then Matt Garza gets an average of 4.6 runs per start, and Kyle Lohse and Marco Estrada average around 5 runs per start. He also didn't get support from the bullpen, who allowed his two inherited runners to score and tack on a few extra runs to his line.
The Brewers can get back on track tomorrow in the rubber match of the series. They'll have a tough time doing it as they will have to face Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija. For the Brewers, Kyle Lohse will make the start. First pitch is at 1:10 pm.