Winning Pitcher: Jake Arrieta
Losing Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo
HR: Arismendy Alcantara (8)
Well, the first inning for the Brewers didn't result in a run, but it felt like a moral victory as they forced Jake Arrieta to throw 26 pitches. That was after quickly retiring the first two batters. Ryan Braun drew a walk and Aramis Ramiez was hit on the arm. Khris Davis would ultimately ground out to end the inning, but he did stick around for 6 pitches. So yeah, even though they didn't score any runs, it felt like a promising start. Then Gallardo took the mound.
If you remember his last outing, you'll know that entering that game Gallardo was 4 strike outs away from tying Ben Sheets for the franchise record. You'll also remember he didn't get a single K in that game. He got that chip off his shoulder right away issuing a strikeout to the lead off hitter. That's the last good thing that would happen for a while.
Gallardo then walked Javier Baez and gave up a first pitch single to Starlin Castro. Luis Valbuena blooped a single to left driving in the Cubs first run. Jorge Soler stayed hot driving in the Cubs second run. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Starlin Castro unnecessarily slide into home play and rolled his ankle. It looked really ugly but he walked off the field on his own. He did exit the game though. Wellington Castillo came to the plate with runners at first and second with just one out. He grounded right to Elian Herrera. It should have been a double play, but instead it went right through his legs and the Cubs third run scored. Arismendy Alcantara then grounded to first. The throw went to second to get an out there. Then the relay from Herrera went a bit wide of first base and Gallardo was unable to grab it. The Cubs fourth run scored. The next batter popped up to end the inning, but the Cubs found themselves with a healthy 4-0 lead after 1 whole inning.
In total contrast to the first inning, Arrieta faced the minimum. He did walk Lyle Overbay, but as if his fielding errors weren't weighing heavily enough on him, Herrera immediately grounded into an inning ending double play.
Gallardo's second inning wasn't exactly a complete contrast to the first. It was mired by another error, this time by Parra in center. However this time none of it would matter as the Cubs did not score.
The Brewers got a bit of a rally going in the top of the third. Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy both singled with one out. Ryan Braun stood at the plate and the part of my brain that always worries about things was terrified of Braun grounding to SS yet again. This did not happen. Instead he lined a single to right, driving in Gennett and advancing Lucroy to third. Down by 3 runs with Ramirez at the plate Braun got himself thrown out attempting to steal second. Ramirez flew out to end the inning. Had Braun not ran, Lucroy would have scored the second run for the Brewers. Instead they only got the one and the Cubs held onto a 4-1 lead.
Gallardo started the bottom of the third inning with a strike out to Jorge Soler. One more and he'd tie Ben Sheets. He'd get that strike out on the third out of the inning, retiring the Cubs in order.
In the top of the fourth, with a chance to really drive up Arrieta's already high pitch count, the Brewers instead went quickly (6 pitches) and quietly in order.
The Brewers issued a challenge on the first play of the bottom of the fourth. Elian Herrera actually made a great play to knock down a line drive by Chris Valaika, and then a strong throw to first base made it close. The ruling on the field was safe. The review overturned the call and the Brewers had one out. He then walked the opposing pitcher. Wah wah waaaaah... It didn't matter though. He got the next two batters to hit into outs.
Elian Herrera struck out on 5 pitches and Gallardo grounded out on 2 pitches so they were already better off in the fifth inning than the 6 pitch fourth. Gennett flew out on pitch 4 (11th of the inning) and the pitch count would no longer matter. They had a chance to get Arrieta out of the game early, but they blew it.
Gallardo got the first batter to fly out, but Luis Valbuena then double for the Cubs first hit since the second inning. Jorge Soler send one deep and I thought for sure it was going out, but instead it landed in Khris Davis' glove for the second out. Wellington Castillo would also send one deep but not out. It did not land in Davis' glove however. Castillo ended up a second base and another run scored. Arismendy Alcantra would also send one deep. This one did go out. The Cubs took a 7-1 lead.
With two outs, Ramirez hit one through the shift in the top of the sixth. He's make all the way to third base on a line drive double by Khris Davis. Gerardo Parra battled for 8 pitches, but ultimately struck out.
Tom Gorzelanny relieved Gallardo for the sixth inning. He was able to keep the Cubs off the board by pitching around a single.
Wesley Wright relieved Jake Arrieta in the seventh inning. Hector Gomez (pinch hitting for Lyle Overbay) led off the inning in his first at-bat as a brewers. He struck out. Mark Reynolds (pinch hitting for Elian Herrera) grounded out for the second out. Jason Rogers then pinch hit for the pitcher. It was his major league debut (which I've personally been waiting for, for a long time!). He lined a double down the first base line!!! Rickie Weeks kept the pinch hit parade going. Well, he didn't actually get a hit, but he pinch hit for Gennett and...you know what I mean. No, he didn't make an out either! He drew a walk. Yes, that exclamation point for a walk was totally warranted. Give me a break. This was a tough game to get through. Lucroy lined to right, right into Soler's glove to end the threat.
Brandon Kintzler took over in the bottom of the seventh. He got the first batter to fly out before issuing a 4 pitch walk to Jorge Soler. He got Wellington Castillo to accidentally strike out. It was actually pretty funny. He tried to check his swing and get out of the way of the pitch. He ended up falling down and swinging through for the third strike. Kintzler then struck out Alcantara to end the inning.
Brian Schlitter cruised through the eighth inning for the Cubs.
Alfredo Figaro naturally led off the bottom of the eighth inning for the Brewers by giving up a single. Matt Clark made his MLB/Brewers debut at first base. He fielded the first out of the inning (a grounder to first). Figaro ended the inning with back to back outs sending the Brewers to the ninth still just down 7-1.
Kyuji Fujikawa pitched the ninth inning for the Cubs. Gerardo Parra reached on an error to lead off the inning. Hector Gomez struck out and then Mark Reynolds drew a walk to put runners at first and second for Matt Clark's very first major league at-bat. He flew out to shallow center. It was a short at-bat, but his swing looks pretty. I'm excited to see him get more playing time. The game would end on a Rickie Weeks strike out.
The Brewers look to avoid the sweep tomorrow as Matt Garza returns to the mound to face Kyle Hendricks. Start time is 7:05.
- By the time the Brewers game was finished, the Pirates were down by 2 runs to the Cardinals in the ninth inning. The Cardinals started the day 1 game ahead of the Brewers for first place in the NL Central. The Pirates started the day 2 games back of the Brewers and the 2nd Wild Card position.
- Giants came back from a 6-0 deficit to take a 10-7 lead against the Rockies by the time the Brewers finished their horrible, horrible game. Enter today the Giants were 1.5 games up on the Brewers for the 1st Wild Card position.
- It wasn't a no-hitter, but the Phillies shut out the Braves for the second straight game. They remain 1.5 games back of the Brewers and the 2nd Wild Card position.