WP: Wily Peralta (7-10); LP: Kyle Hendrix (15-8); Save Tyler Thornburg (11); Homeruns: Mil, Chris Carter (36); Chi, none
Wily Peralta had traffic on the bases behind him all day, but made big pitches when he had to. He ended up going six innings with one earned run allowed (that earned status was a gift), with nine hits allowed, one walk, and five strikeouts.
The Cubs lone run came on a two out dumper into left center from Tommy La Stella with Javier Baez on first. Domingo Santana, playing center (with Michael Reed in left...not sure why Craig Counsell used that alignment), over-ran the ball and it skipped past him. By the time Reed got the ball back into the infield Baez had scored, and La Stella was at second. Dexter Fowler grounded to Scooter Gennett on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.
The Brewer bullpen then took over, with Carlos Torres throwing two quick, perfect innings, and Tyler Thornburg again working through the heart of the Cubs line-up for a save. Thornburg was charged with a hit batter when an up and in pitch hit off of the bottom of Javier Baez’ bat. Even a replay couldn’t change the Cubs’ good fortune. Pinch hitter Chris Coghlan grounded to Chris Carter at first with Baez taking second, and Dexter Fowler worked the count to 3-2 before a fastball on the inside corner was called ball four.
That set up Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo as the potential winning runs. Against Bryant, Thornburg went curve for a called strike one, ball on a curve, fastball swinging for strike two, and a perfect curve for a swinging strike three. Rizzo took a curve for strike one, a fastball looking for strike two, and another perfect curve at the shoetops for strike three swinging and Tyler’s eleventh save of the season.
Cubs’ ace #2 Kyle Hendricks struck out the side in the top of the first, but Hernan Perez led off the second by golfing a low change-up into shallow left for a single. Santana struck out on a Hendricks fastball that tailed over the outside corner. Perez stole second with Orlando Arcia at the plate, then took third on Arcia’s slow roller to short. Martin Maldonado slapped the same fastball that caught Santana looking into right center on a 2-1 pitch, and the Brewers were up 1-0. Michael Reed singled to right on a 1-1 pitch, and Peralta drove home Maldy on a line single to center.
Hendricks allowed no more runs in four more innings, allowing two doubles (Arcia, Gennett). The Crew’s final run came on an eithth inning towering flyball homerun down the leftfield line from Carter, pulling him with two of the league lead.
The Brewers finished the series by defeating Jake Arietta and Kyle Hendrix. They have now matched their win total from 2015 with 12 games remaining this year.
After an off day, the Brewers begin their final homestand of the season. The Pirates (74-75) send Steven Brault (0-3, 3.90) against the Brewers (68-82), who counter with Matt Garza (5-7, 4.22). This will be my last live game of the season; I’m expecting a relaxed atmosphere at the old (new?) ball yard.