The Milwaukee Brewers won their third straight on a rainy Chicago afternoon Friday, doubling up the Cubs 6-3 with just a little help from the home team.
The pitching matchup was one in which neither side had cause to expect much magic: Eddie Butler was making his second start for the Cubs, and 30-year-old Paolo Espino was making his MLB debut for Milwaukee. Here's the chart:
[FanGraphs' WPA scoreboard is frozen in the top of the first, so imagine an interesting squiggly line here that veers south for good right around the fourth inning.]
Rain, rain, went away: Jett Bandy (2x3, 2 BB, 2 RBI)
Came again another day: Jonathan Villar (0x5, R)
The Brewers struck early against Butler, taking advantage of his inability to find the strike zone to cash in for two runs after walking the bases loaded. Butler managed to get only nine outs, issuing five free passes and three strikeouts.
Espino didn’t exactly dazzle in his MLB debut, though mitigating circumstances (he was facing the World Champions; it was a sloppy, rainy game) must be acknowledged. He went four innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and striking out three.
A two hour rain delay split the game in two in the top of the sixth, and it almost certainly should have been paused earlier given the conditions. A double error from Kyle Schwarber which placed runners on second third finally forced the umpires' hand, and the game, potentially official, was paused with the Brewers clinging to a 4-3 lead.
While we wouldn't have minded having the game called, Domingo Santana cashed in those Badger Mutuals when play resumed with a two-run single to cap the scoring.
Carlos Torres pitched a relatively clean ninth to notch his first save of the season, but the reliever of note was Wily Peralta, who made his first appearance out of the bullpen since his major league debut. He flashed the potential he possesses as a relief ace with a pair of hitless innings, flirting with triple digits and striking out five of the seven batters he faced.
On Deck: The Brewers and Cubs play the second of three 1:20 pm games tomorrow at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta, who has struggled to keep the ball in the yard this season, takes the hill for the Cubs opposing Chase Anderson for Milwaukee. They'll try to break the pattern of winning the first game of the series then dropping two to the Cubs, which they've done twice this season.