Turns out the Cubs really needed the extra off day.
A day after calling a game early for rain -- only for no rain to fall -- the Chicago Cubs woke up on Sunday to beat the Brewers, 13-6. It's just the third time this year the Brewers have lost in blowout fashion (5+ runs).
Roughly a year ago, Chase Anderson took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the Cubs in Wrigley Field. Today, well, that didn't happen.
After the Brewers wasted a leadoff double by Jonathan Villar in the top half of the first, Ben Zobrist greeted Anderson with a no-doubt home run. It was just the start of Anderson's struggle with command, especially in the first inning. Kyle Schwarber followed the home run with a walk and Kris Bryant singled before Ian Happ clubbed a double off the top of the wall to drive in a second run. Another walk to Jason Heyward drew a first-inning coaching visit to the mound, before Willson Contreras flew out (but brought in a third run on the sacrifice fly) and Addison Russell lined out to end the inning.
The relentless Cubs lineup just kept going from there. Kris Bryant hit his first of two home runs of the day off of Anderson in the bottom of the 3rd inning, and Russell drove in a run of his own with an RBI double in the bottom of the 4th.
Anderson would end up pitching only 4+ innings, getting lifted in the 5th in favor of Rob Scahill after giving up the second home run to Bryant to make the score 6-1. He ended with a rather ugly line of 4 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB and only 2 K on a day where the wind was blowing out at Wrigley. His ERA is up to 4.25 on the season following his recent rough stretch of starts.
Offensively, the Brewers struggled to do much of anything against Jake Arrieta, despite the former Cy Young winner continuing to not have his best stuff. Arrieta uncorked three wild pitches during his 6 innings, but it turns out he was effectively wild against the Brewers, striking out 6 and allowing just one unearned run. The lone Brewers run against Arrieta was scored in the top of the 5th, when Eric Thames drove in Orlando Arcia on a groundout. Because nothing seemed to go right for the Brewers today, Thames also cramped up while trying to leg out the play and had to be pulled from the game.
Brewers didn't get a hit with a runner on base -- or even more than one hit in an inning until the 8th, when Jett Bandy and Keon Broxton singled in back-to-back at-bats. Unfortunately, that would be the end of the mini-rally, as Arcia grounded out to end the inning.
The Brewers managed to cut down the deficit a little in the 9th inning, with Jesus Aguilar driving in a run on an RBI double and the returning Ryan Braun adding another run on a jammed RBI groundout. Travis Shaw followed with his 9th ding dong of the season, a two-run shot to make it 13-5. Keon Broxton also got into the action, blooping a double in right to drive in a run leading to the final 13-6 score.
This game also featured 5 hit batters -- Jett Bandy and Jesus Aguilar for the Brewers and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant twice for the Cubs -- but none on either side looked to be intentional. Maybe just something to keep in mind as the two teams continue to keep trading shots in the media.
The loss puts a damper on what was otherwise a very successful road trip for the Brewers, who are now 25-19 on the year. They have Monday off before starting a quick two-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, finishing off the second half of their four-game home-and-home season series.