WP: Jeremy Jeffress (5-2); LP: Wade Davis (4-2); Save: none; Homeruns: Chi - none, Mil - Orlando Arcia (15), Travis Shaw (31)
This has been as tense a series of games as I’ve ever seen. Four games decided late, and finally one of them went the Brewers’ way. The Brewers fought back against Cubs’ closer Wade Davis to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth (his first blown save of the season) and then beat him in the bottom of the tenth on a two run homer from Travis Shaw, after the Cubs had taken the lead in the top of the tenth for the third straight game.
Milwaukee again took the early lead, going up 1-0 in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Eric Thames off of Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Thames beat the shift with a sharp single to right, driving in Neil Walker (who had singled and taken second on Ryan Braun’s single).
The Cubs knotted things up with a run in the top of the second against Brent Suter, with Wilson Contreras scoring on a two out single by Ian Happ. The Cubs had a couple of bat-handle singles in the inning, a pattern that has been in evidence for all three games of this series. Suter retired Hendricks for the third out on a ball off of his leg, and limped off of the mound.
Then the zeroes happened. Neither team could score for the next five and a half innings. Suter shook off the injury and stuck around into the sixth, giving up six hits and no walks, striking out two. Hendricks finished six innings, allowing eight hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth. Jacob Barnes worked a scoreless seventh, but gave up a double to Happ leading of the next inning. Jason Heyward walked, and Anthony Swarzak took over for Barnes. John Jay bunted the runners over, and Kris Bryant drove in the lead run with a sacrifice fly.
The Brewers went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, and Junior Guerra took the ninth for Milwaukee. He fanned two in an easy inning, and Milwaukee faced a one run deficit into the bottom of the ninth against Davis, who has been lights out all season.
This time, though, Orlando Arcia lined an 0-1 pitch down the leftfield line just fair to tie the game at 2-2 with nobody out. Davis retired the next three with no problem.
Jeremy Jeffress had the tenth, an inning that has been unkind to the Brewers in this series. Once again, Chicago scored, as Ian Happ walked on four pitches leading off the inning. Heyward had a sac bunt, and a single from John Jay put the Cubs ahead 3-2. Jeffress worked through the remainder of the inning with no more runs allowed.
Davis only needed seven pitches to end the game in the bottom of the tenth, but not in a good way. It took just three pitches to strike out Walker, but Ryan Braun doubled to right to put the tying run in scoring position, and Shaw hit his biggest homer of the season with a drive into the Brewers’ bullpen in leftcenter. That was as big a homer as has been hit by a Brewer...maybe. Kinda depends on how the rest of the season goes.
The Pirates scored eight in the bottom of the first and lead the Cards 8-3 in the third. The Rockies are in San Diego later. The Brewers (82-73) try and gain a split in the series tomorrow afternoon against Chicago (86-68). The Cubs will go with Jose Quintana (10-11, 4.27) and Milwaukee counters with Chase Anderson (10-3, 2.74). Milwaukee will hopefully be back in second, 4½ back of the Cubs, and a game back of the Rockies. But that second part is perhaps wishful thinking.