WP: Jose Quintana (13-9); LP: Jhoulys Chacin (14-7); Save: Pedro Strop (13); Homeruns: none
a vewy, vewy quiet Box Score
Well, that was anticlimactic.
The Chicago Cubs (84-60) and Milwaukee Brewers (83-63) matched up with in a good, old fashioned pitchers’ duel at Wrigley Field, and Cubs’ starter Jose Quintana out-dueled Brewers’ righty Jhoulys Chacin for a 3-0 victory. Each team had just three hits, but the Cubs got two from Victor Caratini that drove in runs while Milwaukee couldn’t produce any, but to be fair they only had scoring chances in two of their nine innings.
Chacin may have deserved a better fate, but he did contribute to his own troubles. The Cubs scored their first two runs in the bottom of the second on one hit. It started with a routine roller by Ben Zobrist towards the normal second base spot, but Jonathan Schoop was shifted well back and on his charge the ball went under his glove for an error. Zobrist stole second, and then Chacin walked Javy Baez (not an easy thing to do). Tommy La Stella’s topped ground ball was the first out of the inning but advanced both runners.
Then, for the second night in a row, a Brewer pitcher threw a pick-off attempt at second into centerfield. This time it allowed Zobrist to score and sent Baez to third. The Crew elected to play the infield in and Caratini’s soft liner just tipped off of Schoop’s glove for a base hit to plate Baez. It would have been an easy out with the infield back, but as the Brewers never scored any runs it turned out not to matter.
Jhoulys finished with five innings pitched with just one hit allowed, two runs (one earned), one walk, and five k’s.
Milwaukee went nine up and nine down to start the game against Quintana, but Lorenzo Cain singled leading off the fourth. Pitching from the stretch for the first time, Q walked Yelich on five pitches to put two on, then fell behind 3-0 to Jesus Aguilar. The count went full, though, and Zeus took a called strike three. He wasn’t happy with the call (to put it mildly), but it was a strike. Ryan Braun drilled a liner to right but it was right at Zobrist for out number two, and Schoop popped to short to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Quintana started to show a few cracks. Aguilar singled to right to lead off the inning, and with two down Travis Shaw worked a walk to put two on. Craig Counsell opted for Hernan Perez to hit for Erik Kratz and LBR chopped a slow roller that bounced over Q’s head and to a charging Daniel Murphy, and his throw to first resulted in an out call. Perez immediately signaled for a challenge, and the call was over-turned, but if Hernan runs through the bag the call becomes much easier. Perhaps somebody should communicate that to him.
Joe Maddon went with another lefty, Justin Wilson, to face Orlando Arcia, but the Brewers countered with Manny Pina. It wasn’t a fair match as Manny took two inside fastballs for strikes and then fanned on an outside heater. Inning over, still 2-0.
Xavier Cedeno had the sixth and had a 1-2-3 frame, but Brandon Woodruff gave up a two out double to Caratini on a full count pitch, with La Stella running, for his second RBI of the night...and the only two RBI of the game. 3-0 Chicago.
Maddon liked what he had seen with his southpaws so much that he went with another (Jorge de la Rosa) for the eighth, and the ex-Brewer had a 1-2-3 inning.
In the bottom half, CC looked like he wanted to get three guys some work who either hadn’t pitched well in a while some work. Dan Jennings got Murphy on a bloop to shallow left on a nice running catch by Shaw; Taylor Williams struck out Bryant; and Junior Guerra struck out Rizzo. Maybe the Brewers could be the first team to have a twenty-seven man perfect game. They could! They’d have to adjust the 40 man, but just keep 13 offensive players and 27 pitchers! Voila!
Pedro Strop put up a three up, three down ninth for his thirteenth save.
So the rubber match of the series comes tomorrow night, with the Cubs and Brewers facing off for the last time in the regular season. Either the Crew will leave Wrigley a game back with their seventh straight series win, or three back with that streak broken. Chase Anderson (9-7, 3.95) will get the start for Milwaukee, and for the first time in six games between the two squads a righty will start for Chicago. Kyle Hendricks (12-11, 3.71) looks to push the Brewers further back.
- In the Cubs two run second Tommy La Stella struck out but left the plate yelling at home plate ump Eric Cooper that he had hit Erik Kratz’s glove. It wasn’t called, and replays seemed to show that the bat didn’t hit the glove. Not sure what La Stella hit, or if he didn’t what he felt.
- Lo Cain had a great running catch on a drive to the warning track in left center by Kris Bryant in the third inning. Cain was shaded to right and it looked like he didn’t have a chance, but he back-handed the ball just off the ground for the inning’s second out.
- Brewer pitchers combined to retire fifteen straight after Caratini’s RBI single in the second until Baez’ one out single in the seventh.
- The Brewers have now been shut out eleven times this season, but that’s the first since the All Star break. The Cubs have shut them out six times.