Another day, another nine inning struggle for the Milwaukee Brewers as they continue to be held down by a dormant offense. Gio Gonzalez started for the Crew today, but was on a short leash after dealing with shoulder issues during his last start. After working around a walk in the first inning, Gonzalez allowed the Cubs to score their first run in the second inning. Javier Baez led off with a triple, then scored on a one-out wild pitch to make it 1-0.
That would be the only run yielded by Gonzalez, who lasted 4.1 innings before getting pulled at 71 pitches. He allowed five hits and walked one while striking out four, but left with his team trailing 1-0. Matt Albers relieved him and delivered 1.2 scoreless innings of middle relief.
The Cubs held on to their one-run lead until the top of the sixth inning. With starter Cole Hamels pinch-hit for after five scoreless frames, David Phelps came out of the bullpen and allowed Lorenzo Cain to reach on an infield single (which was originally ruled out but overturned on replay). Then he walked Christian Yelich before retiring Keston Hiura and Yasmani Grandal. That brought Ryan Braun to the plate, and with two outs, he delivered a run-scoring line drive single to center field to tie the game at one apiece.
Junior Guerra came on with the game tied in the seventh, but Our Hero could not keep the lead intact. He struck out two batters during his inning but allowed the go-ahead home run to Albert Almora, who plopped a 94 MPH fastball on 2-2 into the Wrigley Field home run basket 370 feet away in left field. Freddy Peralta made matters worse in the eighth inning, walking three batters and allowing the North Side Nine to score another two runs on an RBI single by Baez and a sac fly by Almora.
Eric Thames managed a double in the ninth inning off of Craig Kimbrel, but it went for naught as the Cub closer recorded a scoreless inning to secure the 4-1 victory for Chicago. Milwaukee has now lost three games in a row and five of their last six, and haven’t scored the requisite five runs needed to get the 5/$5 burger deal from George Webb’s since back on July 27th.
Our beloved local nine drops to 57-55 on the season, now three games back of the Cubs and Cardinals for the division and 2.5 games out of Wild Card position. They’ll be hoping to salvage tomorrow’s series finale in the Windy City, with Adrian Houser set to face off against Yu Darvish beginning at 1:20 pm central.