Orlando Arcia had three hits tonight. Unfortunately the rest of Milwaukee Brewers went 0 for 28. Quite possibly the best and most impressive Opening Day starting pitching performance in MLB for 2020 occurred at Wrigley Field in the form of Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks had Brewers’ hitters off balance all evening. By the end of the night, Hendricks had a complete game shutout under his belt. Over the nine innings pitched, he struck out nine Brewers. He mowed down the middle of Milwaukee’s lineup striking out Christian Yelich, Keston Hiura, and Justin Smoak two times a piece. He went to a three ball count only three times all night.
Brandon Woodruff got the Opening Day nod for the Brew Crew, and he pitched relatively well. He covered five innings and struck out five. His fastball was clocking at 99 mph, and overall he was dealing. He made just one mistake to Ian Happ. Happ crushed a 96 mph fastball that Woodruff wanted to locate somewhere other than he did. The result was a 2-run bomb that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Craig Counsell used four relievers to get through this one. Alex Claudio had to face three hitters. Bobby Wahl only had to throw one pitch to end the sixth inning. Corey Knebel pitched well as he took the bottom of the seventh.
The three batter minimum rule did impact the Brewers a little in this one. With Anthony Rizzo coming to the plate, Counsell would certainly go to the pen for a lefty if it were 2019. Unfortunately, J.P. Feyereisen had faced only two hitters, so the Brewers had to keep the right-hander in to face one of the most dangerous left-handed hitters in the game. The result was a solo shot ripped into into the right field seats.
This was not the Brewers’ night. Hopefully things will change tomorrow afternoon. Yu Darish takes the mound for the Cubs. Corbin Burnes will get the start for the Brewers. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 CT at Wrigley Field. The game can be heard on WTMJ 620, and Fox will have the coverage on national television.