A first-inning injury to Brett Anderson derailed the Brewers’ chances in Friday’s I-94 rivalry.
After Wilson Contreras grounded out to third, Anderson allowed three straight hits, two of them doubles. When four-spot hitter David Bote came to the plate, Milwaukee was already 0-1 with only one out and runners at the corners. Anderson came off his first delivery to Bote in obvious pain. He initially left the game with right knee discomfort, which Anderson later clarified was a hamstring injury.
Not the way you want to start 17 games in 17 days. Brett Anderson is leaving the game with a leg injury after four batters and one out.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 23, 2021
Brett Anderson said his injury is actually a hamstring. He's going for an MRI.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 23, 2021
Josh Lindblom had to pitch on no preparation and was...obviously not ready. He allowed the next four batters to reach on three hits, including two doubles, before he finally struck out pitcher Kyle Hendricks and Wilson Contreras. If the roster conundrum resulting from Anderson’s early injury wasn’t enough, it took Lindblom 27 pitches to get two outs and end the first inning with the Cubs up 0-6.
Kyle Hendricks came back and put a 1-2-3 zero on the board, and Josh Lindblom returned to give up back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches to Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez to bring the Cubs up 0-8.
"This is getting ugly," Rock says as Rizzo and Báez demolish consecutive cutters from Josh Lindblom to make it 8-0 with one out in the second inning. pic.twitter.com/dEFCiJTNwe— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 23, 2021
Jason Heyward triple scored David Bote, who had previously walked. 0-9, 1 out. Jake Marisnick grounded out for another precious out but drove in Heyward. 0-10, 2 outs. The inning finally ended with Lindblom at 54 pitches. Lindblom gave up six hits across the two innings, allowed seven runs (all earned), walked three, and struck out three.
Lindblom got settled in the third and only allowed one hit in the inning but gave up another home run, this time to Jake Marisnick, in the fourth. Drew Rasmussen replaced Josh Lindblom in the fifth, allowed a walk and a hit but retired the next three batters to put up a scoreless inning.
Kolten Wong looked healthy and sharp in his first game off the IL. In his first at-bat, he hit a line-drive single to the gap in center field and promptly stole second. In his second at-bat, he hit another liner into center. In his third at-bat in the sixth, he homered to right-center.
The comeback starts one run at a time. pic.twitter.com/HDm4VJ5y0F— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 23, 2021
Billy McKinney followed up with a homer of his own, going back-to-back with Wong. The two homers would be the only run-scoring hits of the day.
Angel Perdomo came on in the bottom of the sixth, and the Cubs came back to answer for the Brewers’ scant offensive production in the top of the inning. Perdomo gave up his first runs of the season in a big way. The first two batters he faced reached on a walk and hit by pitch. Austin Romine doubled to drive in a run and put two runners in scoring position. Wilson Contreras homered to clear those bases and bring the Cubs up 2-15. Eric Yardley, helped out by a double play, put up a scoreless 1-2-3 seventh inning. The bottom of the eighth went to position player Daniel Robertson who also framed a scoreless inning.
Kolten Wong was obviously feeling good in his return, but Luis Urías also looked healthy in his first game since exiting Monday’s Padres game with a calf cramp. He couldn’t get any hits to fall, but only the expert fielding of Jason Heyward kept him from a couple of extra-base hits.
Over 162 games, some will be like this.