If Lorenzo Cain hits like this after a few days off, there’ll probably be more off days in his future.
After missing a few games with a sore oblique — that’ll happen when you’re closing in on 35 — Cain proved to be the difference for the Brewers with the bat, powering them to a 4-2 win in Wednesday’s series finale against the Cubs by accounting for all of the team’s runs on a pair of homers in the late innings.
For the first 2/3 of the game, it appeared the story would be Brandon Woodruff. For the second time in the season’s first week, a Brewers pitcher took a no-hitter into the 7th inning. With today’s outing by Woodruff and Corbin Burnes’ debut last Saturday, it’s apparently the first time that’s ever happened to start an MLB season.
The Brewers became the first team with 2 no-hit bids of 6+ innings in the first 6 games of a season since the 1990 Padres after Brandon Woodruff did not allow a hit in the first 6 innings today at Wrigley. pic.twitter.com/N17ncp3jcb— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 7, 2021
Maybe even more impressive than the 6 hitless innings by Woodruff was the efficiency — while he was carving up the Cubs with strikeouts, he made it through the first 6 innings on just 55 pitches.
Ian Happ broke up the no-hitter with a leaoff single through the shift in the bottom of the 7th, but Woodruff was able to work out of the jam to keep the game scoreless.
Woodruff found himself in another pitching duel as eternal Brewer Killer Kyle Hendricks once again kept putting up zeroes on the other side, throwing six shutout innings.
But it was Cain who broke the scoreless tie in the 8th inning with a leadoff home run onto Waveland Ave. off of Alec Mills, who threw a no-hitter against the Brewers last year.
Unfortunately, that lead wouldn’t last long, as Devin Williams showed a rare moment of humanity in giving up a moonshot of a leadoff home run to another noted Brewer Killer in Joc Pederson, tying the game at 1.
Williams was able to get out of the rest of the inning without further damage and Josh Hader pitched a scoreless 9th inning to get the game to extra innings.
That’s when Cain would strike again, hitting a go-ahead 3-run bomb after Dan Vogelbach started the inning with a pinch-hit single.
A three-run lead proved to be useful going into the bottom of the 10th, when J.P. Feyereisen was called on to get the final three outs, but couldn’t quite get there. After getting the first two outs, Feyereisen gave up an RBI single to Jason Heyward to cut the lead to 4-2, then walked pinch-hitters Willson Contreras and Jake Marisnick to load the bases.
That forced Craig Counsell to pull him and put in Brad Boxberger, who got Ian Happ to fly out to Christian Yelich to end the game.
While Cain and Woodruff were the big stories, Yelich also had himself quite a day, breaking out of a perceived early-season slump with 3 hits (including a double), a walk and a stolen base on top of a nice sliding catch to preserve Woodruff’s no-hitter earlier in the game.
The Brewers are now at .500 through their first two series of the 2021 season and will now head off to St. Louis for three day games over the next four days.