The window for the Chicago Cubs’ dynasty that never was has now closed, and perhaps no other opponent has played a bigger part in their lack of success since 2017 than the Milwaukee Brewers. Chicago sold off most of their biggest stars at the most recent trade deadline, and the Brewers kicked salt into the wounds of their rivals by completing a four-game series sweep on Thursday in blowout fashion.
One of the few notable Cubs remaining, right-hander Kyle Hendricks, took the mound for the North Side Nine. He has typically pitched well against Milwaukee during his career, but that was not the case during this contest. Both teams put up zeroes in the first inning, then the Brewers got to work in the second. Eduardo Escobar led off with a triple, then scored on a double by Luis Urias (which would be just the start of an historic day for the young infielder). Then, Four-Base Jace Peterson went deep to center field for his 5th home run of the season, bringing the score to 3-0. Manny Pina followed with a single, then even Jackie Bradley, Jr. got in on the action with a base knock of his own. Kolten Wong was hit by a pitch to load the bases after a Brandon Woodruff sac bunt, then Willy Adames singled to drive home a pair and make it 5-0.
The Cubs answered back with a run on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the second, but the Brewers piled on in the middle innings to turn this one into a laugher. In the fifth, Escobar got things started again, this time with a single. Urias doubled to put runners on second and third, then On-Base Jace walked. That brought up the Pineapple, who crushed a grand slam to left to push the lead to 9-1.
More Milwaukee scoring happened in the sixth. Christian Yelich singled with one out, then moved to third on a two-out ground-rule double by Urias. Peterson singled to drive home both runners and make it 11-1, then Manny Pina hit his second homer of the contest, pushing the score to 13-1.
Another inning, another crooked number in the seventh. Kolten Wong walked to lead off, then when Christian Yelich singled with one out, Wong was thrown out trying to get to third base. No matter, as Escobar kept the line moving with a single. That brought up Urias, who slammed a homer to make it a 16-1 ballgame. The Cubs came back with a pair in their half of the seventh, then each team added a single run in the ninth. Milwaukee’s came on a solo home run by Luis Urias, setting a franchise record with his fifth extra-base hit of the game. He drove in five, Manny Pina brought in six, and Jace Peterson had four RBI as the Brewers embarrassed the Cubs with a 17-4 victory.
Brandon Woodruff started but only lasted three innings on 74 pitches, giving up an unearned run on two hits and three walks with three punchies. Daniel Norris allowed two runs and Miguel Sanchez gave up an unearned run in the ninth, while Hunter Strickland, Justin Topa, and Josh Hader each threw scoreless frames. Now with 70 victories on the year, the Brewers head next to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates for a three-game set. Friday’s game one will feature Brett Anderson versus Mitch Keller, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM central.