As the Brewers prepare for the postseason, they called up Eric Lauer to get the start against the Cubs. Lauer hasn’t pitched since May 20 due to a shoulder injury. He would go against an offense that was red hot to start the second half of the season, but then went cold as they fought for their playoff lives. On Saturday, the Cubs needed a win and a Marlins loss to keep their playoff hopes alive.
They were off to a hot start against the rusty Lauer. The Cubs put up a six spot in the top of the first inning, highlighted by a leadoff home run from Christopher Morel that went off the X Golf windows in left field. Lauer would be in there to take up innings. A grand slam by Yan Gomes gave the Cubs five runs before the second out, while the final run of the inning came on a Patrick Wisdom home run.
The Brewers did provide Lauer with some much-needed support. They only needed two innings to tie the game at 6-6. Home runs from Blake Perkins and Carlos Santana highlighted the comeback effort. Through two innings, the two teams had combined for 12 runs, 10 hits, and five home runs.
Lauer continued to struggle to keep the Cubs off the scoreboard. After a clean third, he allowed two more runs in the fourth. This scoring surge was due to five hits, two of which were doubles, to extend the lead to 8-6. His night would be done after four innings, ending a frustrating season for the left-hander.
Both teams went to their bullpen early, each with varying results. The Cubs’ bullpen helped calm the game down, as they allowed six hits and zero runs between Hayden Wesneski, Javier Assad, and Jameson Taillon. Meanwhile, the Brewers bullpen saw the game get away from them. They went deeper into their ‘pen to give some guys some work before Tuesday. High-leverage guys such as Hoby Milner, Joel Payamps, and Devin Williams all saw some action. The bullpen gave up two runs on four hits in five innings of work.
The Cubs would go on to win 10-6, but they would see their playoff hopes get dashed before the final out. The Marlins defeated the Pirates 7-3 Saturday night, clinching a playoff birth and officially eliminating the Cubs. As the Brewers head into their final game of the season, they are projected to go up against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who also clinched on Saturday, in the Wild Card round, although it could be a Marlins-Brewers matchup if Arizona wins and Miami loses Sunday.