Justin Steele (2-0, 2.03 ERA) began the season as a reliever but took the mound as a starter against Freddy Peralta (8-3, 2.21 ERA) in the series opener today. Steele was making his first career major league start after being sent down to the minors to stretch out his arm.
The Cubs opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd inning with a two-out, bases-loaded walk by Patrick Wisdom. The Brewers came right back in the top of the 4th with two home runs, resulting in a 3-1 advantage for the visitors.
Steele finished the day with five innings pitched, allowing five hits, three earned runs, and one walk to go with one strikeout.
Milwaukee tacked on a run in the 6th with their third longball of the game. Frank Schwindel doubled in the bottom half of the inning to push across the Cubs’ second run but that’s all the offense they were able to muster, losing by a final of 4-2. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
A lack of production at the plate and a tough 4th inning for Steele resulted in today’s loss.
Down 4-2 in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs loaded the bases with one away but failed to score as the last two batters struck out.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs have lost five in a row and 11 of their last 13.
- The Cubs left 16 men on base and were 2-for-11 with RISP.
- The offense has struck out 26 times in the last two games.
- Ortega went 3-for-4, raising his average to .331 on the season.
Steele had a solid outing overall, especially considering this was his first start in the big leagues. In the future, he’ll have to do a better job of keeping the opponent in the ballpark. If he can do that, the Cubs may have found another long-term member of the rotation.
Alec Mills (5-4, 4.41 ERA) squares off against Aaron Ashby (0-0, 54.00 ERA) in game two of the doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm CT on Marquee, MLB Network, 670 The Score, and WRTO for Spanish speakers.