Despite some clutch hits, the Cubs dropped their fourth straight and second in as many nights to Milwaukee in an exciting back-and-forth game that ended up 6-4. The Cubs hadn’t had much luck against Corbin Burnes in two previous starts and did strike out 11 times again in this one, but they were scrappy and scratched together three runs against him.
After Justin Steele spotted the Brew Crew one early tally on a Manny Piña solo shot, the Cubs went to work on Burnes. With the bases loaded in the 3rd inning, Willson Contreras put the visitors on the board by knocking in Steele, who had collected his first MLB hit earlier in the inning with a sharp single up the middle.
Eduardo Escobar nicked Steele with another solo shot, then Ian Happ gave the Cubs the lead in the top of the 5th with an absolute bomb to center after Frank Schwindel had singled in front of him. Alas, the lead did not last long at all when Adbert Alzolay came on in relief in the bottom of the inning and gave up a run on a Luis Urias knock to score Christian Yelich. Alzolay gave up yet another single run in the bottom of the 6th on the Brewers’ third solo home run of the game, a Jace Peterson dinger to make it 4-3 Brewers.
Contreras tied it up in the 7th when he destroyed a Brad Boxberger pitch to left-center, after which Scott Effross gave up two more, including the Brewers’ fourth solo shot of the game. The Cubs did mount an almost real rally against Josh Hader in the top of the 9th, but things deflated when Contreras was called out on a 3-2 pitch and was subsequently tossed from the game before Patrick Wisdom struck out. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Brewers were just a little bit better, probably why they’ve clinched a trip to the playoffs and the Cubs, well, haven’t.
While Piña’s bombs were big, the called third strike to Contreras in the 9th felt like the game-changer as the Cubs were mounting a legit rally against a guy who’s tough to do that against. While it looked like it caught the inside corner, Piña’s frame job was awful and looked even worse on multiple replays.
Stats That Matter
- Happ was 3-for-5 with another home run and continues to crush the ball. His average is all the way up to .224 after sitting at just .176 on August 15.
- The Cubs struck out 17 times, which actually isn’t that much of a surprise anymore, especially considering they had to face Burnes and Hader.
- At 66-83 on the season, the Cubs are squarely situated in the 8th draft spot for 2022.
After winning seven in a row, the Cubs have now dropped eight of 10 and are struggling to find a way to win despite holding leads in many of those games. Time to start a new winning streak tomorrow in Milwaukee.
Adrian Sampson takes the ball against Eric Lauer Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. Game time is 1:10pm CT and will be broadcast on Marquee and 670 The Score.