Before making their way down south to Houston, Texas, the Chicago Cubs had some unfinished business in Milwaukee. However, it did not go according to plan. They would lose the series finale, keeping the magic number at nine.
It’s not like the Brewers (62-77) went out and brutalized the Chicago Cubs (89-50) in tonight’s game. Milwaukee had better pitching tonight and received a spectacular play by center fielder Keon Broxton in the ninth inning. But first, let’s run through the early stages.
While Mike Montgomery was dealing on the mound, the Cubs were having trouble figuring out former right-hander, Matt Garza. Garza struggled in his previous start against his former team but tonight was the complete opposite.
In six innings of work, Garza (5-6, 4.36 ERA) held Chicago to one earned run on three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who nearly took the day off, went yard on Garza in the sixth. Rizzo loves hitting at Miller Park. Having 13 career home runs in that stadium is impressive, to say the least.
He nearly had himself another big fly that would have tied the game in the ninth. This is where Broxton comes into the picture. Broxton made his way near the fence out in left center, making a perfectly timed jump to rob him of a solo home run.
A long ball that could have turned things around and led to Aroldis Chapman taking over on the bump. However, it did not work out that way as the Cubs went down in order.
Former Houston Astros infielder Jonathan Villar made Cubs pitchers miserable over the course of this series. Villar ended Tuesday’s game 3-for-5 with a home run, triple, and a RBI. Tonight, he went 2-for-4 and accounted for both of Milwaukee’s runs.
He took Montgomery (4-5, 2.74 ERA) deep in the fourth inning. And later jumped all over Joe Smith in the eighth. As a result, Smith was not too happy with himself while Villar trotting to home plate.
One major downside to tonight’s game was the fact that Justin Grimm had to leave due to an illness. Which is a relief considering the injuries that this bullpen has sustained this season — especially the past few months.
After the game wrapped, skipper Joe Maddon explained why Grimm was pulled from the game, saying, “I didn’t want him to soil himself on the mound.” Pretty understandable and we should expect Grimm to rest up over the next couple of days.
With that being said, the Chicago Cubs will take tomorrow off while traveling to Houston, Texas to take on the Astros. Like the Cubs, Houston has had to deal with or are currently going through injuries with some key players.
For instance, both shortstop Carlos Correa and southpaw Dallas Keuchel are out with shoulder inflammation. Keuchel is the reigning American League Cy Young and it’s a tad disappointing to see him in this position.
I was hoping to witness last year’s Cy Young recipients going head-to-head. Looks like we’re going to have to wait to see that matchup. Hopefully, they will clash within the next couple of years with both teams surging for the postseason yet again.
In conclusion, tonight’s loss will motivate this team to close in on that magic number countdown starting this weekend. They are going to need to bring their a-game against their former National League Central rivals.
Due to FOX picking up Saturday’s game and ESPN picking up Sunday’s, Len and JD will not have the call for the final two games. Rather than calling the television play-by-play, they will more than likely make a radio appearance with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.