The Chicago Cubs witnessed firsthand last week how well Yovani
Gallardo has been pitching lately, then got a reminder of how the
Milwaukee Brewers have dominated them for most of the season in
Monday’s series opener.
Gallardo looks to win his sixth straight start while leading
Milwaukee to its seventh consecutive victory over Chicago when the
teams meet Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers have won 11 of 14 matchups with the Cubs in 2012
following a 15-4 rout in the opener, as they scored nine
ninth-inning runs with the help of back-to-back-to-back homers from
Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart.
Ramirez, who is 8 for 16 with eight RBIs over his last four
games, also homered in the fifth against his former team and Braun
finished 4 for 6 with five RBIs for Milwaukee (60-67), which has
won six of its last seven overall.
“(Ramirez is) hitting the ball every night,” manager Ron
Roenicke said. “He’s hitting the ball. It’s fun to watch.”
The Brewers will look to stay hot with help from Gallardo (13-8,
3.62 ERA), who has a 2.02 ERA during his winning streak, pitching
at least seven innings in each. The Cubs were the latest victims,
as Gallardo allowed solo homers to David DeJesus and Bryan LaHair
but just two other hits over seven innings in a 3-2 win Wednesday
at Miller Park.
The right-hander managed to stay focused for that outing despite
attending to his ill mother earlier that week.
“It’s not easy for anybody,” Gallardo said. “You’ve just got to
be tough. You’ve got to be tough and find a way to get the job
Gallardo has been tough on the Cubs in his last three starts at
Wrigley Field as well, going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA while striking out
28 in 20 innings. He’s allowed one run in each of those outings,
including April 11 when he pitched seven innings of a 2-1
Travis Wood lost to Gallardo last week when he allowed three
runs in seven innings, and he’ll seek to win his first start since
July 6 in the rematch Tuesday.
Wood (4-10, 4.76) has a 7.09 ERA while going 0-7 over his last
eight starts, but he earned praise from the Brewers after his
“He’s a good pitcher,” said Braun, who took Wood deep – the 14th
homer the lefty has allowed during his skid. “He’s got good command
to both sides of the plate and he threw a good cutter that’s tough
Wood is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in five career starts versus
Milwaukee, and he’ll look to help Chicago bounce back after the
team’s 20th loss in 26 games.
The Cubs (49-78) nearly matched the 10 runs they’d given up over
their last four games in the ninth inning alone Monday. Manager
Dale Sveum sent utility man Joe Mather in to record the final out
after Alex Hinshaw and Lendy Castillo couldn’t end the inning.
Mather became the first position player to pitch for the Cubs
since Gary Gaetti on July 3, 1999.
“We need those guys to pitch when we’re losing,” Sveum said of
his young relievers. “Can’t just keep throwing (Shawn) Camp and
(Manny) Corpas and (James) Russell and those guys into games. Those
guys have to somehow get through those innings.”
The Cubs’ 6.09 bullpen ERA in August is easily the NL’s