Cubs crushed in the series opener in Milwaukee
After spending much of the week in the Myrtle Beach area for a vacation, today is a travel day for me. Between that and a very lopsided game, I’m going to be briefer than usual. But I’ll be back to a full length write up tomorrow.
The Cubs lost Friday night to the Brewers in an 11-1 game that was every bit as lopsided as the score would indicate. The Cubs and their fans loved to jab at the Brewers and their fans while things were going great for this franchise. Suffice is to say, the Brewers and their fans are enjoying the tables being turned.
Some of these games are so ugly that it is getting a bit more challenging to find the three positives, but here we go.
- Alfonso Rivas. I can’t say it enough times. I’m right with you all. The kid needs to get regular playing time. I understand that options dictate that he is one of the guys who could go to Iowa. At 25 years of age, we aren’t talking about a phenom or anything. But maybe he’s a guy who can hold down a roster spot for three or four years. Maybe he isn’t and scouts will find the holes and the game will catch up to him. But I want to see him get that chance here with this team. He had two of the three hits this team mustered last night. It’s getting hard to understand why he would go.
- Mark Leiter Jr. Mark is another person who is staring at a roster cut. He didn’t make the team out of spring training but got the first call once the Cubs needed a fifth starter. Some extra time off in the week ahead suggests that they can skip the five spot and then one would expect Alec Mills would be prepared to fill that spot until Wade Miley is ready to go. For Mark, he pitched out of the bullpen only a couple of days after turning in a two inning start. Mark was the only Cubs pitcher not to allow a run.
- Patrick Wisdom. He was the proud owner of the one hit that wasn’t recorded by Rivas. He one upped Rivas by actually scoring the lone Cubs run. Rivas gets the consolation in that he scored the lone run the night before. Of course, Wisdom also hit into a double play. The Cubs bats have been silenced for two straight games and the pitching matchups don’t get any easier. At least on paper.
Let’s get to the numbers from last night’s game.
Game 20, April 29: Brewers 11, Cubs 1 (8-12)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Alfonso Rivas (.054). 2-4
- Hero: Ian Happ (.008). 0-3, BB
- Sidekick: Frank Schwindel (.005). 0-0, BB
- Billy Goat: Kyle Hendricks (-.275). 4⅓ IP (22 batters), 7H, 2BB, 6R, 2K, HBP (L 1-2)
- Goat: Patrick Wisdom (-.087). 1-4, 2B, R, K, DP
- Kid: Jonathan Villar (-.054). 0-4, 2K
WPA Play of the Game: In the bottom of the second inning, Jace Peterson faced Kyle Hendricks with a runner on first and the Brewers leading by one. Peterson hit the first of what would ultimately be six Brewers homers on the day. (.173)
*Cubs Play of the Game: With runners at first and second and no outs in the bottom of the first, the game was still scoreless. Andrew McCutchen faced Kyle Hendricks. Kyle induced a ground ball and got a double play. (.085)
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
The award is named for Anthony Rizzo, who finished first in this category three of the first four years it was in existence and four times overall. He also recorded the highest season total ever at +65.5. The point scale is three points for a Superhero down to negative three points for a Billy Goat.
- Ian Happ +15
- Alfonso Rivas 10
- Seiya Suzuki +8.5
- Nick Madrigal/Marcus Stroman/Kyle Hendricks -7
- Patrick Wisdom -8
- Jason Heyward -9
Up Next: Game two of the three-game set in Milwaukee and game five of the six game road trip. The Cubs are 1-3 to start the trip. They’ll have a difficult task to try to split the road trip. Justin Steele (1-2, 5.40) will start for the Cubs. Eric Lauer (1-0, 2.20) will go for the Brewers. These teams are headed in completely opposite directions. The Brewers have won eight of 10 to match the best record in the NL over that span. Meanwhile, the Cubs are 2-8, besting only the Reds (1-9) over the last 10.