Cubs @ Brewers: Series Thread (Games 79-81)
The Cubs started off their road-trip with an especially odd no-no but have followed up with three losses. They are now three games back in the division with a three-game set with the first-place Brewers that will put them at the season's midpoint. A sweep in either direction could determine the Cubs' approach to the trade deadline. The Brewers will have an advantage in that they have their top three starting pitchers going--possibly the best top three startes in the majors right now. See below for the pitching matchups.
Game 79, Monday, June 28, 7:05 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.84 ERA)
MIL: RHP Freddy Peralta (7-2, 2.11 ERA)
Hendricks last allowed an earned run three starts ago, allowing two solo homeruns to the Cardinals on June 12 en route to one of his eight consecutive victories. He's made only two bad starts this season, both to Atlanta in April. He also faced the Brewers twice in April, allowing two earned runs over 12 innings pitched.
Peralta has continued a breakthrough campaign in 2021, combining an already elite strikeout rate with a well below career average opponent BABIP. In four June starts he's allowed four earned runs across 24.1 innings while also striking out 31. He's 2-0 against the Cubs in three starts in 2021 and has allowed three earned runs in 15 innings pitched.
Game 80, June 29, 7:05 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (5-4, 4.31 ERA)
MIL: RHP Brandon Woodruff (6-3, 1.89 ERA)
Davies contributed six innings, including four strikeouts and five walks, to the Cubs' first combined no-hitter last time out. Prior to this season I had always thought of Davies as a pitch-to-contact groundball machine. But his most recent start has cemented the image of him now that I watch him on a regular basis; a soft-tosser who whittles and nibbles his way around hitters, walking hitters rather than giving in and getting by when he is able to miss out of the zone instead of in it. Somehow, this is Davies' first start of 2021 against his former team.
Like the other two starting pitchers the Cubs are facing in this series, Brandon Woodruff has gotten off to a blazing start and appears to be having a breakthrough season. Woodruff's breakthrough is really no surprise. The Brewers have been waiting and hoping that he would get a healthy season, and they've gotten a consistently awesome performance from Woodruff now that his body is holding up. He's one start removed from his only bad start, in which he allowed five earned runs over five innings in Colorado. To find another start in which he allowed at least three earned runs, you have to go back all the way to opening day.
Game 81, June 30, 7:05 pm central
CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-8, 5.32 ERA)
MIL: RHP Corbin Burnes (3-4, 2.53 ERA)
June has skewed Arrieta's ration of decent to embarassing starts in the favor of "maybe retirement is coming for this guy." He has off been able to muddle through and eat some innings, but in two of his five June starts he has not been able to get into the fourth inning. Last time out, he allowed two earned runs over five innings against the Dodgers, striking out four, walking three, and allowing five hits. He's 0-2 in two starts against Milwaukee this season, having allowed four earned runs in 11 innings.
After four starts in which he looked nearly untouchable, Burnes came back to earth a bit at the end of April. He is still absolutely a strikeout machine who is stingy with walks. Opponents have been able to string together hits against him on occasion. The Cubs faced him once in April, striking out ten times over six innings and collecting a pair of hits and no walks. He continues to live off the cutter, throwing that upper-90s pitch more than 50% of the time. Lefties have still managed a bit better against him than righties, especially in Milwaukee where their WOBA is a full .100 higher than the right-handers'.
Cubster 27 min ago (view)
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