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'.


rizzo sitting again with "back tightness"

Better let him sit for 8 days but not do an IL stint

i like rizzo and he's an all-time cubs great at this point (def a top-20 hitter for the team)...but...yeah...i dunno about handing this dude a 5+ year deal.

If you had said this previous to this year's beginning, I'd have called you insane. While he remains the heart of the team, I don't think he's a big money player anymore.

schwarb still on fire...2 HR tonight.

11 in his last 10 games.

another one rich hll.

rizzo sits again (tuesday)...bryant is sitting because "planned day off"

Good, guess now I know to do something else with my evening.

Also Tepera to IL, Megill optioned. Nance back already, Adam Morgan purchased (wtf) and Duffy to 60 day.

I hate that they don't put Rizzo on the IL when he hurts his back. It drives me insane. They clearly made 40 man space for Adam Morgan

FWIW, Adam Morgan has not allowed a run in eight appearances at AAA in month of June: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB 11 K .172 OBA, 0.80 WHIP, high ground ball rate. It's also possible he may have had a 7/1 opt-out. 

Also, Morgan has the same player profile as Rex Brothers: out of minor league options, cannot be outrighted without his consent, and eligible for salary arbitration post-2021 (he will not be a free-agent, unless he is released or non-tendered).  

DJL: "Left calf strain" is AKA Daniel Descalso's Disease. Cubs must just want to give Tepera a few days off. 

Makes sense for Tepera. Ah yes Descalso's "injury." Must have been quite a calf strain to miss 2.5 months!

"planned day off" for bryant is now known as "side soreness from some OF diving plays"

g.marquez (COL) going into the 9th for COL vs hitter in progress...only 86 pitches.

...and a lead off single.

Every waiver-wire catcher looking around nervously and avoiding eye contact with the Cubs.

Is it just me, or should Patrick Wisdom be in the homerun derby?

j.arrieta gives up 6 runs, but only 3 earned because of an arrieta throwing error.


this game is hot garbage.

arrieta still sucks, p.wisdom is injured, cubs are down 7-8 in the bottom 4th...what else you got cubbies?

a HBP, RBI single, passed ball, walking the pitcher to load the bases, and other HBP to bring a run in...nice, very nice.

...and a grand slam.  impressive cubbery.  epic.  all-time.

cubs go from being up 7-0 to losing 7-14...still in the 4th.

Saw that 7-spot in the first inning and thought at least they had dodged the sweep.

Busy at work so just quickly checking in on score.  Went quickly from: all-right to rut-row to WTF.

in other news, hoerner is supposed to be activated this weekend, but that might get moved up if p.wisdom is legit injured after his collision earlier in this game.

p.wisdom with a "left eye contusion" and "neck tightness" current signs of concussion

took them over an hour to share that with the booth.

Me in 2021: "Patrick Wisdom is hurt? Well, there goes the season."

yeah, what they've been doing this past week feels more like what we should have expected pretty much all season.

cubs throw a combined no-hitter to tie for 1st place and fall to 6 games out of 1st in a week.

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