Cubs Gutpunch Brewers To Take A Commanding Lead
If you ever played golf, you’ve envisioned a perfect shot before actually swinging it. Usually what happens is you end up missing poorly, and the shot doesn’t come close to how you saw it in your head. That was me at Miller Park last night multiple times in the last few innings. I saw the Brewers winning this game and the celebration that followed multiple times, yet it didn’t actually happened. Instead, the Chicago Cubs delivered gutpunch after gutpunch to the Brewers handing them their second straight brutal loss and probably knocking them out of the NL Central hunt.
Take away from being a Brewers fan and feeling down about myself this morning, that was a great fucking game. One of the best baseball games I’ve been to in the last six years. The energy in the stadium did not have the same punch as 2008 or 2011 (This weekend will prove otherwise), but still, it was quite the atmosphere with both sides hanging on every pitch late in the game. For the second straight night, Milwaukee is searching for answers.
Spin the wheel of a depression when it comes to how Milwaukee lost this game. Hell even in the seventh when Milwaukee scored their tying run to make it 2-2, Ryan Braun had the bases loaded with two outs and hit a 105 mph screamer right to Javy Baez. If that’s straighten out, it’s a two-run single. Braun leaving 12 man on-base in the last two games will haunt him for a little bit. In the ninth, things did not get better with the game tied and Domingo Santana, arguably the hottest hitter on this team, struck out with the bases loaded.
On the pitching side of things, Jeremey Jeffress nearly had the Hollywood ending. The former Brewers closer was brought in to close this out due to Corey Knebel and Anthony Swarzak both being down for the night. Jeffress was one strike away from getting Baez. The Cubs hitter did not hit a ball would qualify as a strike, rather, he golfed one into centerfield. Why Manny Pina didn’t call for an outside pitch in that at-bat will stick with me for awhile. The whole tying run was made possible by Ian Happ beating Jeffress to the base in what may have been an out in some cases, but the review couldn’t overturn it being that close.
So what happens now? Milwaukee is 4.5 games out of the NL Central and only one back of Colorado. My guess is they know it’s going to be Wild Card or bust to get into the playoffs as the Cubs lead is next to insurmountable. Tonight, you’ll have the full bullpen arsenal with Brandon Woodruff facing John Lackey. Woody was great last time out. Lackey’s outings against the Brewers have been unpredictable, so, expect the same tonight.