This loss stung on so many levels. The Cubs have been tied or in 1st place of the NL Central since July. In game 163 we shouldn’t have needed, the Cubs lost 3-2. And they lose the division. Now the Cubs play the winner of Los Angeles/Colorado in the Wild Card on Tuesday night.
There were 2 things that stood out from this loss. First, the Cubs hitting was horrific. Worse then anemic. They had just 3 hits compared to 12 from the Brewers. This has happened so much as of late, but Chilli Davis can’t get it worked out.
Anthony Rizzo was the only offensive contributor of the game. Rizzo blasted a solo homer in the fifth, that tied it 1-1.
Going back to the Brewers run, it was yet another critical error by Joe Maddon. This was a common theme in the game.
With a runner on third and two outs, the likely NL MVP Christian Yelich is up to the plate. Yelich is the hottest hitter in baseball right now. You would think the intentional walk is in play with Ryan Braun up next. Wrong. Jose Quintana pitched to Yelich, who of course singled, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead.
Continuing with the questionable calls by Maddon, the Cubs had a chance to score in the 6th. Ian Happ took a walk with no outs. Willson Contreras who has been struggling since July was up to the plate. Contreras showed bunt on the first pitch. He pulled back.
After a few pickoff attempts, Maddon called off the bunt and Willson grounded into a double play. What makes this worse is, Daniel Murphy singled into deep right field after. It was deep enough that it would’ve scored Happ. The game will still tied 1-1 at that point. The Cubs could’ve gained an edge, but failed.
Jesse Chavez worked a 1-2-3 seventh with only 16 pitches. Instead of letting Chavez work the 8th, Maddon elected to use Justin Wilson. He came in, allowed a single and a double. Here comes Steve Cishek in for his 5th appearance in the last 6 games. Cishek gave up 2 critical runs, that sunk the ship.
The Cubs had a little bit of hope in the ninth. Javy Baez took a 2-out walk with Anthony Rizzo on deck. Rizzo flew out to right, as the Cubs lost the NL Central Crown by 1.0 game.
Jose Quintana had a great start, despite the Cubs loss. Quintana went 5.0 innings, allowing six hits and an earned run. He struck out four and walked none. Q was on his game, but the Cubs weren’t.
Jon Lester is scheduled to start the NL Wild Card on Tuesday night. 7:00 PM CT. This time if the Cubs lose, they are out of the playoffs. Luckily Big Jon Lester will get the Cubs rolling into the NLDS and get revenge on Milwaukee.