The game looked promising early on, but a rough fifth inning felled the Cubs in this one. We left with an exciting Javier Báez little league home run though!
What You Need to Know:
The first inning was fun! After two quick outs to start the game, the Cubs started a two-out rally via a Kyle Schwarber walk, Willson Contreras single, Addison Russell RBI single, and Victor Caratini RBI single. Getting a lead before he even walked out onto the mound, Kyle Hendricks cruised through four innings, allowing no runs and only four hitters to reach. The fifth inning started out less optimally, as Hendricks allowed reliever Josh Hader to reach on a single. After a Lorenzo Cain popout, Eric Thames destroyed an 87 MPH fastball, leading to a home run hit well over the center field wall.
When it rained for Hendricks, it poured, as shortly after the Thames bomb, he allowed another two-run blast—this one by Travis Shaw—and the Brewers quickly doubled the Cubs run total. Hendricks allowed all of his four runs in the fifth inning.
Javier Báez responded the following inning though, tying the game with his second triple of the young season.
After getting five frames from Hendricks, the bullpen took the baton and handled it well, using five relievers (Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop, Justin Wilson, Steve Cishek, Carl Edwards) to get the ninth inning.
The Cubs threatened Matt Albers, who was working his second inning in the top half of the ninth, but zero runs came out of it. Mike Montgomery came in to attempt to send the game to extras, but after striking out Domingo Santana swinging, he walked Manny Piña, allowed an infield single to Hernán Pérez, and offered Orlando Arcia a fastball over the outside half of the plate to punch into right field. And the Brewers had evened the series.
Kyle Hendricks was doing his thing early on, taming the Brewers with the power of weak contact the first time through the order.
He still looked pretty good second time through the order, with hitters touching up the ball a little more squarely.
Then, in the fifth inning, he lost the magic. A couple of scorched homers punctuated an odd start for Hendricks, and a modestly hard single to a reliever added insult to
- 94.9 MPH EV Josh Hader single
- 61.1 MPH EV Lorenzo Cain popout
- 104.9 MPH EV Eric Thames home run
- 84.2 MPH EV Ryan Braun single
- 113.5 MPH EV Travis Shaw home run
That Travis Shaw home run was easily the highest exit velocity Hendricks has allowed this season. It was also the second hardest hit ball he’s allowed since the start of last year, and third highest since the start of 2016. Shaw got all of it, and Hendricks paid the price.
Top WPA Play:
After surrendering their two-run lead in the previous inning, the Cubs had a runner on second with two outs in the sixth inning, Javier Báez at the dish. He took a Jeremy Jeffress pitch to the opposite field gap, initially looking like he’d cut the deficit in half, but after a poorly fielded throw in an attempt to get the out at third, Báez trotted home for the little league home run (+.239) to tie the game.
Bottom WPA Play:
The Cubs were threatening to snatch the lead in the ninth with Kyle Schwarber at the plate facing Matt Albers, two runners on, two outs. Albers and the Brewers prevailed, getting Schwarber to strike out swinging (-.118), ending the threat.
Making his second start in a Cubs uniform tomorrow is Yu Darvish. The Cubs will try to score more than two runs off Zach Davies, who allowed eight hits and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first start of 2018.
Lead photo courtesy Benny Sieu—USA Today Sports