Ouch. Well, the only positive thing that we can say from this one-sided affair is that Marco Estrada looked pretty decent. He only gave up two runs in six innings of work while striking out four. Those two runs he gave up were two solo home runs, one to Ian Stewart and the other to Reed Johnson. Now the bullpen…this seriously is getting a tad ridiculous. Miraculously, the Brewers aren’t last in ERA anymore, but still sit at 27th with 4.69. The bullpen has not really helped that and it was quite evident after Estrada was pulled. The offense didn’t have much production, but Taylor Green made a splash that’ll earn him a second look from Ron Roenicke.
So, it wasn’t until the fourth inning when this game would see it’s first bit of production. Ryan Braun was walked followed up by a single from Aramis Ramirez. Corey Hart would then hit a sacrifice to Jeff Samardzjia that would move Braun to third and Ramirez to second. Then, it was time for Taylor Green. Green, who was already 0-1 in the game looked for a hit or even a productive out. Well, regardless, Green hit a sacrifice fly that would score Braun. After this at bat, Ramirez would move to third on a wild pitch but would be stranded there as Brooks Conrad struck out. After the fourth, it’s 1-0 Brew Crew.
The fifth inning, the Cubs would show signs of life as Ian Stewart hit a solo home run, tying up the game. The Cubs’ Reed Johnson would hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth, giving the Cubs the 2-1 run lead. In the bottom of the sixth, the Cubs replaced Samardzjia with Shawn Camp. Camp would record the first two outs by retiring Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. Aramis Ramirez would walk and eventually get to third as Corey Hart doubled. Once again, it’s Taylor Green time. With two out and two in scoring position, Green somehow manages an infield single that scores Ramirez and ties the game 2-2. Brooks Conrad would fly out, stranding Hart and Green.
The top of the seventh is questionable, at least I think so. Roenicke decides to take out Estrada, who is only at 83 pitches and replaces him with the Kameron Loe. Loe however, was practically our only reliant guy in the past week, but would soon feel the heat like the rest. Ian Stewart hit a ground rule double and is moved to third when Geovany Soto grounds out. Darwin Barney would score Stewart as he reaches on an error by Edwin Maysonet. After the top of the 7th, it’s 3-2 Cubs.
From here on out, it just gets really ugly. The 8th inning sees the appearance of Manny Parra, who still needs to apparently figure out how to pitch. He starts off the inning by getting David DeJesus to line out. After that, it’s really all downhill from here. Tony Campana singles and is advanced to second when Starlin Castro grounds out. Bryan LaHair is walked. With two on and two out, Parra can get out of this with any major damage. However, Parra being Parra, that is not the case. Parra throws a wild pitch which allows Campana to score and LaHair to go to second. The “fun” is not over yet as Alfonso Soriano doubles, scoring LaHair. So, what does Parra do after this? Of course, throw another wild pitch! Soriano advances to third, but fortunately enough Stewart grounds out ending the inning. The Brewers strand Ryan Braun in the bottom of the inning. After eight, it’s 5-2 Cubs.
You know that Adam Sandler song from the Wedding Singer? You know, the one where he sings the line “Somebody kill me please”? That’s the kind of vibe I’ve been getting from our relievers all season. Vinnie Chulk replaces Parra (woo-hoo, that’s a sarcastic woo-hoo by the way) and really does worse than Parra. He starts off the ninth by allowing Soto to hit a double, followed by Darwin Barney with ANOTHER double that scores Soto. Joe Mather flies out somehow (really, I thought it was going to be another double), but apparently that first out means nothing as David DeJesus singles, moving Barney to third. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel this game hits beyond the ugly after this. Tony Campana hits a single, scoring Barney and moving DeJesus to third. Then after that single, Castro hits a single that scores DeJesus and keeps Campana at second. So, I don’t even know how the rest of this inning happened, but it did. Bryan LaHair strikes out followed by a Jeff Baker walk that loads the bases. With bases loaded, the pressure has probably just escaped Chulk’s mind and he gets Stewart to strike out. The Brewers can do nothing in the bottom half. Game over, Cubs win 8-2.
I feel if Roenicke had kept Estrada in for the entirety of the seventh, this game may have had a different out come. That’s just a guess, but with the way the bullpen is, why not try and squeeze every inning out of your starters? They pitch every five days so they have time to recover. Your bullpen? Not so much. This game also snapped Lucroy’s nine game hitting streak and showed us that Taylor Green is up here for real.
M. Estrada: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s, ND
J. Samardzjia: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB’s, 6 K’s, ND
WP: S. Camp (1-1, 3.50 ERA): 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB
LP: K. Loe (2-1, 2.30 ERA): 1 IP, 1 R (unearned), 1 K
Home runs: I. Stewart (4), R. Johnson (1)
RBIs: I. Stewart (12), R. Johnson (6), A. Soriano (6), D. Barney (8), T. Campana (3), S. Castro (20), T. Green 2 (2)
Doubles: I. Stewart (4), A. Soriano (6), G. Soto (2), D. Barney (6), C. Hart (10)
Triples: N. Aoki (1)
Errors: I. Stewart (3), E. Maysonet (1)
Until next time. Go Brew Crew!
Topics: Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs, Corey Hart, Darwin Barney, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, Jeff Samardzjia, Kameron Loe, Manny Parra, Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers, Reed Johnson, Ron Roenicke, Ryan Braun, Shawn Camp, Starlin Castro, Taylor Green, Vinnie Chulk