Cubs Trounce Brewers on Jason Hammel Gem


May 31, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) hits a 2-run home run in the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

At 7-11 in May on the 20th of the month a .500 finish for the month was unlikely for Milwaukee, but after going 6-3 since then, the Brewers had a chance to do just that Saturday against the Chicago Cubs in the second game of their weekend series.

Unfortunately Cubs starter Jason Hammel came into the game with a 4-0 record in five career starts against Milwaukee and he extend it to 5-0 in a masterful performance against the Crew, leading Chicago to a 8-0 win.

The loss means Milwaukee finished the month at 13-15 and sit at 33-23 overall still in first place in the NL Central.

Brewers starter Wily Peralta set the Cubs down quickly in the first with two strike outs and a ground out.  Hammel worked around a two-out single by Jonathan Lucroy in the Brewer half of the first. This snapped the Brewers’ six game streak of scoring first inning runs.

Peralta worked a clean second inning as well, notching another strike out.  There was a delay while manager Ron Roenicke and trainer Dan Wright checked on Peralta, but he said he was fine and they went back to the dugout.

Khris Davis opened up the second with a line-drive single to left, but he was thrown out trying to turn it into a double. It was the only noise the Crew made in the 1/2 inning.

The third inning was another clean one for Peralta, the Brewers went down in order in their half of the frame as well.

The Cubs got their first base runner of the game when Emilio Bonifacio lined a single to center to lead off the fourth inning. Junior Lake followed with a ground out to third baseman Mark Reynolds, who went to second for the double play attempt.  Lake was out at first after the turn, but Bonifacio was ruled safe at second. The call at second was challenged by Roenicke. The call was upheld and Bonifacio was ruled safe at second.

Anothy Rizzo followed Lake by belting a home run (9) to right to put the Cubs up 2-0. It was Rizzo’s third career home run against Peralta in 20 plate appearances. Starlin Castro followed with a walk, but was erased on a Schierholtz grounder that hit Peralta’s glove and bounced to Scooter Gennett, who tossed to Jean Segura for the put out.  Schierholtz ended the inning when he was caught stealing on a perfect throw by Lucroy.

After outs by Ryan Braun and Lucroy, Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch. He stole second and advanced to third after a wild throw. Gomez was out by about 30 feet at third but it was ruled that Castro obstructed him.  Unfortunately the Brewers couldn’t capitalize as Davis flew out.

The Cubs went down in order in the fifth.  Gennett opened the Brewer half of the frame with a single, but Reynolds, Lyle Overbay and Peralta struck out to end the frame.

The Cubs doubled their lead in the sixth on another two-run home run (10) by Anthony Rizzo. After a Castro double and Schierholtz walk, Peralta’s day was over as Zach Duke came on to finish the inning. Chris Coghlan laced Duke’s third pitch into center field for a single to drive in Castro and extend the Cub lead to five. Three pitches later John Baker followed with a liner to right to drive in Schierholtz. Darwin Barney followed with a double to drive in Coghlan. Duke managed to strike out Hammel to end the inning.

After a Segura fly out, Hammel hit Braun with a pitch to give the Brewers a base runner. Braun, attempting to steal second, was doubled up after a Schierholtz diving catch on a Lucroy line drive to put the Brewers down in order.

Duke came back out for the seventh, and put the Cubs down in order. In their half of the frame the Brewers managed only a Gennett single.

Wei-Chung Wang came in to replace Zach Duke for the Brewers. Duke threw 1 1/3 innings and allowed a run on three hits and had two strike outs. He also allowed two inherited runners to score. Wang put the Cubs down in order in the eighth.

Jason Grimm replaced Hammel in the bottom half of the frame and went one-two-three on Overbay, Elian Herrera and Segura.

Wang went back out for the ninth. After getting quick outs to Baker and Barney, Justin Ruggiano tripled to right and scored on a Bonifacio single. The inning ended on a Lake ground out.

Pedro Strop came on to throw the ninth for Chicago. He quickly retired Logan Schafer (hitting for Braun) and Lucroy. Gomez struck out to end the game.

Hammel earned the win for Chicago, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out eight.

Wily Peralta picked up the loss for Milwaukee, dropping to 4-5 on the season. He threw 5 2/3 innings and allowed six runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out five.

The two teams will resume their series tomorrow when Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 1.68 ERA) takes on Kyle Lohse (6-1, 2.92 ERA).

Brewers’ Three Stars

  1. Bob Uecker, for telling a story about planting canned vegetables in his garden last fall and digging them up this summer.
  2. Joe Block, for letting Uecker tell the story.
  3. Scooter Gennett, 2-for-3