This afternoon the Milwaukee Brewers made their first visit to Wrigley Field. With a battle of two teams currently heading in vastly different directions, here are five takeaways from today’s 1-0 Brewers’ loss:
1. Players in a Rebuild Can Contribute Quickly
Last season the Chicago Cubs traded their ace pitcher Jeff Samardzija and they are already seeing a quick return from Addison Russell. Though he is the youngest player in the game today, he was able to hit his first major league home run today. With the Brewers headed towards a rebuild a player like Russell shows Brewers’ fans that trading star talent can quickly payoff.
2. Wily Peralta is Back
Peralta’s start to the season has not gone as planned, but today he did everything he could to put the Brewers in position to win. Battling Jon Lester, (who has also had a tough start) Peralta went six innings allowing just one run while striking out six. Generally players like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have given Peralta fits, but he was able to keep them at bay throughout this afternoon.
The word is that Carlos Gomez is on his way back and may even play tomorrow, but that should not mean that he is again inserted into the leadoff spot. Segura has looked solid in his new role so far and while his average has dipped in recent days, he showed today again with his stolen base that he can be a menace on the bases. Without a true cleanup hitter on the team, Gomez should slide into that role.
4. Jon Lester Will be a Headache for Years
Lester’s start to the season has been poor, but he had it going today. Though the Brewers had chances in the early going, he got in rhythm quickly as the game moved on. He finished his outing going six innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four. As Adam McCalvy tweeted after the seventh inning, the left hander really had everything working today.
5. The Back End of the Cubs Bullpen is Well Improved
If there was one poor part of former Cubs’ teams it was their awful bullpens, but that is no longer the case in Chicago, especially in the final innings. With Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon, the Cubs have a very tough group deal with in the late innings. Strop quickly breezed through the eighth striking out two batters and Rondon proved to be just as good.
Tomorrow game two will feature Mike Fiers vs. Jake Arrieta.