9/7 Brewers 5, Cubs 3
The Cubs out-hit and out-homered the Brewers, but also walked too many. Logan Schafer tripled with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to lead the Brewers to a 5-3 victory Saturday over the Cubs in front of 34,929 at Wrigley Field.
Jake Arrieta was cruising until the fourth. The Cubs had a 2-0 lead after Luis Valbuena’s homer in the second. Jonathan Lucroy singled to lead off the fourth and Aramis Ramirez walked to set up Scooter Gennett’s RBI single. Arrieta threw first-pitch strikes to the first three batters in the inning, then four straight balls to Caleb Gindl to walk him and load the bases. Arrieta settled down and struck out Juan Francisco on three pitches, then served up a triple to Schafer, which cleared the bases and gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead.
“First and foremost, I got a little too fine with a couple of those walks, and then I got myself into a situation,” Arrieta said of the inning. “When Schafer came up, I went 2-0 [in the count], and tried to be too fine rather than just pound the zone. When it was 2-0, bases loaded, I had to come at him, and I left a sinker right in the middle of the plate.
“He didn’t try to do too much, he just shot a ball in the gap in the right spot to clear the bases,” Arrieta said. “I backed myself into a corner with those walks.”
Arrieta now has walked three or more in five of his six starts, while holding opponents to a .178 batting average against. In the game, six Chicago pitchers combined to walk seven batters.
The Cubs did out-hit the Brewers, 6-5, including Brian Bogusevic’s solo home run with two outs in the sixth to close to 4-3. Chicago now has 95 home runs at Wrigley, and lead the National League in homers at home.
But Norichika Aoki reached on an error by Starlin Castro in the Brewers’ ninth and scored on Lucroy’s RBI triple with two outs, and the Cubs lost for the 13th time in the last 20 games, and 20th time in the last 27 home games.
* The game marked the debut of Korean pitcher Chang-Yong Lim, 37, the 54th player the Cubs have used this season. That sets a franchise record, topping the old mark of 53 set last year. He walked pinch-hitter Sean Halton and served up a single to his former teammate in Japan, Norichika Aoki, but he escaped trouble when Jean Segura grounded into a double play. At 37 years 3 months 4 days, Lim is the second-oldest pitcher since at least 1901 to make his Major League debut with the Cubs.
“He didn’t have a lot of control either,” Dale Sveum said of Lim. “That seemed to be the story of the day.”
– Carrie Muskat