8/11 Making contact
The Cubs set a franchise record with 44 strikeouts in three games against the Rays Friday through Sunday, and struck out nine times against the Brewers on Monday. No. 8 came in the ninth when Francisco Rodriguez out-dueled Anthony Rizzo in a 13-pitch at-bat.
“I just wanted to put him away,” Rodriguez said. “I was, ‘Here, hit it as hard as you can.’ He put up a battle. That’s what I expected. He’s a really good, young hitter.”
The at-bat was so long, Rodriguez said, he even invented a cutter, which he had never thrown before.
“I was just trying to get him to put the ball in play,” Rodriguez said. “It was like, ‘Oh, wow. This can be a long inning.’ So I gave him something out over [the plate] so he could put it in play. He just kept missing it.”
One other head-scratching stat: The Cubs have drawn two walks in the last four games.
“They’re chasing balls out of the zone a little bit,” manager Rick Renteria said. “They’re facing guys who have pretty good stuff — [Yovani] Gallardo is no slouch, and the relief corps is pretty good.”
— Carrie Muskat