The summary of the Cubs’ 4-0 loss to the Brewers Tuesday evening in one tweet:
Three times I thought the Cubs had home runs tonight.— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) April 7, 2021
Instead they have one total hit in the game.
David Bote flied to center in the second (with two runners on!), Willson Contreras deep to left in the sixth and Ian Happ with a man on first in the eighth. All three of those fly balls looked like they could be headed to the seats off the bat; all were caught for outs.
The only Cubs hit was this fourth-inning double by Kris Bryant [VIDEO].
That’s bad official scoring. Christian Yelich tripped over his own feet and never appeared to touch the ball. Bryant should have been given a triple. That’s the second error charged to a visiting player in this homestand that shouldn’t have been (the other, on a Javier Baez ground ball on Sunday).
The Cubs had six other baserunners, five on walks and one when Willson Contreras was hit by a pitch leading off the ninth. Willson didn’t like that very much [VIDEO].
I can surely understand why Willson was getting tired of being thrown at by the Brewers. A small kerfuffle ensued, but order was restored quickly and Contreras, almost as quickly, was erased on a double play.
(Check out how fast the relief pitchers were running in from their respective bullpens in that video, too.)
Contreras led the major leagues in being hit by a pitch in 2020 — 14 times in just a 60-game season. Silly early-season pace: He’s been hit twice in five games. That’s a “pace” for 65 in a 162-game season.
There were a couple of positive things to come out of this loss.
I saw some complaints on Twitter about Adbert Alzolay’s outing, but really, apart from the one mistake pitch he made to Travis Shaw that was deposited into the bleachers for a three-run homer, Adbert threw pretty well. After Shaw’s homer he allowed just two other hits, one another homer by Omar Narvaez, who is wearing Cubs pitching out this series. Overall I thought Alzolay mixed his pitches well and, for a first outing of the season, it was decent. He did have some help from his defense, including this nice diving stop by Bryant [VIDEO] to end the fourth inning.
David Ross sent Dillon Maples to the mound in the seventh for his first appearance of 2021 and it was a success. Maples did issue two walks, but also struck out four, a couple of them (including Yelich!) on that nasty slider that’s nearly unhittable. This was likely a real confidence-builder for Maples and hopefully will get him some more high-leverage situations.
Oh, yes, the photo at the top of this post. It’s from the first inning, when Rizzo was hit by a pitch but was ruled by plate umpire Mark Wegner to have swung at the pitch. Didn’t look like that to me, and obviously Rizzo disagreed. This play likely didn’t have any impact on the result of the game, but this umpiring crew, which has now been at Wrigley Field for the entire homestand (again in 2021, MLB is doing this to cut down on umpire travel), has not done stellar work.
So that’s it, really, for this one, other than the offense not really going yet is a bit concerning. One more note: This was the fourth time the Cubs have been one-hit in the 780 games since Cole Hamels no-hit them in 2015. Here are the other three:
It’s a bit worrisome that the offense hasn’t really gotten rolling yet, but I believe it will. Games like this don’t feel real good, but they count as only one loss and the Cubs have a chance for another series win Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs Wednesday and Brandon Woodruff will go for the Brewers. Game time is 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.