I’m going to spare you most of the carnage from the Cubs’ 11-1 loss to the Brewers, by far the worst defeat of the 2022 season so far both by run margin and esthetically, and focus instead on one play.
There are two out in the bottom of the second inning. The game is scoreless and the Brewers’ Rowdy Tellez is on third base.
The Brewers announcer on that clip says that’s a “tough play,” but you know what? A good MLB shortstop has to make that play. That’s exactly the kind of pitch and hit Kyle Hendricks wants — weak contact on a changeup.
Instead, Nico Hoerner fumbled it and a run scored. It was ruled a hit, but... that’s got to be an error, at least in my view. Perhaps it will be changed.
That play opened the floodgates. Two pitches later Jace Peterson hit a Hendricks four-seamer over the wall in right-center and it was 3-0 and everyone might as well have gone home at that point, because the Cubs offense did very little. Peterson’s home run was one of three off Hendricks, who had allowed just one home run in 20⅓ innings before Friday night. Daniel Norris and Ethan Roberts also each served up a home run in this game, and it’s entirely possible neither of those guys will be on the Cubs’ active roster when they return to Wrigley Field to face the White Sox on Tuesday. Sean Newcomb was responsible for the other Brewers homer, which tied a franchise record:
The Brewers have hit at least 6 homers in a game for the 8th time in team history (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 30, 2022
Renfroe 2, and 1 each for Adames, Yelich, McCutchen and Peterson.
The Cubs were trailing 7-0 in the top of the seventh when they scored their only run of the night — on a wild pitch [VIDEO].
I thought at that point, maybe the Cubs could string a couple of hits together and get back in this game, but the offense has been moribund the last few games. Apart from the three-run outburst in the 10th inning Wednesday in Atlanta, the Cubs have scored a total of nine runs in the five games since the 21-0 shellacking of the Pirates last Saturday.
This, too, shall pass, eventually. Right now it’s hard to watch.
Oh, about that run? It continued a Cubs streak of scoring in every game dating back to August 12, 2021, now at 66 consecutive games. The franchise record for such things is 127, and it was set during one of the team’s darkest times, in 1958-59. While that seems like a fairly long streak, it’s only tied for 28th-longest all-time. The MLB record is 308, set by the Yankees from 1931-33.
Mark Leiter Jr. threw an inning in this game. In fact, he was the only Cubs pitcher to not allow a run. This would seem to take him out of the rotation, for now, at least. The Cubs shouldn’t need a fifth starter until May 10, with two off days next week, and by then perhaps Wade Miley should be available.
One last thing about that Nico Hoerner play. If that is changed to an error, Hendricks’ ERA would drop from 5.47 to 4.38. Teams can and do lobby for scoring changes like this and it could happen.
That’s all I’ve got. The next game has to be better, right?
The Cubs will attempt to even up the series against Milwaukee Saturday night. In a battle of lefthanders, Justin Steele will start for the Cubs and Eric Lauer will go for the Brewers. Game time is 6:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.