Some losses hurt more than others, and this game felt like one the Cubs could win. They couldn’t make the most of their opportunities early, and the Brewers outscored the Cubbies 2-1 in the 10th inning to earn at worst, a series split.
Colin Rea was pressed into duty for the emergency start with Alec Mills bumped to the Friday game due to Tyler Chatwood’s sore back. Rea allowed three runs in 3.1 innings pitched. The bullpen surrendered three runs, though one came via the extra-inning rule, which means that the first run that scored against Jeremy Jeffress was unearned.
On a positive note, Dan Winkler looked sharp in two innings pitched. He could be a nice piece if he can figure out his command.
There were several good moments in this one. Steven Souza, Jr. has had a hard time finding his way with such little playing time but came through in a big way with a solo homer to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was Anthony Rizzo, however, who stood out the most. He went 3-5, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He drove in two between his solo home run and his RBI double in the second.
Ian Happ also deserves an honorable mention as he continued his hot start with a double and a single, driving in a run.
This pick may seem controversial to some. After walking with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Jason Kipnis was lifted for pinch-runner Nico Hoerner. Kris Bryant has been scuffling, and whether this played a role in the decision is unclear, but Nic Hoerner broke for second and was caught stealing with a 2-1 count. If Bryant had two strikes on him, this might have been an understandable move, but struggles or not, Bryant is still one of the premier hitters in the game. On a day that the wind was howling out of Wrigley, it’s never a good idea to take the bat out of his hands when he’s ahead in the count. To add insult to injury, the pitch Nico attempted to steal on appeared as though it would have been called a ball. Bryant with a 3-1 count late is probably the preferable situation for the Cubs.
While some could probably argue that I have been a little hard on the broadcasting this season, especially the national broadcasts, I feel comfortable taking issue with what transpired while Mark Grace was on the broadcast with Len Kasper and JD. First, I would like to say that the Cubs have one of the finest TV pairings in the game. Why Marquee Network feels the need to add to that pairing regularly is beyond me. Second, Mark Grace is one of my all-time favorite Cubs and is, in my opinion, one of the most under-appreciated hitters of his era. That said, I am far from alone in feeling that his contributions to the broadcast have been underwhelming.
However, the incident in this broadcast crossed the line from cringe-worthy to outright ugly when he was asked about an incident involving his ex-wife. Now, the story itself could have been innocuous, with the lone complaint that the action on the field was pivotal to the outcome and should have been the focus, not Grace’s story. The problem was that he, on multiple occasions, referred to his ex-wife as “the dingbat.” This could have been a term of endearment between them. We do not know, but in this day and age, our world is slowly waking up to the fact that words matter. How women are treated matters. This realization, unfortunately, has taken far too long to come by.
Grace’s use of a derogatory insult, one with a meaning typically used to disparage women, was not something the Cubs should be standing for. It will be interesting to see if any response will be forthcoming. Perhaps I am overreacting, but I found it distasteful and warranted this designation.
The Cubs have one more game against the Brewers before the St. Louis Cardinals come to town. Jon Lester takes the mound against righty Josh Lindblom of the Brew Crew. Lester could be just the answer this team needs to stop this short skid and work a series split. First pitch is at 1:20 pm CT on Marquee Network.
Featured Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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