Were The Cubs Able to Push Division Lead to 1 Game?
This was a big one for both the Cubs and the Brewers as they came into today's game tied for the division lead. A division that early on looks to be a two team race. The Cubs would send Kyle Hendricks to the mound who looked to build off his last start in L.A. Opposing him would be up and coming younger righty Freddy Peralta.
Hendricks is not known for over powering hitters by any means, but what he does have is a finesse to mix speed and location to throw hitters off balance. Both pitchers were looking good to start the game as the game would stay scoreless through 5 innings. Hendricks had to really work tonight to get outs as he found himself in a few jams including one with runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out. It wasn't until the 6th that he found himself in trouble that he could squeeze out of. The brewers would lead off the 6th with back to back hits, then Hendricks would walk the next batter on a boarder line pitch to load the bases. Two runs would come to score on Omar Narvaez single putting the Brewers up 2-0. Hendricks would escape with limited damage as he was able to get the next batter to pop out and striking out the next. Freddy Peralta was cursing through 5 innings looking like he could shutout the Cubs. That was until he met the 6th inning right off the bat gave up back to back doubles to surrender his first run allowed. Two batters later he would give up another gapper for a double tying the game at 2 a piece. In the bottom of the 9th the Cubs lead-off hitter Smith would work a walk and then steal second. With 1 out Rizzo would fly out to deep right center with Smith tagging up advancing to 3rd with 2 outs. Bryant would then ground out to the second baseman ending any chance of a walk off. Top of the 10th saw Brandon Morrow come into the game his first in a few days. Morrow would make quick work of the first batter and then give up a single back up the middle to Eric Sogard. Next batter Keston Hiura would work the count full as Morrow would lose grip of his fast ball and hang it belt high and Hiura got all of it. When it finally lands the Brewers will have taken the lead 4-2 and be all that is needed to lock up the win as the Cubs were barely able to make any contact against closer Josh Hader.
Manager David Ross was available for an interview after the game and was asked about the Cubs recent struggles over the last 10 games, as well as the bullpen situation. "It's baseball these kind of things happen, while it is unfortunate it does happen. I don't regret putting Morrow in that spot, he is a great pitcher and someone I will continue to call on" said Ross. He was also asked if there was any talks about possibly using the trade market to boost the bullpen up. "Thats something you will have to question Theo on as it is not up to me. If Theo comes to me and says we are gonna make this trade or that trade I trust he knows whats best for us. Outside of that there has been no talks with me about it."
Next up the Cubs will look to rebound and even the division back up as they will send veteran lefty Jon Lester to the mound.
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