The Cubs entered their weekend series with the Brewers for a chance to leave Milwaukee in sole possession of the NL Central basement. By Sunday afternoon, Chicago was simply looking to avoid a sweep and end a 10 game losing streak at Miller Park.
What Went Right: Jeff Samardzija continues to cement his status as a legitimate starting pitcher. Despite only going five innings, he did rack up six strikeouts while only allowing one run on three hits.
The top of the line up duo of David DeJesus and Tony Campana went a combined 5 for 10 while accounting for three of the eight Cubs runs. Having proper table setters is always a key to sparking consistent offense, and hopefully the pair of outfielders will turn their production into a trend.
Ian Stewart’s power numbers are starting to take off, as he hit a solo shot in the fifth, his fourth homer of the season. Reed Johnson had a pinch hit jack in the sixth to give the Cubs a short lived 2-1 lead, and the offense proceeded to score in every inning for the rest of the game. When the dust settled the Cubs had scored eight runs and pounded out 13 hits. It was pretty much an eye for eye performance after the Cubs lost to the Brewers by the same score the day before.
What Went Wrong: Shawn Camp was not able to tally a hold to preserve the W for Samardzija’s stat line. But to be fair, he was able to limit the damage and overall this season, he has been a fairly reliable option in a bullpen that has seen Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood struggle with control issues. The Cubs defense also committed a pair of errors, an issue the team has not quite been able to resolve from last year.
What Was Interesting: Despite Aramis Ramirez changing teams and the Cubs having already played one series with the Brewers, Cubs television analyst Bob Brenly found it hard to break the habit of ripping on Ramirez. Many of you may recall that the former Cub third baseman registered a rare stolen base on his old team during the series at Wrigley Field. On Sunday, the slugger with a bit of a reputation for not running hard on ground ball outs was seen advancing to third on a heads up base running move on a wild pitch that did not get too far from Cubs catcher Geovany Soto.
Brenly believed that Ramirez was motivated from playing his former team, and noted that Cubs starting third baseman since 2003 would probably still be in blue pinstripes if the now Brewer had provided that same level of effort in all facets of his game. Ramirez was rubbed the wrong way by Brenly’s comments on the corner infielder in 2012, and with 10 more games left against the division and geographical rivals, it will be interesting to see if the Brewer third sacker will have a rebuttal for Brenly through the media.
The Cubs continue their road trip with a pit stop two game series in St Louis starting tonight.