In the epic battle for the basement series between the fourth and fifth place teams in the National League Central, the Chicago Cubs fall to the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 in the first game of the four game series.
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson continued his the season-long battle with control lasting only four innings Monday night in Milwaukee. The Chicago defense and offensive productions unfortunately were no better than that of their starting pitcher with the defense committing three defensive errors, while at the plate scoring only one unearned run on five hits.
Jackson, who falls to 8-16 with a 4.75 ERA, completed four innings of work allowing two hits and two earned runs, while surrendering three walks and striking out three batters. Jackson was unable to work ahead in the count for most of the evening and his pitch count took a hit early on, leading manager Dale Sveum to pinch hit for Jackson in the top of the fifth inning. This decision prompted some words between Jackson and Sveum as Jackson headed through the dugout and back into the clubhouse. This is Jackson’s NL leading 16th loss and the only pitcher behind was Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta(15).
However this evening, Milwaukee’s starter Wily Peralta (10-15, 4.34 ERA) was able to pick the victory by tossing six innings allowing only five hits with an unearned run, striking out seven, and walking two batters. Peralta also worked his pitch count early on leading to an early exit after six innings of work. *Peralta’s pitch count was at 102 when he was removed heading into the top of the seventh inning.Along with the solid performance of Peralta, Brewers left fielder Caleb Gindl led the Milwaukee offense nearly missing a career night by an at-bat. Gindl was a double shy of the cycle Monday night going 3-3 with 3 RBIs, 3 runs and a walk. Gindl tripled to begin his night at the plate, followed by a walk, infield single, and a game-sealing two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Gindl began the scoring with the aforementioned triple to center field, which plated Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett who singled the at-bat prior. Gindl would then score on the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout by catcher Martin Maldonado giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth inning, which is all Milwaukee would ultimately need.
The Cubs would answer with their lone run of the evening in the fifth on a Starlin Castro single to center, plating catcher Wellington Castillo who doubled and advanced to third on an error to lead off the inning.
Caleb Gindl would strike again scoring the third run for the Brewers in the bottom of sixth on a pinch-hit RBI single from shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Betancourt would score later than inning on an RBI double from left fielder Jean Segura to push the Milwaukee lead 4-1.
In the bottom of the seventh the Brewers would complete their scoring with another two runs, from none other than left fielder Caleb Gindl, who deposited a two-run homer to center field scoring Aramis Ramirez.
Caleb Gindl was not all of Milwaukee’s offense, although pretty close, as a total of seven other Brewers were able to reach base without a single player getting more than a single hit.
Starlin Castro was lone bright spot for the Chicago offense in the lead-off role collecting two base hits with an RBI. Starting center fielder Ryan Sweeney also reached base twice, one single and a walk.
With this defeat the Cubs fall to 63-87 on the season and 3-5 on the current 11-game road trip, which ends in Milwaukee on Thursday.
The Brewers improve to 66-83 for the season and have now won four of their last five games, looking as if they could be favorites to run away from last place, which some Chicago fans embraced as their fate before the season.
Game two of the highly anticipated series will be at 7:10 P.M. CT at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Chicago Cubs: Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.44 ERA) Samardzija has given up five runs or more in each of his past three starts, while tossing a career-high 194 2/3 innings this season.
Milwaukee Brewers: Marco Estrada (6-4, 4.29 ERA) Estrada is pitching for the first time in 11 days, in which his last start was a lost no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinal when he was hit in the Achilles by line drive from Matt Carpenter.