Relief pitcher Justin Grimm knew he was in trouble when he misplayed a bunt straight to him in the bottom of the ninth to load the bases. Milwaukee left-fielder Caleb Gindl, who was a hit shy of the cycle in the Brewers’ series opening win last night, came up to bat with zero out. On a 2-0 pitch, Gindl popped up to Starlin Castro at shortstop to make it one out.
But that was the last good thing to happen for Chicago on the night. Pinch-hitter Logan Schaefer made contact on a suicide squeeze with pinch-runner Jeff Bianchi sprinting in for the winning run and a walk-off win in the “Basement Series.”
Gomez and third basemen Aramis Rameriz powered the Brewers all night long. The scoring started with the two in the bottom of the second inning when the former Cub hit a double and reached third on an error by center-fielder Ryan Sweeney. Gomez came up and hit a sacrifice fly to center to take the early 1-0 lead.
The game then quickly launched into a pitchers duel between Jeff Samardzija and Marco Estrada. Both went seven innings and allowed three runs, all earned. Samardzija ended with eight strikeouts, two walks, and five hits on 106 pitches. He also surpassed the 200th inning and 200th strikeout on the season, both career highs.
Estrada gave up four hits and one walk while striking out seven on 93 pitches. This was another consistent start for the right-hander since coming off of the Disabled List in early August.
Chicago was able to knock Estrada out of the game and into a no decision in the top of the seventh inning when left-fielder Junior Lake hit a lead-off double. After a quick out by first basemen Anthony Rizzo, right-fielder Nate Schierholtz took a walk followed by Sweeney hitting a sacrifice fly to score Lake and tie the game at one each.
Catcher Wellington Castillo came up and drilled a 1-0 breaking ball away and waist-high for his fourth long ball on the 11-game road trip to give Chicago their first lead on the night.
But Samardzija gave the game right back in the bottom half of the frame when Rameriz took a lead-off walk followed by a two-run home run drilled by Gomez on a 1-2 splitter high and tight. Samardzija was able to get out of the inning.
The teams traded relievers until the Brewers were able to load the bases and walk-off with the win. Grimm takes the loss as Brewers’ closer Jim Henderson notches the victory.
Something to watch for the rest of the season is the absence of offense from Brewers’ right-fielder Norichika Aokio of Milwaukee. In his last 11 games, he is hitting .159 (7 of 44) with seven walks, two triples, and two RBI’s. He has paced Milwaukee all year at the lead-off spot, but is having a terrible finish to the season.
The teams square off tomorrow for the third game in the four game “Basement Series.” First-pitch is set for 7:10pm CST.