Series Review 4/8/11-4/10/11: Milwaukee Brewers


The Cubs kicked off their season series against the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend, and aimed to take advantage of a team that has a lot of key pieces on the disabled list. Despite that fact, by the time Sunday’s game ended the Cubs were anxious to get out of Milwaukee.

Game 1– Jeff “The Home Run” Baker Bakes The Brewers

  • One of the few bright spots of this series came on Friday, when Jeff Baker went 4 for 5 with 4 RBI’s to propel the Cubs to a 7 to 4 victory.

Game 2-The Prince Serves Court over Garza, Cubs

Game 3–Shaky Relief and Miscommunications Doom Cubs

  • In a back-and-forth game, the Brewers took charge in the eighth inning off of Kerry Wood, and were helped by a miscommunication by Marlon Byrd in the ninth inning to give the Brewers the 6 to 5 victory.

After a positive start to series on Friday for the Cubs, the past two games were equally as devastating. While the common phrase is to say that it is still early in the season, it is never good to drop two of three games to a division foe like the Brewers. The one positive note–which as you will soon find out, could be a negative as well–is that with the exception of Saturday’s game, the Cubs were able to stay on par with Milwaukee. As long as the Cubs beat the teams they should, and remain competitive against the top-tier teams they should be in contention.

Things To Take From The Series

  • Despite the fact that it is only two weeks into the season, the Cubs have already been battle-tested as if they midway through the season. With the exception of a couple of games this season, the Cubs have been in tightly contested battles with each team they have played. As Joe noted yesterday, it appears that the increased pressures are getting to the team within the clubhouse. Marlon Byrd had an heated exchange with the media, as well as Quade not appearing to be to0 comfortable with the media.
  • There also appear to be some growing tensions between Matt Garza and new pitching coach Mark Riggins. May be Carlos Silva was on to something there? After struggling in his start against the Brewers, Garza told reporters that throwing consecutive off-speed pitches is not his style. Indirectly taking a shot at Riggins and his approach. Riggins refuted that report by saying “…we’re going to find a happy medium.” Clearly Garza and Riggins are at two separate ends of the spectrum as far what the gameplan is for Garza. That is something that needs to be worked out if the trade for Garza is going to look like a intelligent decision.

Who’s Hot

  • Marlon Byrd–After having noted offensive struggles to begin the season, Marlon Byrd has rebounded nicely. In the series against the Brewers, Byrd hit .417/.500/.75o with 4 doubles. This is the type of production the Cubs need out of Byrd if he is going to remain in the third spot of the lineup. Especially with Aramis Ramirez looking very comfortable at the dish.

Who’s Not

  • Carlos Pena– Watching Carlos Pena offensively during the Milwaukee series must have been extremely frustrating for any Cubs fan. Pena had 2 hits in 11 chances to go along with 6 strikeouts. On top of that, Pena was a rally-killer this series as he continuously failed to cash in on scoring opportunities throughout the series. If the Cubs are going to go anywhere this season, Carlos Pena needs to start producing offensively. Granted it is foolish to hope for any type of average from Pena, but, he is lacking in the categories the Cubs were hoping that he excelled in which are on base percentage, slugging percentage, and overall run production.

Who’s Next

  • The Cubs head to the Lone-Star State to take on the Houston Astros starting tonight.