Cubs, Arrieta open series against Brewers in Milwaukee
While lingering on the edge of the second Wild Card spot, this stretch against sub-.500 teams was supposed to be a good opportunity for the Chicago Cubs to make up ground. It’s been a struggle so far, and now they face the last-place Milwaukee Brewers who have beaten the Cubs four out of six contests. Jake Arrieta (11-6, 2.61) faces off against Jimmy Nelson (8-9, 3.97).
In Arrieta’s last outing, it didn’t really matter that he wasn’t as sharp as he has been. The Cubs (53-47) were no-hit by the Phillies Cole Hamels as Arrieta allowed just three runs over six innings. He’ll face off against an equally hot pitcher in the Brewers (44-58) Jimmy Nelson, who has gone 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his last six starts. Arrieta, not to be outdone is 5-1 in his last seven with a 1.37 ERA.
The Cubs lineup should look fairly normal, as Starlin Castro returns while Kris Bryant gets a day off (No, he’s not being traded). Kyle Schwarber will get another go of it in left field while Chris Coghlan will get the start at third. With a need to get the offense rolling, Joe Maddon has to find a place to get Schwarber’s bat in when David Ross is behind the plate.
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The Brewers hottest hitter as of late is Gerardo Parra who is on a 13-game hitting streak entering tonight. His name has been mentioned with several teams–including the Cubs–as a possible trade target before Friday’s deadline. Ryan Braun recently returned to the lineup after struggling at the plate going 6-for-34 since the All-Star break.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT at Miller Park. CSN will have the television coverage while WBBM 780 will have the radio broadcast.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s series opener: