The Chicago Cubs bullpen wasn’t perfect, but it was the early home runs from the Milwaukee Brewers that was the difference in the 6-3 loss. The Brewers first four runs came via the long ball off of John Lackey.
The Chicago Cubs find themselves in uncharted territory. They fell to under .500, but this isn’t the time to panic for the Cubs. After a strong run by the starters, John Lackey allowed four runs–all on home runs–but held on to pitch six innings while taking the loss. The Milwaukee Brewers got a strong five innings from Chase Anderson as he continues to pitch well in the absence of Matt Garza.
The Cubs (6-7) were down quick as Ryan Braun got a two-run home run in the first to put the Brewers (8-6) on the board first. In the bottom half of the first, the Cubs battled back with a leadoff bunt from Kyle Schwarber, followed later by a bloop single from Ben Zobrist to bring the Cubs back to 2-1.
Lackey (1-2, 4.00) continued to struggle in keeping the ball in the yard as Jeff Bandy connected for a solo home run to put the Brewers up 3-1. The Cubs battled back in the bottom half of the second as Albert Almora, Jr. doubled in the tying runs in Jason Heyward and Miguel Montero to knot the game at 3-3.
But that would be all Chase Anderson (2-0, 1.50) would allow as he went five innings, striking out seven while allowing seven hits. The bullpen of the Brewers was just as effective as four pitchers each pitched a scoreless inning to help close out the game.
Pedro Strop bounced back to pitch a scoreless inning, but Mike Montgomery wasn’t as lucky. He allowed a RBI double to Ryan Braun, who scored shortly after while trying to steal third. The throw got away as he was able to cross home plate easily.
But at that point, the game was already decided. Once again, runners left in scoring position doomed the Cubs. They had their chances but went 2-for-12 with the opportunity to drive runners in.