Another day, another thud right from the beginning. Usually when you score 10 runs, you make it a ballgame. That has not been the way of the Cubs recently.
After going scoreless in their half of the first, the Cubs came out behind Jose Quintana, who immediately gave up a hit to Lorenzo Cain, a stolen base, a double to Christian Yelich, and a single to Ryan Braun, which Jason Heyward then booted in center. It was just so perfectly and immediately awful that you barely had a chance to breathe before you knew what you were seeing, and how hauntingly familiar it all was.
The Brewers were so pesky in the first that Quintana had to throw 32 pitches, despite no walks, and despite a double play mixed in. He was toast after that, with nothing resembling decent command, giving up eight freaking runs before his three innings were over. The Cubs don’t have a bullpen problem – they have a pitching problem.
To the bats’ credit, they aren’t entirely giving up in these games, and, thanks to a Daniel Descalso homer, a Kris Bryant double, and a Willson Contreras homer, the Cubs cut the lead to 8-5 in the 5th. But after Brad Brach allowed a runner to reach in his second inning of work in the bottom of that frame, Joe Maddon went to Carl Edwards Jr. (again) to clean up a messy inning, and it didn’t work out (again). He gave up a homer to Orlando Arcia on a pitch that could not have been better placed on a tee. That pushed the lead back to five runs, and a subsequent Eric Thames three-run shot (off of Brandon Kintzler, so add him to the mix of every broken bullpen arm AMIRITE) made it 13-5.
Jason Heyward homered to make it 13-7, but what are you gonna do when the pitching gives up a baker’s dozen? Well, keep on trying, dang it! The Cubs got it to 13-10 in the 9th, but that was as close as they got. Good on the offense for at least trying to make some magic happen.