There are so many takeaways from this one that probably won’t leave me too upset come tomorrow, but the biggest one is that the Cubs just wasted a brilliant Jon Lester start. They might not get many more of those.
The Cubs bats could not get going in this one, in part because Brandon Woodruff has good stuff (as do the Brewers relievers), and in part because the strike zone was an absolute joke tonight. For the record, we’re 46 games into the season, and I haven’t bitched about the strike zone ONCE yet this year. I’ve seen some bad calls. Obviously. But that happens. For the most part, it’s been fine enough this year. But tonight? I can’t be quiet, because it was atrocious, and it kept coming on huge swing pitches against the Cubs.
The Cubs did also have three barrels on the night, and they had two outs and a ball that missed being a homer by a couple feet to show for them. Usually, you get more out of those.
The decisions in the 9th inning were pretty darn bizarre by David Ross, and we’ll have to get into those more tomorrow. Sending Rowan Wick out for a second inning was a little odd, but I can at least surmise the explanation (pen used up yesterday, tie game on the road so you’re going to need at least one more inning after that). But why pull him in favor of a contact guy when a runner reaches third with no outs, and the thing you need most is a strikeout? Jeffress is great, but he’s probably the reliever you’d want LEAST in that situation. Then, you also don’t walk Ryan Braun to load the bases and at least give yourself a better shot with the contact pitcher? Braun wound up hitting a sac fly to center, so it didn’t matter, but it was a bizarre choice in an inning with two or three of them.
Anyway, at least Craig Kimbrel looked really good in an actual high-leverage inning, and at least there was this:
Jon Lester has K'd Christian Yelich swinging three times tonight.
Going through Baseball Savant, this appears to be the first time Yelich has struck out swinging three times vs. the same pitcher in a game since July 20, 2014, vs. Tim Lincecum.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 12, 2020