The late score put this one into “save” territory, and maybe you can take a tiny victory away from the Brewers having to bring in Josh Hader to finish this one out. The reality, though, is that once again, the Cubs scored a run early, and then did nothing. It was just not a close game after Adbert Alzolay departed.
Through five innings, Alzolay was pitching as well as anyone we’ve seen the last few years – like, right up there with a good Yu Darvish outing. Pounding the zone, crummy contact, and so many whiffs. He came out for the sixth, allowing a groundball single through the shift, a 3-2 walk, and then a solid pull single to load the bases. It wasn’t like he’d lost it. He got a groundball out (at home), and then was pulled. I wouldn’t say I hated the pull – third time through the order, high stress – but I also kinda wondered if Alzolay couldn’t get himself out of it, given the low pitch count and nasty stuff.
Unfortunately for Alzolay and his ERA, Andrew Chafin immediately allowed a bases-clearing double, and then a lot more from there. Woof.
Justin Steele got to make his big league debut, and flashed his impressive stuff in relief. There’s a reason we’ve been saying he has big league pitches for a while now. He does. As with a lot of guys, though, the separator is whether you can consistently locate them. There was a fit of wildness in there for him, so we’ll see going forward. For now, I just dig that he had a successful debut and flashed good stuff.
The bats looked atrocious again. A couple good hits here, some good pitchers faced there. Yes. I acknowledge it. But the bats also looked quite bad, even separating out that stuff mentally. It’s a problem. It’s been a problem. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already.