The Cubs couldn’t bring home the series win today, and really weren’t ever even in the game. That’s three straight series losses after the opening series win.
The Cubs’ offense might not be hitting ANYONE right now, but you have to give respect to Brewers starter Corbin Burnes, who is pitching as well as anyone I’ve seen in recent years. It’s not just that he’s striking out literally half of the batters who come to the plate, and it’s not just that he has walked literally no one this year. It’s that when you watch, his pitches are just dang unhittable. He throws – among other absurd pitches – a cutter with huge lateral movement AT 97 MILES PER HOUR. It is a completely unfair pitch, and I honestly don’t know what you can do as a hitter if he’s commanding it.
Of course, the Brewers bullpen owned the Cubs, too, so Burnes really only gets like 60% credit.
Jake Arrieta pitched all right in this one, giving up some hard contact early, and then settling in. The third run he gave up came on a Travis Shaw homer that was one of those “how did he hit that” deals below the strike zone on a good pitch. Basically what you expect/hope to get from Arrieta, realistically. It’s just that the offense right now makes it seem like a typical Arrieta start might be a lost cause from the get-go.
Newly-called up righty Shelby Miller got the ball next, and it could not have gone worse. We’ll have to dig in more on the implications later, because it’s a whole discussion. Suffice to say, he was really wild right away, allowed two bloop hits, and then just flat couldn’t throw a strike. Three walks later, he was out, and Justin Steele had to try to clean things up (himself throwing three balls to kick off his outing before allowing a single to pitcher Corbin Burnes). Not a banner day on the pitching side, except for another fine low-leverage appearance by Dillon Maples.
Offensively, it was another day of almost no hits, an enormous volume of strikeouts, and head-scratching moments.