Enhanced Box Score: Brewers 3, Cubs 1 – April 1, 2023
The Cubs’ offense is not expected to be great this year (especially without Seiya Suzuki). But today’s one-run effort was a reminder that the offense is going to put a lot of pressure on the pitchers and the gloves to be perfect a lot of the time. Today, when it mattered most, they weren’t. So the Cubs lost. But it’s as much on the bats as it was on the pitchers and gloves. That’s going to come up a lot this year, I suspect.
Javier Assad followed Justin Steele’s excellent outing and cruised through the 7th, looking dominant in the process. He stayed in there for the 8th, allowing a leadoff single and then losing the strike zone even as the Brewers were trying to give him an out via the bunt. That left the Brewers wide open to score the tying run on a routine grounder through a hole. Bad second inning by Assad, though the line looks a lot worse than he actually did – that one terrible walk when the Brewers were trying to give up an out. That was the problem.
Michael Fulmer came in to try to get out of it, and although he struck out Christian Yelich, he gave up a bloop single to William Contreras to give the Brewers the lead. Both hits in the inning were of the crappy contact variety, but again, when your margins for error are so thin, sometimes the crappy hits are gonna beat you.
On the blooper, by the way … what on earth are you doing, Miles Mastrobuoni:
I get that he might not have caught it anyway. And I get that he’s not an outfielder by trade. But you’re into a tie game in the 8th inning as a defensive replacement. THAT IS WHEN YOU LAY OUT TO MAKE THE CATCH. I just have no idea how you don’t pull the trigger there. If the ball falls in, you probably lose anyway. SO GO FOR IT. GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE.
Cubs maybe got something cooking in the 9th with the first two guys reaching, but Cody Bellinger hit into a double play and Mastrobuoni struck out, so that was that.
I am out of practice being very angry about Cubs losses. This is going to take me a while to get over.
Justin Steele had a rough beginning of his day, struggling to find his release point and issuing multiple walks in the first inning. But a pitcher’s-helper double-play behind him got him out of trouble, and then he locked it in for the next five, very smooth innings.
It was, however, in vain.