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Series Preview – Cubs vs Brewers

Written by , Posted in General

Well…that was not fun.

As much as I keep telling myself everything is fine, it is hard not to feel lousy after getting swept this weekend. Especially after the games at times felt like they were well in hand.

We can chalk it up to April baseball, but it would be a nice way to bounce back vs the currently 2nd place Brewers.

2nd place Brewers. 1st place Reds. These are reasons to stop panicking about this start. A 2-4 start at home is not what anyone wants to see, but this team has been distracted by Rings, Banners, and hoopla. It is time to get back to baseball.

Where We have been – RIP to RISP?

It felt at times that our boys in blue could not BUY a clutch hit. However, they were 7 for 29 with runners in scoring position. This .241 average isn’t as horrendous as it felt this weekend, but it is not great.  A sobering thought: The Cubs only hit .252 as a team in 2016 with RISP, which was 21st in the majors. Too bad nothing good happened last year.

Who’s Next?

The Brew Crew are coming to town surprising many with a solid start. Their team is young on the field and improving under intriguing manager Craig Counsell.

Game 1

Chase Anderson vs. John Lackey, 7:05pm

Chase is off to a solid start this season with a miniscule .69 ERA. In his last start vs. Toronton he gave up 3 hits in 7IP while striking out 7. Cubs hitters do not have many collective at bats vs Chase, so expect to see lots of worked counts early in the game.

Game 2

Jimmy Nelson vs Brian Anderson, 7:05pm

If you remember very early in the season, Jimmy stifled the Cubs for 6 innings holding them to 4 hits while striking out 8. Historically, the young Cubs have had a hard time solving this 27 year old ground ball pitcher.

Game 3

Tommy Milone vs Kyle Hendricks, 1:20pm

In another early season rematch, Hendricks will look to improve on his rocky start to show us he is the dominate soft-contact machine we know he is. After winning in Milwaukee vs Milone on the 8th, Kyle will look to continue his 1.88 Ground Ball to Fly Ball ratio he achieved in his start on Friday vs Pittsburgh.

Keys to the Series

Offense. Offense. Offense. The Cubs have been putting runners on, but not getting them in. This has put a lot of pressure on the pitching staff and the bullpen to keep the team in games. As the team preps for a 9 game road trip, it would be great to get some wins at the Friendly Confines.

Pick to Click

With the Cubs lineup seeming to be a little too selective at time, I am looking to see some aggression from the mashing leadoff man Kyle Schwarber. With a few fly ball guys on the mound for Milwaukee, Schwarber should be able to dominate any cold conditions to send some balls into the previously marked Bryzzo territories.

Panic Meter

It’s April. Chill pill, guys.

  • Doug S.
    • Much better in a bottle Doug. Well played though.

  • Could you imagine how great this team would be if they knew how to manufacture a run when the big hits just weren’t coming? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “sky is falling” kind of person and I try to take a weekend like this one in stride. The Cubs are good. But if they added that strength to their arsenal, wow!

    • Sherm

      Smart, situational baseball?

      Nah. Never happen with this team.

      • Doug S.

        Yikes – to this start.

    • Jeff R

      I have always have thought this team (beyond maybe Zobrist) lack true contact hitters…they are a great team with great hitters, but only Rizzo chokes up and takes away from stride in exchange for contact with 2 strikes.

      • Yep. They live by the big hit. Which is great and exciting and fun when the big hits are coming. But when they’re not, they look a little bit lost instead of making some accommodations. A bunt base hit by Schwarber to start the game briefly made a liar out of me though!

  • Doc Raker

    Schwarbs 3b
    Bryant LF
    Rizzo 1b
    Russell SS
    Contreras C
    Zo 2b
    Baez RF
    Heyward CF

    Schwarbs 3b
    Bryant LF
    Rizzo 1b
    Russell SS
    Contreras C
    Baez 2b
    Almora CF
    Heyward RF

    Schwabs LF
    Bryant 3b
    Rizzo 1b
    Russell SS
    Contreras C
    Zo 2b
    Almora CF
    Baez RF

    Almora CF
    Rizzo 1b
    Bryant 3b
    Schwarbs LF
    Russell SS
    Contreras C
    Zo 2b
    Baez RF

    Let’s mix it up Joe.

    • Almora CF
      Vogelbach DH for interleague road games
      Bryant 3B
      Dunn 1B
      Schwarbs LF
      Russell SS
      Murton RF
      Contreras C
      Baez 2B

  • Doug S.

    Tried…and I can’t. Len – Montero’s got a 2 hit night. JD – On a three dog night…….Really? Hello vanilla Brewers guys.

  • Doc Raker

    Last year was fun…………………glad I enjoyed it. This year not so much so far…….