Series Preview – Cubs vs Brewers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s April. Chill pill, guys.