Cubs 5 @ Brewers 9
It’s very rare that I skip out on a game I’m supposed to recap. If I want the recap to have any kind of authority, or if I expect you to benefit from reading it, I think it’s incumbent upon me to at least watch the game in question.
Monday night was an exception. After watching the better part of the first four and a half innings, I left the game and went to see a movie with a friend. What we saw is immaterial. Suffice it to say, watching senior citizens fire automatic weapons for the better part of two hours was preferable to the carnage that took place last night at Miller Park. (You guessed it–we saw Hope Springs.)
When I left, my hopes for a victory were reasonably high. Justin Germano wasn’t overpowering anyone, but he had the Brewers’ lineup guessing, and often guessing wrong. The Cubs had just extended a not-quite-comfortable-but-possibly-sustainable lead on the back of Josh Vitters’ first career homerun, and they looked to be cruising. Or at least this team’s version of cruising.
The one indication that things might not go our way was the repeated reprieves the Cubs gave Brewers’ starter Mark Rogers. In the 1st inning Rogers looked shaky–in the 2nd, he looked downright lost. That we only collected two of what could and should have been many more seems in retrospect like the first indication the night wouldn’t go our way. When Rogers rebounded in the 3rd and 4th innings, I was a little concerned that he might have found his rhythm (although the Cubs were swinging so freely at that point that it was hard to give him all the credit). Vitters’ homer in the top of the 5th made me think Rogers’ improvement was just a blip, and I headed out the door hoping the Cubs might tack on a couple more runs before the night was over.
Instead, they went into meltdown. Justin Germano fell apart in the bottom half of the inning and couldn’t get a third out to stop the bleeding. He was removed after giving up four runs with two runners still on base. Jeff Beliveau came in and promptly gave up back-to-back homeruns to give the Brewers a 6-run lead. The eight runs they surrendered made it one of the worst half-innings of the season for Cubs pitchers (especially considering that human time bomb Chris Vosltad was nowhere in sight), and turned a once-winnable game into a laugher for the other side.
In a darkened theater, I received a disheartening text message. “9-3. You chose wisely!” Indeed.