Rapid Reaction: Brewers 5, Cubs 2
April, 25, 2014
By Jesse Rogers
MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Cubs lost 5-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. Here’s a quick look at the game:
How it happened: Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead in the first and never looked back as the Brewers peppered Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva over his five innings. The first three batters reached on hits to plate the early runs. Milwaukee added single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, including Lyle Overbay's first home run of the season on the 10th pitch of his fourth-inning at-bat. The Cubs scored off of Matt Garza in the third as Emilio Bonifacio drove in Ryan Sweeney, who had walked. They added a run in the seventh on a Sweeney groundout, but that’s as close as they came. Villanueva (1-5) gave up 11 hits and five runs. Anthony Rizzo was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
What it means: Garza got the better of the Cubs in his first game against his former team, pitching seven innings and giving up just four hits and two runs. Villanueva, on the other hand, continued a trend -- his stuff is simply getting hit hard. It didn’t help that Junior Lake made two mistakes in left field and was brutal at the plate, striking out twice. He broke his bat over his knee after one punchout. The Cubs will have to win the next two games to win their first series of the year. The odds don’t look good.
Villanueva: The right-hander has given up 40 hits in just 19 innings pitched, and he became the first Cub since Les Lancaster in 1988 to give up 30 or more hits over three consecutive starts, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Jake Arrieta is due back soon, but Villanueva actually could make one more start. It remains to be seen if he will.
Neil Ramirez debut: One of the pitchers the Cubs got in last year's trade of Garza to Texas made his major league debut, walking one and striking out one in an inning of work. Ramirez should remember his first strikeout as he got former MVP Ryan Braun on a 96 mph fastball. Braun had been 3-for-3 as had Carlos Gomez, whom Ramirez got to fly out.
What’s next: Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday at 6:10 p.m., with Travis Wood (1-2, 2.52) taking on Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.66).