Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, Brewers 0
April, 12, 2012
By Sahadev Sharma
CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 8-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday at Wrigley Field:
HOW IT HAPPENED: Matt Garza shut down a strong Milwaukee offense, tossing 8 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only three hits and striking out nine. The Cubs' bats finally held up their end of the bargain, knocking out Zack Greinke early in the fourth, putting up eight runs on the Brewers' ace. Backup catcher Steve Clevenger went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Cubs starting pitching continues to be a bright spot and looks to be the team's best shot of staying in games. The offense finally broke out in the seventh game of the season and will need to do more of the same this weekend as they go up against a high-powered offense in St. Louis.
OFF BEAT: A strange play occurred in the fourth inning when Brewers' shortstop Alex Gonzalez made a great diving stop on David DeJesus' ground ball up the middle. Gonzalez turned and quickly made the throw to first, but first baseman Mat Gamel had left the bag, apparently assuming the ball had made it to the outfield and went to back up home plate. Adding to the confusion, Gonzalez was charged with the error, despite making a great play and a perfect throw.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Runs weren't at a premium for the Cubs on Thursday afternoon as eight men crossed home, but they're still lacking in the power department. With only three home runs and 14 total extra-base hits on the season, the Cubs managed only two doubles on Thursday (both by Clevenger) sandwiched in between 11 singles.
UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 1.04 ERA) takes on the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals as the Cubs head on the road for the first time this season. Adam Wainwright (0-1, 4.76), who missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, gets the start for the Cardinals in a 2:15 p.m. CT start Friday.