Monday, August 20, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Brewers 9, Cubs 5
By Doug Padilla
MILWAUKEE -- All it took was one half inning for the Chicago Cubs to go from a two-run lead to a six-run deficit in a 9-5 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.
How it happened: The Brewers blew the lid off this one with an eight-run fifth inning when they sent 12 batters to the plate. Milwaukee managed to score six of the eight runs with two outs as six consecutive batters reached base before the final out was recorded. Josh Vitters hit his first career home run in the top of the fifth inning.
What it means: Currently on pace to lose 99 games, that number will only increase if the Cubs' frequency of defeats continues. The Cubs have now lost 16 of their last 20 games, a run that started July 31, the day that Ryan Dempster was traded to the Texas Rangers and the day after Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Paul Maholm were also dealt. The club record for losses in a season is 103 set in both 1962 and 1966.
Outside the box: It’s amazing what a day to sit back and soak it all in can do. Anthony Rizzo didn’t play Sunday, the first time he wasn’t in the starting lineup since being called up in late June. Rizzo started the day with just two extra-base hits this month and none since Aug. 9, but in his first trip to the plate after his one-day break, he hit an RBI ground-rule double to the left-field corner. Rizzo finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk.
Off beat: There were clear skies and comfortable temperatures in Milwaukee at the start of play Monday, but the Brewers weren’t about to take any chances. The Brewers and Cubs played with the retractable roof closed at Miller Park. On Sunday a pop-up storm cell caused a rare rain delay at the game between the Brewers and Phillies because the roof couldn’t be closed in time. Because the roof takes 10 minutes to completely close, Sunday’s game was delayed seven minutes.
Up next: The Cubs will send left-hander Chris Rusin to the mound against the Brewers on Monday to make his major league debut. He will be opposed by Milwaukee right-hander Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.52) in the 7:10 p.m. start from Miller Park.