Since joining the Chicago Cubs, Cole Hamels has been phenomenal. He has been better than any of us imagined he would be.
Many wondered how he would pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs’ rival all season long. In six starts with the Cubs, Hamels is 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA. That is a jaw dropper. Considering Hamels overall is 9-9 and has a season ERA of 3.70, you would not think he was having that great of a season. If you’ve never believed in the saying “change of scenery”, well believe in it now.
The Cubs struck early against Zach Davies. With one out, Javier Baez blooped a little hit into right field. Following Baez, Anthony Rizzo singled to center. With a bad bobble from Lorenzo Cain and a bad throw to the plate from the cut off man, Baez was able to score all the way from first base, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The Brewers would not get anything going until the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Orlando Arica singled to left field. A balk from Hamels to Murphy allowed Arica to advance easily. Lorenzo Cain singled Arica in, and advanced to second, tying the ball game. Christian Yelich singled in Cain to take the lead, 2-0.
With the Cubs not having a hit since the fourth inning & Josh Hader dominating on the mound it looked pretty scary for the Cubs. Hader pitched two perfect innings until he went out for his third. A leadoff walk to Ian Happ, looked like it would not be trouble as Hader struck out both batters following. With two outs and a man on first, Rizzo took Hader’s pitch far into the seats, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead. Rizzo has been unbelievably clutch this year. When Rizzo mashed the home run, it sounded like a home game with all the chants and screams.
Fortunately for Hamels, the two runs were not charged to him as they came off errors. Hamels went six innings and allowed five hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Hamels has been tremendous and thankfully Rizzo bailed him out as he would’ve been in the loss column this afternoon.
The Brewers threatened in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Carl Edwards Jr. was on the mound for his 27th birthday to hold the lead. Back to back singles by Curtis Granderson and Lorenzo Cain put the Brewers in good shape. Edwards was able to strike out the next two batters. Edwards walked Ryan Braun to load the bases for Mike Moustakas. Moustakas didn’t even have to swing the bat as Edwards walked him to tie the ball game. Steve Cishek was able to finally get the third out.
Joe Maddon and Carl Edwards Jr. both were ejected from the ballgame in that crazy inning for arguing with the home plate umpire. I have to strongly agree with Maddon as the umpire has been all over the place all game.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Brewers threatened once again. Cishek allowed Erik Kratz to walk to lead off the inning. Following Kratz, Cishek hit Arcia with a pitch, giving the Brewers two on and nobody out. Granderson struck out trying to bunt. Cishek exited the game after hitting Cain with a pitch. Jesse Chavez took the mound and hoped to stop the damage.
Chavez was able to get Christian Yelich to hit a ground ball, right to Bryant. Bryant stepped on third and hoped he would have enough time to get the runner at first, but he didn’t. The Brewers walked off and took game one of the series, 4-3.
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