Game 1 -- Brewers 11, Cubs 1
Do you want home runs? We have your home runs. Six, to be exact. The Brewers launched six big flys against the Cubs in the series opener, including two by Hunter Renfroe.
The Crew had a comfortable 4-0 lead with Adrian Houser cruising again and Jace Peterson and Andrew McCutchen both hitting home runs in the early going when Christian Yelich came to the plate in the fifth inning.
447 feet. That's a bomb.
The Brewers continued to pour it on, with the two aforementioned home runs by Renfroe and a blast by Willy Adames in the eighth to close out the scoring for the Brewers.
With Houser pitching six scoreless, it was all over but for the bullpen to manage three innings and for the Wrigleyville faithful to run that L up the pole on the North Side.
Game 2 -- Brewers 9, Cubs 1
Eric Lauer continues to make his case that he's another in the pack of aces in the Brewers rotation. Lauer struck out eleven in seven innings, giving up one run on a solo home run and lowering his season ERA to just 1.93. On the other side of the coin, the Brewers' offense continued the run-scoring onslaught from the day before, scoring three runs in the first and pounding three more home runs, bringing their two-day total to nine. Home runs from Rowdy Tellez, Hunter Renfroe, and Christian Yelich powered the Crew.
Yelich and Renfroe went back to back in the eighth, Yelich knocking one just over the wall in dead center field.
Yelich had many of these teaser moments last season, where many fans and pundits alike thought, "ok, maybe this is it! Maybe he's back! Maybe he's heating up!" It feels like he's hitting the ball with authority, lifting it, and the deeper numbers suggest this is the case. His launch angle, barrels, and hard-hit percentage suggest that he's hitting more authoritatively recently, and if this is a trend and not just a short tease, Brewer fans would certainly breathe a massive sigh of relief. Getting a productive bat back into the middle of the order would be a huge boost for what has been a run-starved lineup for large parts of the season.
After an eleven-run and nine-run outburst, the Brewers hang just above the league average of 4.15 runs per game, at 4.27. It's still early, and even a few big games can swing the average a lot,
Game 3 -- Cubs 2, Brewers 0
The Brewers and Corbin Burnes went up against Marcus Stroman, and while asking the offense to be average, ten runs per game for a three-game stretch might be asking a lot; getting Corbin Burnes some run support shouldn't be. Burnes was brilliant (again), but he needed to be perfect today. Going seven innings and striking out ten for his third start in a row, Burnes gave up single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings; that would be all the Cubs needed. As good as Burnes was, his counterpart Marcus Stroman was just as brilliant today, holding the Brewers scoreless on two hits through seven innings. The Brewers couldn't break through against the Cubs' bullpen and fell to the Cubs in the series finale.
Josh Hader had been used a lot (ten appearances) through the first nineteen games, so a three-game stretch where he's not used at all is a nice rest for his arm and will save some of those innings for later in the season and hopefully, the playoffs.
Winning any series from a division rival is a big get, and blowing out the Cubs twice in a row in Miller Park......er, American Family Field, feels doubly nice. Losing the finale with a whimper and wasting an excellent start by Corbin Burnes leaves that feeling of wanting more. Next up, the Brewers get a day off on Monday, followed by a three-game set against the Reds at Miller Park......er, American Family Field.
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