MILWAUKEE – Sixteen last strikes for the 16 batters faced by Milwaukee’s bullpen in Chicago’s 6-4 win over the Brewers on Wednesday night.
1. A Brewers-Cubs game at Miller Park is an experience, to say the least.
2. Aside from the near 50-50 mix of fans inside the stadium, the game itself was a sloppy, strange one.
3. Milwaukee gifted the Cubs a few runs in the fourth inning that likely cost them the game. All four runs were technically earned ones that were charged to starter Jhoulys Chacin, but poor defensive play enabled them to occur. Milwaukee committed three errors on the night. It’s not often that a team is able to overcome that type of night in the field and come away victorious.
4. Chicago starter José Quintana kept the Milwaukee bats in check as he pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. He’s had quite a bit of success against the Brewers this season, with the exception of his most recent start in this rivalry in Chicago.
5. And yes, despite what some may say, this is a rivalry. Chicago’s Cole Hamels may say otherwise, but he’s incorrect.
6. The Brewers still found a way to give themselves a chance in the ninth inning, which says a lot about the heart of this team. It was a game they had no business winning, but still almost found a way. Milwaukee had the winning run at the plate and the tying run at first in the ninth but was unable to push anything across.
7. This game isn’t one that defines the season for the Brewers, after all, they still have 21 more games to play before a potential October run. The outlook after this loss shouldn’t be all doom and gloom. The Brewers still won two out of three against Chicago, marking their fifth consecutive series victory. That matters more than being unable to complete the sweep.
8. On Wednesday night Miller Park was roughly 60 percent Brewers fans, with the other parts of the stadium filled with a different shade of blue. To an outsider, it’s an odd scene, for sure. Every play is cheered, whether it results in a positive or negative outcome for the home team. It’s strange to see and is obviously a result of the close proximity of the two fan bases.
9. The one moment where things seemed normal was during a replay review. Both sides seemed to think that the call was going to go in their favor. While the instant replay of Lorenzo Cain’s throw home to nab Anthony Rizzo to end the fifth was shown on the scoreboard in center field the crowd erupted.
10. The reasoning for the eruption was different for each side, obviously. Milwaukee fans felt that the call would stand because the video evidence showed Rizzo’s leg tagged by Brewers catcher Erik Kratz prior to him reaching the dish. Chicago fans felt the opposite and that Rizzo would be ruled safe, Chicago would add a run, and the inning would continue.
11. When crew chief Ed Hickox revealed that the call was upheld, the crowd once again split between cheers and boos, with each person trying to be louder than the enemy fan beside them.
12. This is no more prevalent than the middle of the seventh inning while “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is played throughout Miller Park. While the line is officially “root, root, root for the home team” it is typically changed depending on the nickname of the home team.
13. When the Cubs are in Milwaukee, “home team” is replaced by the strangest mix of Brewers and Cubbies that one has ever heard.
14. Again, don’t tell me this isn’t a rivalry.
15. It’s a rivalry that will be renewed next week in Chicago, and could make for an exciting and interesting October experience as well.
16. The Brewers are off on Thursday before resuming action against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at Miller Park. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.