The top of the Brewers order and timely pitching came through big time as the Milwaukee Brewers (2-2) won 7-5 over the Chicago Cubs (1-3) at Wrigley Field on Monday night. Shaun Marcum made his first start of the year and he made it a good one as he got the victory thanks to his effective pitching and the cooperation of the Brewers bats. However, it wasn't all easy as the Cubs made a rally in the bottom of the ninth to nearly tie the game up before John Axford closed the door to earn his first save of the game.
While the Brewers used the long ball to help their cause it was the squeeze plays and sacrifice plays that led Milwaukee to the victory. It all started with former Cub Aramis Ramirez's sacrifice fly in the 1st inning, giving the Brewers the early lead.
After giving up runs in back-to-back innings the Brewers got back into the game thanks to a Rickie Weeks leadoff laser shot of a home run in the third inning to tie the game back up at 2-2. Then Shaun Marcum executed a perfect suicide squeeze in the fourth inning to give the Brewers the go ahead run.
From there the Brewers seemed to be in control of the game thanks to four runs between the 6th and 8th innings to go up 7-3 on the Cubs.
Things should've been done quickly but the combo of Manny Parra and Tim Dillard couldn't get the job done in the bottom of the ninth, allowing an earned run a piece to make the game 7-5. John Axford came in for the second straight day and looked shaky, but didn't allow a runner to score as he earned his first save of the year and his 44th consecutive save (dating back to last season).
CHC: Volstad - 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K, 1HR (87 pitches, 49 strikes)
MIL: Marcum - 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, OBB, 6K, 2HR (89 pitches, 62 strikes)
Braun: 2-4, 1BB, 1R, 1 stolen base
Gamel: 2-4, 1RBI, 2 runs, 1 stolen base
Gonzalez: 2-4, 1 run
Marcum & Gomez: Sacrifice bunts
Ramirez & Lucroy: Sacrifice flys
LaHair: 2-4, 1RBI
Barney: 1-3, 1RBI, 1HR, 2BB
Soto: 1-2, 2BB, 2 runs
- Marcum gave up home runs in the 1st and 2nd innings but overall it was a great peformance from him. He threw strikes on 69.6% of his pitches and only got above 20 pitches in an inning once (the 6th inning) in just his 3rd opportunity to throw in a major league game (spring training included).
- After going 0-for-5 to start the season Ryan Braun has been 6-for-11 since. He's recorded two doubles and a home run and has been hitting the ball pretty far and hard all season long.
- Mat Gamel recorded his 1st RBI of the season tonight and he's batting .286 early on this season.
- Alex Gonzalez had his first error this year tonight, but made up for it with a great scoop and flip to set up a double play later in the game.
Up next is game two of the series with the Cubs tomorrow night at 7:05pm Central and the game can be seen on FSWisconsin.