There was nothing doing in between Anthony Rizzo‘s fifth inning home run and the top of the eight, but Milwaukee has broken through in the top of the eighth.
The inning began with Justin Wilson on the hill for the Cubs, who surrendered a single to Orlando Arcia. Domingo Santana then doubled Arcia to third to put two men in scoring position with no one out. Joe Maddon had seen enough of Wilson at that point so he went to the pen and brought in Steve Cishek to face Lorenzo Cain.
Welp, that didn’t work. Cain singled to center, scoring Arcia and moving Santana to third, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
That caused Maddon to go to the pen once again and brought up Christian Yelich, who was 3-for-3 on the day, with runners on the corners and no one out. A home run in that situation would’ve not only broken the game wide open but would’ve put Yelich in a tie for the league lead in homers and in the outright lead for RBI. He already leads in batting, so with one swing he could not only win the division for Milwaukee, but he could win the Triple Crown.
Nah, didn’t happen. New Cubs reliever Randy Rosario bore down and struck Yelich out.
Brandon Kintzler came on to face Ryan Braun and Braun, with the count 2-2, served one into right center to score Santana and send Cain to third base:
Kintzelr stayed on to face Jesus Aguilar, again with runners on the corners. Braun attempted to steal second but he guessed poorly, Kintzler pitched out and Willson Contreras had no problem throwing Braun out at second. A good play by Javier Baez too, fielding the throw, making the tag, all while looking Cain back over to third base to head off a delayed double steal. Baez is something special, folks. After the throwout, Aguilar flied out to left for out number three.
Nonetheless, the Brewers have a 3-1 lead. The Cubs are down to their final six outs. It’s tight, but the Brewers are close to breaking through to the NL Central title.
“We haven’t had many games like this,” Dodgers manager Dave Robert said after last night’s loss to the Yankees. That’s for sure.
There were no wild walkoff hits. There were no home runs by Dodger batters. There were two, including a grand slam, from Didi Gregorius, however, and he and New York batters pounded Hyun-Jin Ryu, perhaps the stingiest pitcher in baseball this year, for seven runs on nine hits in four and a third as the Yankees beat the Dodgers 10-2 in Dodger Stadium.
Aaron Judge, who has been slumping something terrible, opened up the scoring with a solo home run in the third. Two batters later Gary Sánchez matched him with a blast of his own. An A.J. Pollock RBI single in the bottom half of the inning made it a 2-1 game but after that the Yankees stepped on the gas with a five-run fifth highlighted by a Didi Gregorius grand slam. Gleber Torres would homer in the sixth, Judge would single home a run in the eighth and Gregorius would strike again in the ninth with a solo homer for his second blast of the night. That one gave the Yankees 57 bombs in the month of August, which sets a team record. There’s still a week left in August too.
As for the Dodgers, Ryu was uncharacteristically rusty, though it probably should be noted that this was his second poor outing in a row. struggled through his second straight sub-par outing. The last time out he lost to Atlanta. allowing all four Braves’ runs in 5 2/3 innings as the Dodgers fell 4-3. His ERA came in to this game at a still-MLB-best 1.64, but those seven runs in fewer than five — his shortest outing in nearly two months — puffed it up to an even 2.00.
The Yankees scored just nine runs in their three losses in Oakland. Last night they beat that by one. And they brought themselves to within one game of the Dodgers for the best record in all of baseball, which would determine home field in the World Series should these two powerhouses meet.
For now, though, Roberts is limiting the implications of all of this to Friday night, saying “fortunately, it only counts for one loss.” Yep. But man, it was an ugly one.