Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

Full 2014 Brewers Schedule (All Game Times Released)

Milwaukee Brewers

Here is the entire Milwaukee Brewers regular season schedule, complete with all but one game time announced. That game is Saturday, August 20th in San Francisco against the Giants. I’ll update this space when I notice that game time having been set.

All times listed are CT.

March/April

Monday, March 31: Atlanta Braves, 1:10pm
Tuesday, April 1: Atlanta Braves, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 2: Atlanta Braves, 12:10pm

Friday April 4: at Boston Red Sox, 1:10pm
Saturday, April 5: at Boston Red Sox, 6:10pm
Sunday, April 6: at Boston Red Sox, 12:35pm

Monday, April 7: at Philadelphia Phillies, 2:05pm
Wednesday, April 9: at Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05pm
Thursday, April 10: at Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05pm

Friday, April 11: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Sat, April 12: Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10pm
Sunday, April 13: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:10pm

Monday, April 14: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Tuesday, April 15: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 16: St. Louis Cardinals, 12:10pm

Thursday, April 17: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Friday, April 18: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, April 19: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Sunday, April 20: at PIttsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Monday, April 21: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm
Tuesday,, April 22: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 23: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm

Friday, April 25: Chicago Cubs: 7:10pm
Saturday, April 26: Chicago Cubs: 6:10pm
Sunday, April 27: Chicago Cubs: 1:10pm

Monday, April 28: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Tuesday, April 29: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Wednesday, April 30: at St. Louis Cardinals, 12:45pm

May

Thursday, May 1: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Friday, May 2: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Saturday, May 3: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Sunday, May 4: at Cincinnati Reds, 3:10pm

Monday, May 5: Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:10pm
Tuesday, May 6: Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 7: Arizona Diamondbacks, 12:10pm

Friday, May 9: New York Yankees, 7:10pm
Saturday, May 10: New York Yankees, 6:10pm
Sunday, May 11: New York Yankees, 1:10pm

Tuesday, May 13: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 14: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Thursday, May 15: Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:10pm

Friday, May 16: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Saturday, May 17: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Sunday, May 18: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm

Monday, May 19: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Tue, May 20 at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Wed, May 21: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Thursday, May 22: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm

Friday, May 23: at Miami Marlins, 6:10pm
Saturday, May 24: at Miami Marlins, 3:10pm
Sunday, May 25: at Miami Marlins, 12:10pm

Monday, May 26: Baltimore Orioles, 1:10pm
Tuesday, May 27: Baltimore Orioles, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 28: Baltimore Orioles, 7:10pm

Friday, May 30: Chicago Cubs, 7:10pm
Saturday, May 31: Chicago Cubs, 3:10pm

June

Sunday, June 1: Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm

Monday, June 2: Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Tuesday, June 3: Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Wednesday, June 4: at Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Thursday, June 5: at Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm

Friday, June 6: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, June 7: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 3:05pm
Sunday, June 8: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Tuesday, June 10:  at New York Mets, 6:10pm
Wednesday, June 11:  at New York Mets, 6:10pm
Thursday, June 12: at New York Mets, 6:10pm

Friday, June 13: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Sunday, June 14: Cincinnati Reds, 6:15pm
Sunday, June 15: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Monday, June 16: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Tuesday, June 17: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Wednesday, June 18: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Thursday, June 19: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 2:40pm

Friday, June 20: at Colorado Rockies, 7:40pm
Saturday, June 21: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm
Sunday, June 22: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm

Monday, June 23: Washington Nationals, 7:10pm
Tuesday, June 24: Washington Nationals, 7:10pm
Wednesday, June 25: Washington Nationals, 1:10pm

Thursday, June 26: Colorado Rockies, 7:10pm
Friday, June 27: Colorado Rockies, 7:10pm
Saturday, June 28: Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm
Sunday, June 29: Colorado Rockies, 1:10pm

July

Tuesday, July 1: at Toronto Blue Jays, 12:07pm
Wednesday, July 2: at Toronto Blue Jays, 11:37am

Friday, July 4: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Saturday, July 5: at Cincinnati Reds, 3:10pm
Sunday, July 6: at Cincinnati Reds, 12:10pm

Monday, July 7: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 8: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 9: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Thursday, July 10: Philadelphia Phillies, 1:10pm

Friday, July 11: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Saturday, July 12: St. Louis Cardinals, 3:10pm
Sunday, July 13: St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10pm

Friday, July 18: at Washington Nationals, 6:05pm
Saturday, July 19: at Washington Nationals, 6:05pm
Sunday, July 20: at Washington Nationals, 12:35pm

Monday, July 21: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 22: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 23: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Thursday, July 24: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Friday, July 25: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Saturday, July 26: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Sunday, July 27: New York Mets, 1:10pm

Monday, July 28: at Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10pm
Tuesday, July 29: at Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10pm
Wednesday, July 30: at Tampa Bay Rays, 11:10am

August

Friday, August 1: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Saturday, August 2: at St. Louis Cardinals, 6:15pm
Sunday, August 3: at St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15pm

Tuesday, August 5: San Francisco Giants, 7:10pm
Wednesday, August 6: San Francisco Giants, 7:10pm
Thursday, August 7: San Francisco Giants, 1:10pm

Friday, August 8: Los Angeles Dodgers, 7:10pm
Saturday, Aug .9: Los Angeles Dodgers, 6:10pm
Sunday, August 10: Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:10pm

Monday, August 11: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Tuesday, August 12: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Wednesday, August 13: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Thursday, August 14: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm

Friday, August 15: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10pm
Saturday, August 16: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10pm
Sunday, August 17: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 3:10pm

Tuesday, August 19: Toronto Blue Jays, 7:10pm
Wednesday, August 20: Toronto Blue Jays, 1:10pm

Friday, August 22: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Saturday, August 23: Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10pm
Sunday, August 24: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:10pm

Monday, August 25: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm
Tuesday, August 26: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm
Wednesday, August 27: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm

Friday, August 29: at San Francisco Giants, 9:15pm
Saturday, August 30: at San Francisco Giants, TBA
Sunday, August 31: at San Francisco Giants, 3:05pm

September

Monday, September 1: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Tuesday, September 2: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Wednesday, September 3: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm

Thursday, September 4: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Friday, September 5: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 6: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Sunday, September 7: St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10pm

Monday, September 8: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Tuesday, September 9: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Wednesday, September 10: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Thursday, September 11: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm

Friday, September 12: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 13: Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Sunday, September 14: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Tuesday, September 15: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Wednesday, September 16: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Thursday, September 17: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm

Friday, September 18: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, September 19: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Sunday, September 20: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Tuesday, September 22: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Wednesday, September 23:: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Thursday, September 24: at Cincinnati Reds, 11:35am

Friday, September 25: Chicago Cubs, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 26: Chicago Cubs, 6:10pm
Sunday, September 27: Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm

This Week in Brewers Transactions (9/30-10/4)

MatGamel

It’s been just four business days since the Milwaukee Brewers played their final game of the 2013 Major League Baseball regular season. A number of transactions — both at the 40-man roster level and elsewhere in the organization — have happened so far this week, so here’s a full “recappening” to make sure you’re up to speed.

I include my tweets about the bullet items to illustrate that the best way to get this information quickly is to just follow me on Twitter (@BrewerNation).

During the week of September 12-18:

  • RHP Arcenio Leon was signed to a 2014 MiLB contract (but it would be announced officially by the team finally on 10/1).

Tuesday, October 1

  • RHP Austin Blaski (21st round draft pick in 2012) retired from professional baseball. Blaski was a 2013 All-Star for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers before an arm injury cost him the rest of his season. He had surgery and retired, no doubt, as a result.
  • The Brewers announced the minor league resigning of several players to 2014 contracts
    • The aforementioned Arcenio Leon.
    • C/3B Robinzon Diaz
    • SS Hector Gomez
    • INF Eugenio Velez
  • OF Eric Patterson was released.

  Wednesday, October 2

    • LHP Chris Narveson elected minor league free agency
  • C/1B Blake Lalli (who was DFA’d more than two weeks prior) elected minor league free agency

 

  • RHP Dylan Brock (34th round draft pick in 2013) was suspended 50 games for violating the MiLB drug policy.

 

 

 

Thursday, October 3

  • 1B Mat Gamel was lost on waivers to the Chicago Cubs. Gamel was waived to open up a spot on the swollen 40-man roster. (The Brewers have until five days after the World Series to reinstate any players not currently counted against that roster due to 60-day DL designation, suspension, etc.)
  • INF Taylor Green was reinstated from the 60-day Disabled List.
  • Green, OF Josh Prince, and RHP Nick Bucci were outrighted to Triple-A Nashville.

Friday, October 4

  • (THIS SPACE WILL BE UPDATED WITH ANY TRANSACTIONS SHOULD THEY OCCUR ON FRIDAY)

A couple of notes about the transactions this week:

  • The removal of Prince and Bucci from the 40-man roster opens two spots on it. It currently stands at 38.
    • The Brewers have at minimum two players to add back in Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun.
    • Two spots should open when Michael Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt declare free agency following the World Series.
    • There will be some names requiring protection from the Rule V Draft that will be added as the weeks progress as well.
  • Nick Bucci’s removal from the 40-man roster shouldn’t come as a big surprise. He was only added after last season following a breakout campaign. A shoulder injury cost him almost the entirety of 2013 (he got into one game and recorded two outs) and position him for a good amount of work. It’s significant that he was outrighted to Nashville despite never having pitched above High-A. That means that though he will be exposed to the Rule V Draft in December, any team selecting him would need to add him to their MLB roster and keep him there the entire 2014 season. That’s quite frankly unlikely to happen.

Milwaukee Brewers Announce 2013 Spring Training Schedule

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the Club’s 2013 Spring Training schedule which opens on Saturday, February 23 at Maryvale Baseball Park against Oakland.  The Brewers will play a total of 35 Spring Training and exhibition games in 2013, including 17 at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix and two games at Miller Park.

The Brewers will play games at Maryvale against NL Central rivals Cincinnati on Saturday, March 16 and against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, March 22.  Other home highlights include a St. Patrick’s Day game (Sunday, March 17) against Los Angeles in Glendale and a matchup versus Team Canada’s World Baseball Classic entry on Tuesday, March 5.

The team has two split squad games scheduled during the spring.  The slate includes Monday, February 25 vs. San Diego (SS) and at Cincinnati, and Sunday, March 24 vs. Colorado and at San Diego.

The final home game at Maryvale Baseball Park for the Brewers is set for Wednesday, March 27 against Kansas City.  The Brewers will return home to Miller Park to play two games against the White Sox to round out the exhibition season, scheduled for Friday, March 29 at 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 at 1:10 p.m.

All Brewers games played in the Cactus League are scheduled for 1:05 pm starts (Arizona Time), except for Wednesday, March 13 at the Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m. local/9:10 p.m. CT start).

Pitchers and catchers with zero to three years of Major League service time are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Tuesday, February 12.  All position players and pitchers and catchers with three-plus years of Major League service have a report date of Friday, February 15, 2013.

Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers home Spring Training games will go on sale at 10 am CT on Monday, December 3 via the internet at Brewers.com and by phone at 1-800-933-7890.  Normal business hours are from 9am – 5pm CST.  Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 4, 2013.  Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($22), Infield Reserved ($16), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8).  Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000.

Please note that games and times are subject to change.

Milwaukee Brewers 2013 Spring Training Schedule

Date        Time (local)    (CT)                Opponent                               Place____

Sat, Feb 23

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Oakland Athletics                  Maryvale

Sun, Feb 24

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Cleveland Indians (SS)         Maryvale

Mon, Feb 25

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          San Diego Padres                  Maryvale

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Cincinnati Reds                  Goodyear

Tue, February 26

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Seattle Mariners                    Maryvale

Wed, Feb 27

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Kansas City Royals             Surprise

Thu, Feb 28

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Chicago White Sox                Maryvale

Fri, Mar 1

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Colorado Rockies               Talking Stick

Sat, Mar 2

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim    Maryvale

Sun, Mar 3

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Chicago Cubs (SS)              Mesa

Mon, Mar 4                                         OFF DAY

Tue, Mar 5

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Team Canada                        Maryvale

Wed, Mar 6

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Seattle Mariners                  Peoria

Thu, Mar 7

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Arizona Diamondbacks        Maryvale

Fri, Mar 8

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Texas Rangers                       Maryvale

Sat, Mar 9

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Cincinnati Reds                  Goodyear

DAYLIGHT-SAVINGS TIME BEGINS MARCH 10

Sun, Mar 10

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          San Francisco Giants            Maryvale

Mon, Mar 11

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Los Angeles Dodgers            Maryvale

Tue, Mar 12

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Texas Rangers                     Surprise

Wed, Mar 13

7:10 pm           9:10 pm           at Arizona Diamondbacks      Talking Stick

Thu, Mar 14                                     OFF DAY

Fri, Mar 15

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Cleveland Indians                 Maryvale

Sat, Mar 16

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Cincinnati Reds (SS)             Maryvale

Sun, Mar 17

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Los Angeles Dodgers (SS) Glendale

Mon, Mar 18

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Cleveland Indians               Goodyear

Tuesday, March 19

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim     Maryvale

Wed, Mar 20

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at San Francisco Giants (SS)  Scottsdale

Thu, Mar 21

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Chicago White Sox             Glendale

Fri, Mar 22

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Chicago Cubs                       Maryvale

Sat, Mar 23

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tempe

Sun, Mar 24

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Colorado Rockies                  Maryvale

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at San Diego Padres                Peoria

Mon, Mar 25

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Oakland Athletics               Phoenix

Tue, Mar 26                                       OFF DAY

Wed, Mar 27

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Kansas City Royals (SS)       Maryvale

Thu, Mar 28

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Colorado Rockies               Talking Stick

Fri, Mar 29

7:10 pm                                  Chicago White Sox                Miller Park

Sat, Mar 30

1:10 pm                                  Chicago White Sox                Miller Park

 

• Home games in bold

• Note: Daylight-Savings Time begins on March 10

• All Games/Times subject to change

Want a more colorful look at the Brewers’ 2013 Cactus League slate? Click the image.

Series In Review: Brewers Fall Short of First Four-Game Wrigley Sweep

The Brewers hit the road following their brief three-game season-opening homestand. They headed south on Interstate 94 to Chicago to take on the Cubs in a four game series which, because it’s Chicago, meant two evening games and two day afternoon games.

The Crew took the first three games in the series and looked good heading into an opportunity for their first ever four-game sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. They fell painfully short of that goal, but more on that later.

The fact is that in a venue where the 96-win 2011 Brewers only won two games all year, leaving town with three notches on the bedpost is certainly an acceptable outcome.

For more on each game’s individual happenings, read on!

Game 1 – Monday – Brewers (1-2): 7, Cubs (1-2): 5

Winning Pitcher: Shaun Marcum (1-0, 4.50) Losing Pitcher: Shawn Camp (0-1, 7.36)
Save: John Axford (1)

In the opening tilt of the series, the Brewers not only scored early (RBI sac fly by Aramis Ramirez, plating Nyjer Morgan), but often (scoring runs in six of their nine frames).

In a nice blend of small ball and…big ball, I guess…the Brewers got a solo home run from Rickie Weeks in the third and RBI extra-base hits from Mat Gamel (triple) in the sixth inning and Ramirez (double) in the Brewers’ next frame. Milwaukee also picked up RBIs by way of both a safety and suicide squeeze, and a pair of sacrifice flies.

The only real point of concern came in the bottom of the ninth when, sporting a 7-3 lead and with closer John Axford having just thrown 27 pitches the night before, manager Ron Roenicke called on Manny Parra to finish out the game.

Parra allowed a leadoff double and was lifted for Tim Dillard once the left-handed hitters were done. Dillard walked Geovany Soto which forced Roenicke’s hand.

Axford entered the game and allowed his first batter faced to single home a run on Parra’s linescore. With men at second and third and only one out, Axford struck out David DeJesus but then walked Darwin Barney to load the bases.

In a beautifully-called and executed sequence, Axford then struck out Starlin Castro on three pitches to end the game.

Game 2 – Tuesday – Brewers (2-2): 7, Cubs (1-3): 4

Winning Pitcher: Chris Narveson (1-0, 3.60) Losing Pitcher: Paul Maholm (0-1, 13.50)
Save: Francisco Rodriguez (1)

A cold night in the Windy City saw a team of (mostly) hooded men residing in the first base dugout.

The hoods designed to keep a player’s head and neck warm could also be pulled up to cover the face while running the bases, and the sight of so many of the Brewers wearing them caused many fans to invoke a “ninja” theme to the evening’s events.

It was a mostly fitting description for the early part of the game as the Brewers struck blows to the Cubs starting pitcher repeatedly. The loudest blow of the night for Milwaukee came from the first hitter in the batting order to plays sans shroud, Alex Gonzalez. He made plenty of noise by blasting a three-run home run into the left-center field bleachers, capping the scoring at five for the frame.

The ninja thing might have been a perfect description if not for the fact that Corey Hart and Mat Gamel were both hit by pitches in the first inning. After all, ninjas are supposed to be incredibly stealthy and therefore shouldn’t be able to be plunked.

Or something.

The Cubs were never really in this game, though they did cut the lead to three runs in the third inning.

There was more ninth inning drama as well. The Brewers once again put a four-run lead up against the Cubs final three outs and put a non-closer on the bump to begin the ninth.

After Kameron Loe had pitched two mostly brilliant innings of scoreless relief, Jose Veras was given the first chance to slam the door but hung a curveball to Geovany Soto which was blasted into the stands for a home run. After striking out the scuffling Marlon Byrd, Veras walked the pinch-hitting Bryan LaHair.

The situation now being a three-run lead with the tying run in the on-deck circle made it a Save opportunity. With John Axford having thrown over 50 pitches over the previous two days, manager Ron Roenicke had decided prior to the game that the Ax Man was off limits tonight. Roenicke walked to the mound and signaled for a right-hander to enter the game.

Francisco Rodriguez jogged to the mound looking to record his first Save as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

K-Rod needed just seven pitches to get through the final two hitters. He secured Chris Narveson’s first Win of the year by striking out David DeJesus and inducing Darwin Barney to ground out to Alex Gonzalez.

The Brewers had just guaranteed themselves no worse than a series split, but had eyes for more.

Game 3 – Wednesday – Brewers (3-2): 2, Cubs (1-4): 1

Winning Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 5.91) Losing Pitcher: Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.88)
Save: John Axford (2)

Yovani Gallardo’s start on Opening Day was brutal. (You can click here for that recap.) A lot of people were questioning the staff ace and his abilities, which is ridiculous but they were, and were looking for a bounce-back start against the Cubs.

Gallardo delivered.

Going seven strong innings, only allowing one run (earned) while scattering five hits and two walks, he struck out six Cubs hitters on the day. He shaved nearly nine runs off of his ERA (early season small sample sizes are fun!), nearly a point and a half off of his WHIP, and thousands of doubters off his back about his admittedly rough start five days earlier.

Nearly exceeding his performance, however, was Cub starter Ryan Dempster. He too pitched on Opening Day for Chicago, but with much better personal results than Gallardo achieved. Dempster made it to the seventh scoreless, but allowed a one-out, two-run home run to George Kottaras which proved to be the difference in the game.

Gallardo was set to be pinch-hit for had Kottaras not come through, but instead he came back out in the bottom of the seventh and worked himself into and out of the only substantial Cub threat of the afternoon.

The eighth and ninth were by design after that, with both Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford striking out the side around two walks and one double, respectively.

Having hoisted the L flag atop Wrigley for the third consecutive game, the Brewers looked to do what they had never done before…

Sweep a four-game set from the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Game 4 – Thursday – Brewers (4-2): 0, Cubs (1-5): 8

Winning Pitcher: Matt Garza (1-0, 1.23) Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke (1-1, 6.75)

When you head into the final game of a series with a chance to sweep that series, and you have one of the best pitchers on your staff starting, you feel pretty good about your chances that day. So, too, did the Brewers with Zack Greinke toeing the rubber on Thursday afternoon.

In a confluence of recent and unfortunate trends, however, Greinke pitched during the day and on the road. While coincidental at best, neither of those situations was particularly friendly to Greinke last season. (For the record: Greinke’s Win-Loss record was good during the day last year, but we all know how much that actually reflects his performance.)

Regardless of the circumstances, Greinke seemed out of sorts the entire day. He barely touched speeds with his fastball that he usually sits comfortably at. He normally sits 94-95, touches 97, but on Thursday he was sitting 91-92 and his high watermark only rounded up to 95. PitchFX information had Greinke topping out at 94.9 MPH, while averaging 92.64. (Those figures were quoted to me by mutual Twitter follow Jaymes Langrehr of the Disciples of Uecker blog. You can follow him on Twitter: @JaymesL.)

The second half of the Brewers pair of aces could only muster 3.2 innings pitched on Thursday afternoon, and he was charged with eight earned runs before it was all said and done. That was a far cry from his seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals five days prior.

The highlights of the game for the Brewers would be that two relief pitchers, who had been previously roughed up a couple of times, posted multiple, scoreless innings in relief of Greinke. Manny Parra took over in the fourth inning and pitched through the sixth, striking out four along the way while walking none. Tim Dillard then covered the seventh and eighth, also walking no one. Each relief pitcher allowed two hits while working.

Otherwise, Matt Garza simply had his way with every Brewer hitter not named Nyjer Morgan (two hits in four trips to the plate) or Jonathan Lucroy (one hit, one walk in three PAs).  Garza only allowed three hits through 8.2 innings pitched, while striking out nine and walking only two.

His only hiccup, if you can even call it one, was when Garza induced a ground ball back to himself off of the bat of pinch-hitter Norichika Aoki but then threw the ball way over and past first baseman Bryan LaHair, allowing Aoki to reach.

With Garza then at 119 pitches, Cubs manager Dale Sveum marched to the mound and lifted his starter in favor of Monday’s starter Shawn Camp. Camp got George Kottaras to ground out on four pitches to finalize things.

In Summary…

Like I said at the top, taking three out of four games at Wrigley Field is never a bad thing, regardless of whether you lost the final game with arguably your best pitcher on the bump.

Games against the very much so rebuilding Cubs are just as important, if not more so, as games against other opponents in the division. You must beat the teams which you are supposed to beat if you hope to approach last season’s franchise-best win total.

I really liked seeing solid starts from Shaun Marcum and Chris Narveson in their first turns, and was greatly encouraged by the fact that heavy use early didn’t affect John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez as they were both very good as usual.

The bats need to wake up a bit still. Look no further than notoriously slow starter Aramis Ramirez (2-for-22 to begin the campaign) as evidence of that, but there is plenty of time to turn things around.

After beginning 2011 with a 0-4 record and not winning for the third time on the road until their ninth try, being 4-2 after six with three victories away from Miller Park isn’t a bad place to be.

The Brewers are in Atlanta tonight for the first of a three-game series. Tonight is the Braves’ home opener. That game will be contested by Randy Wolf and Jair Jurrjens with the first pitch being scheduled for 6:35 Central Daylight Time.

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