Cubs

Brewers outlast Cubs in series finale

cubsbrewgamer050315.png

Brewers outlast Cubs in series finale

The Cubs got more offense Sunday, but it still wasn't enough to pull out the victory.

The Brewers (7-18) set the tone early again and then put the Cubs (13-10) away in the eighth inning en route to a 5-3 victory in front of 33,398 fans at Wrigley Field.

The Brewers scored solo runs in the second, third and fourth innings before breaking a 3-3 tie in the eighth.

"Gotta set the tone better early," Cubs starter Jason Hammel said. "The first inning was nice. But single runs in the next three innings kinda dampens the mood a bit. I kept us in it, but it could've been a lot better."

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

Hammel ended up with the minimum requirements for a quality start, tossing six innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four. He admitted he didn't have a good feel for the ball Sunday as he's dealing with a nail/blister issue on his pitching hand.

Cubs reliever Pedro Strop had a rough eighth inning, giving up a double and a bunt base hit before plunking Jean Segura on the forehead with a high fastball in a scary moment on the field.

Play was halted for a few minutes as the Brewers tended to Segura, who initially tried to stay in the game before calling time and pulling himself off first base for a pinch-runner.

"Definitely a scary moment," Cubs catcher Miguel Montero said. "It really scared me. I went down with [Segura] to see how he was, but I just couldn't say anything, so I just moved to the side and called the trainers."

Montero said he thought Segura's helmet broke as he saw a piece of plastic fly off immediately.

Strop was shaken up, but said he had been in touch with the Cubs and Brewers training staffs and planned to reach out to Segura.

Strop was given some time to breathe and get back to the task at hand when play resumed, getting Ryan Braun to bounce into a 5-2-3 double play.

Maddon called for Strop to intentially walk lefty Adam Lind to load the bases for former Cub Aramis Ramirez, who had already homered in the game. Ramirez fisted a 95 mph fastball into left field for a two-run, game-winning single.

"It's a better matchup," Maddon said of the choice between pitching to Ramirez or Lind. "It's just one of those things under the category of the right thing to do, but it didn't work.

"That doesn't mean it was wrong' it just didn't work out at that time. I'll take Stroppy in that matchup. It's just an unfortunate moment."

Ramirez agreed that Maddon made the correct call.

"It’s the right move," Ramirez said. "Lind has been hitting hard all year. The guy's hitting over .300 and I’m hitting .200."

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The Cubs picked up a run in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly from pitcher Jason Hammel. They tied the game in the fifth thanks to some shoddy fielding by the Brewers that led to an Anthony Rizzo RBI triple and Kris Bryant RBI double.

The Cubs had scored just three runs in 31 innings prior to their second-inning tally.

[MORE - Cubs: Kris Bryant keeping his head up despite recent struggles]

This is the first series the Cubs have lost since April 17-19 against the Padres at Wrigley Field. It's also the first series the Brewers have won all season.

"They got a couple important pieces back in [Carlos] Gomez and Ramriez, but it's Major League Baseball," Hammel said. "There are good teams. You can't keep a team down long.

"Even some of the teams that are struggling the most can find a good game or two here or there. We've all been through it. Pleased we were able to come back and make a game of it, but to get where we want to be, we obviously need to win these games."

The Cubs head to St. Louis for a four-game series with the Cardinals beginning Monday night on Comcast SportsNet.

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

hendricks-schwein-1018.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

A Cubs pitcher taking in a Blackhawks game in a suite is nothing special, but doing so with a World Cup winner is... different.

Kyle Hendricks was spotted by the cameras of Thursday's Blackhawks-Coyotes broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. The guy he was standing next to was none other than Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup with Germany and Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Hendricks is known for being reserved on the mound and in his interviews with the media. Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger was filmed yelling "Bear Down" in the hallway of Toyota Park after a Fire practice earlier in the day.

There's no telling what inspired Schweinsteiger to do this, but he has definitely embraced Chicago sports teams since joining the Fire in March of 2017.

Makes you wonder what Hendricks and Schweinsteiger were talking about. Best places to get brats in Chicago?

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist won't win the Comeback Player of the Year award this winter, but maybe he can take home a Grammy for Best New Artist?

The Cubs veteran infielder/outfielder posted a hilarious video on his Instagram Wednesday night showcasing how he's been spending October after the Cubs were unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs after on the third day of the month.

It's a fantastic music video of Zobrist lip-syncing to Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" while he nearly knocks the TV off the wall of his home by swinging the bat indoors pretending to hit off Clayton Kershaw and frolicking around a field that looks shockingly similar to Hershel's farm from the second season of "The Walking Dead":

View this post on Instagram

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year.... I will wait for you....

A post shared by Ben Zobrist (@benzobrist18) on

Zobrist also posted a lengthy caption on his perspective on the Cubs' disappointing end to the season:

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) 
Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not
Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. 
I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. 
What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. 
To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year....
I will wait for you....

Come for the Zobrist lip sync, but stay for the 37-year-old using a bat as a guitar while wearing a sleeveless shirt and rocking an old-timey top hat.

A year ago, Zobrist completely reshaped his offseason workout plan after three straight years of playing deep into October. It appears he's added another new trick to his winter workout — hopping over fences even though there is a clear opening just a foot away.

Hey, whatever works...