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Brewers throw major shade at Cubs after Saturday's rainout decision

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USA TODAY

Brewers throw major shade at Cubs after Saturday's rainout decision

Fans in search of a Bryzzo bobblehead weren't the only ones disappointed by the Cubs-Brewers game getting postponed Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The two teams played through some nasty weather on Friday afternoon, including a two-hour rain delay. A main motivation behind that was the forecast for Saturday did not look to be any more promising and the teams did not want to have to make up two games later in the year.

However, after an incredibly-rainy morning, the Cubs postponed Saturday's game before 11:30 a.m. Shortly after, the precipitation stopped for good.

The Brewers woke up Sunday morning throwing major shade at the Cubs with GM David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell leading the way:

"Clearly the Cubs were looking at a weather forecast that made them think it was going to rain," Stearns said. "I think we were a little surprised that the game was called as early as it was. I'm sure they had their reasons to do it. Obviously it didn't rain. From our standpoint, we would have preferred to play yesterday.

"I talked to some guys over at the Cubs. They know how we felt. They told us that their weather forecast indicated our game was not going to be able to be played. Our weather forecast did not indicate that. There was some other weather forecasts that did not indicate that. Ultimately, it was the Cubs' call.

"From my understanding of the rules, prior to the All-Star Break, the home team has discretion prior to first pitch, then it's on the umpire's hands. So the Cubs had discretion there and did what they thought was best."

Stearns did not have a comment on whether the Cubs gained a competitive advantage on the first-place Brewers by not playing the game.

"I don't know," Stearns said. "All they told us was that their weather forecast indicated we were not going to be able to get the game on, so that's all I really have to go by.

"You'd have to ask them. I'm not privy to their forecasting methods or what service they use. All I know was that they told us at the time they canceled the game. They certainly knew that we would have preferred to play. Ultimately, it's their call.

"That game on Friday was tough for both sides. Those aren't fun conditions for players to play through. Seemed like we had better conditions yesterday, but the Cubs decided it wasn't the right time to play baseball."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon addressed the rainout in his pregame session Sunday morning, saying he enjoyed his afternoon off and took a couple naps.

As for the lack of rain from about noon on, Maddon shrugged it off.

"Everything indicated it was going to be exactly like the day before," he said, "so that's the beauty of weather forecasting and around here, it's very difficult."

The Cubs are currently in a stretch of 16 straight days with a scheduled game before Saturday's rainout.

The Brewers were in a stretch of 24 games in 25 days before Saturday, but they also have an off-day coming up Monday after the series finale at Wrigley.

As far as a possible competitive advantage the Cubs could've gained from postponing Saturday's game, the main thought is letting a worn out bullpen rest. 

But even with the rain delay Friday, the Cubs still never turned to Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon or Koji Uehara, so all four pitchers would've been available on Saturday with at least one day's rest under their belts.

The Cubs also made a move to send down Pierce Johnson after his MLB debut before - and after - Friday's delay and call up Dylan Floro, who would represent another fresh arm in the bullpen.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa victimized the Tigers pitching staff again on the next night, taking Brian Moehler deep in the 7th inning for a 400-foot solo blast.

The homer tied the game at 3, but the Cubs blew the lead in the bottom of the 7th when the Terrys (Adams and Mulholland) gave up 3 runs. The Cubs wound up losing 6-4.

The Cubs were putting together a really nice season in 1998 that ended with a trip to October. They entered the series with the Tigers with a 42-34 record, yet lost both games to a Detroit team that entered the series with a 28-45 record. The Tigers finished the season 65-94; the Cubs finished 90-73.

Fun fact: Luis Gonzalez was the Tigers left fielder and No. 5 hitter for both games of the series. He spent part of the 1995 season and all of '96 on Chicago's North Side. 1998 was his only year in Detroit before he moved on to Arizona, where he hit 57 homers in 2001 and helped the Diamondbacks to a World Series championship with that famous broken-bat single in Game 7.

Fun fact  No. 2: Remember Pedro Valdes? He only had a cup of coffee with the Cubs (9 games in 1996 and 14 in '98), but started in left field on June 25, 1998. He walked and went 0-for-1 before being removed from the game for a pinch-hitter (Jose Hernandez).

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.

The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.

The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.

Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:

  • The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
  • One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
  • Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
  • The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
  • The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
  • The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.