Cubs

Cubs offense sputters in another loss to Brewers

Cubs offense sputters in another loss to Brewers

If the Cubs are going to accomplish all their postseason goals, they're going to have to improve at manufacturing runs.

After two days off, the Cubs regulars struggled Sunday against Wily Peralta and the Brewers, leaving 11 men on base in a 3-1 loss in front of 41,286 fans at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, the third such performance of the season.

"We hit the ball well, I thought," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We really did. This is one of those days of the culmination of the wind blowing in and their defense playing well. 

"I thought we had good at-bats. ... It's just one of those days that it didn't play in our favor. But overall, you only score one run, but actually there was a lot more action offensively from us. We just could not get it to fall in the right spots."

The Cubs had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in the second, third and fifth innings and failed to cash in.

They also put runners on first and second with one out in the ninth before Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo struck out.

"The most important thing is that we're able to hit in situations better to move the baseball," Maddon said. "That's it. Play the same game we've been playing - pitching-wise, defense-wise. Overall at-bats: really good. Baserunning: outstanding.

"Against better pitching, we just have to be able to eliminate or cut down on the strikeouts where the ball needs to be moved. That's the best way I could describe it."

The Cubs didn't have any issues getting guys on base against Peralta, with nine hits - including two from pitcher Kyle Hendricks - and a walk, but the Brewers starter limited the damage.

The sole Cubs tally came when Tommy La Stella's two-out double scooted under Domingo Santana's glove in center field, scoring Javy Baez from first.

Hendricks, meanwhile, allowed four hits in the second inning, including a two-out RBI single to Peralta.

"A couple fastballs that just weren't there in that inning," Hendricks said. "I gave up a couple base hits. That was really it."

That was all the Cubs' Cy Young candidate surrendered on the day - two earned runs on six hits in six innings while striking out nine without a walk.

Chris Carter homered off Cubs reliever Felix Pena in the eighth inning to close out the scoring on the day.

The Cubs wound up winning just one game against the Brewers in a four-game series and that sole victory required a ninth-inning comeback and then a 10th-inning walkoff blast from Miguel Montero.

The Cubs have lost five of their last six games against the Brewers.

"They've been playing good baseball at least the last month-plus," Hendricks said of the Brewers. "It's good for you, though, 'cause every team that comes in here, they're gonna be coming for us. It's just always a test and we know that."

The Brewers are now 11-6 in September, playing the role of spoiler down the stretch for postseason-bound teams.

"People would be talking about the Brewers right now and a push to make the playoffs if it was the first half with the way they've played recently, so you gotta give them credit," Jason Heyward said. 

"Sometimes, there's less pressure on teams and they play better when they know they're not playing with anything to lose. And that's no offense to them. Just saying: Sometimes it's easier to play that way."

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...

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

Did Manny Machado’s value take a hit at all after he openly admitted hustling isn’t his “cup of tea”? Our Cubs team (David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson) debate that, plus the potential fit of Machado or Bryce Harper for the 2019 Cubs and beyond.

[MORE: The most underrated storyline of the Cubs offseason]

The crew also runs down the top items on the Cubs’ offseason wish list – ranging from bullpen help to infield depth to a set leadoff hitter – in what may be the most impactful winter in Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago.

Listen to the podcast here or via the embedded player below: