Cubs

Cubs keep showing Brewers why they're dominating rivalry: 'There are no tight butts'

Cubs keep showing Brewers why they're dominating rivalry: 'There are no tight butts'

MILWAUKEE - If the Cubs weren't in the Brewers' heads before, they surely are now.

The Cubs have now won 8 of 9 against their division rivals this season and stand alone in first place in the National League Central.

The Brewers blew a 2-1 lead Monday night in front of another chapter in the Wrigley North Takeover and saw the Cubs dismantle the strongest part of this team — their bullpen.

The Cubs made the formidable Josh Hader look human as they plated the tying run off the young left-hander in the top of the 8th inning and then unloaded on former White Sox pitcher Matt Albers for 5 runs in the 11th.

This is the first time all year Hader has worked in a game the Brewers lost and since he was forced to throw 35 pitches, he will definitely not pitch Tuesday and may be down for Wednesday's series finale as well. Corey Knebel threw 25 pitches to get 4 outs Monday, so the Cubs guaranteed he would only be able to work one of the next two games of the series at most.

To put it simply: Things are not looking great for the Brewers.

"I don't think there's ever any sense of panic with what happens," said Anthony Rizzo, who drew a walk off Hader and hit a homer off Albers to begin the 11th. "They have a guy that's unhittable come in the game and we somehow scratch a run off of him and no one's fazed.

"It's just grind at-bats out. It's an organization-wide mentality of not giving up and we do a good job with that."

No matter what way you slice it right now, the Cubs are the clear big brother in this rivalry.

They have the experience in high-pressure games. They have the talent. They have the attitude.

And now they have sole possession of first place (for now, at least).

"Our guys are loose cannons in the dugout," Joe Maddon said. "There are no tight butts. It's kind of interesting to listen to the conversation, even in a tight game.

"They're in the present tense and that's all I can ask for."

The Cubs won't take any of this for granted. Even with such a ridiculous start in the season series between the two teams, the Brewers are talented enough to win the next 10 straight against their neighbors to the South and finish over .500 against the Cubs.

But for now, the Cubs will take it.

"Yeah, it feels good," Rizzo said. "It's fun playing here. They have a good team, the fans are into it, they're engaged. You got the Cubs fans and the Brewers fans going at it all game.

"These are tough games, we know they're tough games. It's which way is the ball gonna fall and for us, fortunately this year, they've fallen our way."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 26th + 27th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 26th + 27th homers 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.

Another day in June 1998, another multi-homer game for Sammy Sosa.

Slammin' Sammy connected twice off Carlton Loewer in the same game, a solo shot in the first inning and a 2-run shot int he fifth inning. Both were measured at 380 feet.

Still, the Cubs wound up losing the game 9-8 to the Phillies despite Sosa's effort and a total of 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings combined.

Fun fact: A big part of why the Cubs lost this game was Jose Hernandez's defense. He committed 3 errors at third base and shortstop that led to a pair of unearned runs.

A messy night at Wrigley Field ends without a pitch being thrown

A messy night at Wrigley Field ends without a pitch being thrown

The NLCS rematch will have to wait another day.

Mother Nature and the power at Wrigley Field care not for your excitement about a "big series" between the Cubs and Dodgers.

Thunderstorms rolled over the North Side of Chicago, where the Dodgers ended the Cubs' postseason run 8 months ago. 

On top of that, the power at Wrigley Field was not cooperating with the lights down the right field line going out for hours during the rain delay. 

The lights came back on at one point before again going out again roughly a half hour before Monday night's game was officially called. After a delay stretching almost three hours, word finally filtered out just before 10 p.m. the game would be postponed a day.

The Cubs and Dodgers will make the game up as part of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday at Wrigley Field with the first game starting at 12:05 p.m. and the second at the regularly scheduled time of 7:05 p.m. Tyler Chatwood will start the first game for the Cubs with Mike Montgomery slated to go Game 2.

As of 10 p.m. Monday night, the Cubs were unsure what caused the power issue at Wrigley Field but were working on fixing the problem ahead of Tuesday's scheduled doubleheader.

The evening started with the tarp being rolled onto the field by the Cubs grounds crew roughly an hour before scheduled first pitch with a forecast calling for a 100 percent chance of rain.

Only a light rain fell until a downpour began around 8:15 p.m.:

That lasted only about a half hour before the grounds crew came back out around 8:45 p.m. to partially remove the tarp and attempt to get the field ready to play.

The only issue at that point was the light and a sinister forecast.

"It takes 45 minutes to get the field ready to play," said Julian Green, Cubs director of communications. "So once you take that tarp off, you saw them putting the chalk lines down, getting ready.

"We wanted to be ready — even in the face of rain — if the lights came back on, we wanted to make sure we could play baseball, even if it was a limited window of opportunity."

As of 11 p.m., that second bout of rain had yet to materialize, but the lights issue also wasn't corrected and play on the field would've been impossible.

Fans lingered throughout the stadium for nearly three hours before an official conclusion came down. The Cubs kept the same announcement on the right field video board about the weather delay while the left field video board displayed the Brewers-Pirates and other MLB games.

This is the only trip to Chicago the Dodgers make throughout the 2018 season so the two teams and Major League Baseball did all they could to try to get a game in and avoid any issue where these two teams would have to play on a mutual off-day later in the year. 

The Cubs were in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in 17 days without a day off. They're still on that same schedule, though now with an unexpected day off Monday and a doubleheader Tuesday.

The Cubs are no stranger to postponements this season as wacky weather has continued to hamper this MLB season.

"Not only for the Chicago Cubs, but Chicago in general, this has been a really interesting spring and summer season," Green said. "We're taking our licks just like everybody else is.

"Our plan is to play baseball tomorrow and make sure we can accomodate fans as best as possible. So fans who have tickets to tonight's game will be able to use them for tomorrow."