Miller Park

Boom, roasted: Cole Hamels absolutely destroyed Brewers fans

Boom, roasted: Cole Hamels absolutely destroyed Brewers fans

The Cubs may have lost Monday's game, but Cole Hamels was not about to let his team lose their spirit.

The new Cubs ace turned in another stellar outing on Labor Day in Milwaukee, but it went for naught as the Cubs bullpen imploded in a 4-3 loss.

After addressing his start and the game's outcome, Hamels was then asked about the "rivalry" between the Cubs and Brewers in the race for the NL Central and in turn, the 13-year MLB veteran absolutely owned Milwaukee fans.

"I mean, that's kinda tough. I know the rivalries I've had in the past — you can definitely feel it," Hamels said. "When you have majority Cubs fans in the stands, I don't know if that's a rivalry yet. I've been in rivalries. They're not gonna like me for the comment, but you can look at the ticket sales.

"I think when they start getting a little bit closer and their fans sell out, then I think that's kind of the understanding. But the Cubs fans travel well. They were representing us pretty well. I think it's just a matter of us going out there and playing hard. 

"It's no [knock] on who they have in their dugout — they have great players and I know those guys wanna win. But in this game of baseball, you want to be able to see the fans in the stands. And obviously that's where you feel it the most. So to be able to have the Cubs fans travel in the masses that they do, it's great to see.

"I was able to see that in Philly when we would come down and play in Washington. The Phillies fans would come down in droves. And it would be predominantly Phillies fans in Washington's stadium. That's just kinda the nature of where it is. That's probably not gonna sit too well with them, but I think they probably observed it just as well as I did."

Whoa.

As if the Brewers weren't already feeling triggered by the invasion of Cubs fans into Miller Park, this certainly won't win Hamels any popularity contests with the Brewers.

Then again, it certainly endeared the 34-year-old to his current team, as if his 1.00 ERA in 45 innings hadn't already won over Cubs fans.

The Brewers refuse to believe they've relinquished control of first place in the NL Central

The Brewers refuse to believe they've relinquished control of first place in the NL Central

MILWAUKEE - The Cubs-Brewers rivalry is starting to become more interesting than Cubs-Cardinals.

Chicago's neighbors to the north have tried to keep the Cubs fans out of Miller Park and engaged in Twitter warfare with @Cubs.

Now they appear to be living in a fantasy world.

After the Cubs exploded in the 11th inning for a 7-2 win over the Brewers Monday night in Milwaukee, Anthony Rizzo and Co. took over sole possession of first place in the National League Central.

Only, the Miller Park scoreboard operator chose to leave that part out before Tuesday night's game:

As you'll notice there, they say the standings are "as of June 11, 2018" and it clearly has the Brewers still a half-game up on the Cubs.

The question now becomes: Was it just a simple accident or yet another attempt by the Brewers to try to take a dig at the Cubs?

It's not like it's a day game after a night game, so the Miller Park scoreboard operators had a good 19 hours to update the standings.

Either way, the Cubs have won 8 of 9 against the Brew Crew entering Tuesday night's game and just might be in the heads of the Milwaukee team and fanbase.

Anthony Rizzo apparently has a new lucky bat

Anthony Rizzo apparently has a new lucky bat

MILWAUKEE - It wasn't quite a moment made for Hollywood. There was no sign of Matt Szczur or the bat-boy from "The Natural."

But Anthony Rizzo's "merch guy" sure picked out a winner.

Rizzo typically swings a black bat, but was seen waving around light brown lumber in the latter innings of Monday's 7-2 Cubs win over the Brewers.

It led to a pair of home runs — one foul off Josh Hader; one fair off Matt Albers — that probably approached a combined 850 feet between the shots.

There are no differences in the bats. Same weight, same size, just a different color and a bit of an older model.

This lighter bat was the same one Rizzo used in 2013, so he decided to bring "it back to the younger days."

After breaking his bat earlier in the game, Rizzo decided to try his luck at something new for his 8th-inning plate appearance against Hader that wound up in a walk.

"I feel like I hit the ball pretty well here a lot and it goes right at them," Rizzo said. "The Brewers are very, very good at being in a good position to defend.

"I broke my bat the at-bat before and I brought this one, so I thought, 'I'll give it a try.'"

The last time the Cubs were in Milwaukee, Rizzo was placed on the disabled list with a back issue during the middle of the series. He went 0-for-5 in the one game he did play.

Over his career at Miller Park, Rizzo is hitting .263 with an .870 OPS, both of which rank in the middle of the pack in terms of ballparks.

But those numbers haven't been very good over the last couple years. Rizzo hit just .176 at Miller Park over the last two seasons with a .628 OPS and .756 OPS in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

With this new bat, however, Rizzo has yet to make an out and he helped spark the Cubs to a victory.

The homer was Rizzo's third of the month and 10th since May 1.