Brooke Lemke – 23 Sports

Cubs pitcher Alec Mills threw a no hitter on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park, shutting out the Brewers in a 12-0 victory to win the series 2-1. 

The Cubs fell victim to strong pitching in a 1-0 loss against the Brewers in the first game of the series. Jon Lester faced Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff on the mound in game one. Lester made a nice bounce-back from his last 5 starting appearances, striking out eight batters in 97 pitches, ending in six innings to be replaced by Craig Kimbrel. Woodruff pitched seven innings, throwing 100 pitches with 12 strikeouts, more notably tying a career high of 12 strikeouts in a game on his 100th pitch.

Overall, the bottom of the ninth inning decided the outcome of game one. The Cubs missed the chance at extra innings when Christian Yelich ran to third on a hit by Jedd Gyorko, followed by a sac-fly from Ryan Braun to score Yelich, ending the game 1-0 for a Brewers win.

Game two began with a similar flow as game one, being heavily dominated by Cubs pitching and defensive plays. Kyle Hendricks faced Brent Suter on the mound. Suter only pitched three innings while Hendricks was on the mound for 7 ⅔ innings, throwing 106 pitches with seven strikeouts. 

The Cubs fell behind by two in the fourth inning after Daniel Vogelbach reached first on a hit followed by Ryan Braun’s two-run homerun to center field. The Cubs remained scoreless until the ninth inning.

In the top of the ninth, Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo both reached bases on back-to-back hits. After 17 scoreless innings had gone by for the Cubs, Jason Heyward busted open the game on a three-run homerun off Josh Hader, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead. The Cubs kept the momentum, and Ildemaro Vargas hit his first home run of the season. Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Brewers managed to have two runners on base with no outs, but they could not score. The Cubs took game two 4-2, tying the series.

In the series finale, Mills threw a no hitter, while Adrian Houser took the mound for the Brewers. Houser pitched well until a fourth inning hitting streak for the Cubs. With two on base in the fourth, Heyward drove a ball into left field, driving in Kyle Schwarber to give the Cubs the first run of the game. The next play, Jason Kipnis hit a chopper up the middle, which was mishandled by Keston Hiura and scored as an error. Another run scored on the play. 

Defensively, the Brewers lagged for the rest of the game, letting three more runs score in the fourth to total 5-0, four runs scored in the fifth, one in the seventh inning, and two additional runs in the ninth.  

The final score of game three was 12-0. Mills’ phenomenal pitching kept the Brewers scoreless. He threw 114 pitches, striking out 5 and walking 3. Mills’ no hitter was the second of the 2020 season.

Currently, the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central, ahead of the Cardinals by four and a half games. The Cubs finish out the week with a five-game homestand, playing a two-game series against the Cleveland Indians and a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. Yu Darvish starts against righty Carlos Carrasco on Tuesday night at 7:15pm, then Wednesday at 7:15pm Jon Lester makes another start against Aaron Civale.

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