The Milwaukee Brewers put the Chicago Cubs on notice yesterday afternoon with a healthy 7-0 win Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs looked lifeless as the Brewers took care of them in every aspect of the matchup. The loss hurts, but perhaps the most hurtful thing taken from that one is the performance of Jose Quintana. The Cubs are likely going to need an x-factor like Quintana to step up in the postseason.
Cole Hamels has looked like a completely different pitcher since the Cubs traded for him, and Yu Darvish is nearing a return. So, if Hamels continues pitching well and Darvish returns to playing how he’s capable, Quintana isn’t going to have to be that much of a crutch. As it is now, Quintana is not going to be in the postseason rotation. However, if the phone starts ringing in the bullpen, his number could get called to provide some help.
Jon Lester has had issues in the second-half, so if he can’t figure it out that would compound the rotation problem even more in the postseason. In fact, the Cubs bumped him down in the rotation, as they currently have Kyle Hendricks listed as the number 1. That’s a bit of a warning shot to Lester to pick things up soon.
Lester actually has the better numbers overall, but the Cubs aren’t happy with what they’re seeing from him. Hendricks will get the call for the Cubbies this afternoon at Wrigley. The Cubs looked like they were out partying a bit too long after walking the Nationals off with a grand slam Sunday. They appeared to be playing hungover on Tuesday. Today is a brand new day, though. The Brewers will counter the Cubs on the bump with Junior Guerra. Head below for our free Brewers vs. Cubs pick.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs Pick
Junior Guerra (6-7, 3.40 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 4.02 ERA)
Kyle Hendricks as your ace at the top of the rotation isn’t the most ideal scenario. However, that’s what the Cubs are dealing with right now. The Yankees and Cubs have both been hitting troubling times with their rotation. They’re looking at it everyday hoping a couple of guys get hot down the stretch. Hamels has answered the call after arriving in Chicago, but who is going to be the other guy?
Hendricks has been pitching well recently, however he isn’t exactly what you would refer to as an ace. Hendricks has allowed more than 3 runs only once in his last eight starts. A start out in Los Angeles against the Dodgers is his only bad spot in the last ten outings for Hendricks. He’s been better at home with a 3.69 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
The Brewers have found it tough against Hendricks in 126 at-bats. They are hitting .214 with just 2 long balls. The 2 home runs came from the same guy, Travis Shaw. Junior Guerra enters with an ERA of 4.97 and 1.44 WHIP on the road.
He has been horrendous in recent memory, as he got hit soundly against the Reds, Pirates, and Giants on the road, all three teams he should have been able to navigate. Guerra allowed 15 earned runs 14 innings of work. That was not a good looking performance by the Cubs yesterday. They couldn’t find a run after winning in dramatic fashion Sunday. I think they’re going to find a run and more against Guerra today. Look for a bounce back spot for the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon.