Observations: Cubs' bats quiet in Alzolay's season debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Cubs dropped Tuesday’s game against the Brewers 4-0, falling to 3-2 on the season.
Here’s 10 observations from the game.
1. Willson Contreras was in the starting lineup Tuesday after getting hit in the helmet by a pitch Monday night. But in the ninth inning, he took a Brad Boxberger fastball off the upper left arm.
Contreras took exception, approaching Boxberger and airing his grievances before Milwaukee catcher Omar Narvaez stepped between the two. Both clubs' benches and bullpens cleared, but things calmed down quickly.
2. Adbert Alzolay got off to a shaky start in his season debut. The right-hander allowed a five-pitch walk, single and home run to consecutive batters in the first inning — the long ball off the bat of Travis Shaw — putting the Cubs in an 3-0 early hole.
3. Alzolay did settle in after Shaw’s home run, retiring 10 of the next 11 batters he faced. He ultimately retired 13 of his final 16 faced, but the long ball bit him again in the fourth inning. A Narvaez solo blast made it 4-0.
All said, Alzolay threw five innings of four-run ball, walking two with four strikeouts.
4. Cubs starting pitchers have allowed 12 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings (4.21 ERA) one time through the rotation. Kyle Hendricks (3) and Alzolay (4) have surrendered the bulk of the tallies.
5. Ian Happ led off the bottom of the first with a five-pitch walk, marking the fourth time in the young season the Cubs have opened the game with a free pass. Happ has drawn three of those walks.
6. Happ’s walk was one of four the Cubs drew against Brewers starter Freddy Peralta, who threw 91 pitches in just five innings. While the Cubs were able to work the count and generate traffic on the bases, they couldn’t cash in.
Peralta allowed just a single hit in five innings — a one-out double by Kris Bryant in the fourth. Bryant, who reached third on the hit after an error by Christian Yelich, was stranded on third.
Milwaukee retired 13 straight Cubs hitters after Bryant’s double, before Matt Duffy drew a walk with two outs in the eighth inning.
7. With one hit Tuesday, the Cubs are hitting 18-for-136. That’s good for a .132 average, dead last in MLB.
8. Dillon Maples made his season debut Tuesday and tossed two shutout innings. The right-hander, who claimed one of the last bullpen jobs out of spring training, has struggled with command in his career. He walked two batters Tuesday, striking out four.
9. The Cubs’ streak of four straight games with a stolen base to start the season ended Tuesday. Had they swiped a bag, it would have been the first time they did so in five straight games to open a season since 1907 (eight games).
Contreras was thrown out on a steal attempt in the third inning.
10. The Cubs haven’t made an error through their first five games, which marks their longest streak to start a season since 1992 (six games).
Next up: The Cubs and Brewers wrap up their three-game series Wednesday at 1:20 p.m. at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 9.00 ERA) and Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 6.75 ERA) are the probable starters.