Paul Maholm dug himself an early grave on Tuesday night in his first start as a Cub. Before he could record the second out of the game, the Brewers had put five runs on the board. The Cubs answered back, but not enough, and lost the second game of the series 7-4.
Of course, Maholm didn’t exactly make it hard for the Brewers. He issued two walks, served up two extra base hits – a double and a three-run homer – and plunked two Brewers. When he finally got Weeks (in his second at-bat of the inning, mind you) for the third out, you could hear the sarcasm in the extra-enthusiastic cheers. (Or they might have just been cold.)
Sveum left Maholm twisting for four innings in the actually-pretty-helpful wind, where he continued to give up hard-hit balls that were knocked down by the breeze.
Jonathan Lucroy of all people managed to tack one on in the third – he launched a solo homer where Braun and Ramirez had failed, making it 6-0 Milwaukee. Lucroy would also round out the Brewers’ scoring with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, the only run that the wobbly bullpen actually surrendered.
About that bullpen… We didn’t exactly break out the A-listers (such as they are) today, but after Rodrigo Lopez plunked his first batter, he was pretty solid for two innings. Rafael Dolis and Lendy Castillo both did their best Marmol impressions through three, combining for four walks, with Dolis giving up that Lucroy RBI.
The Cubs managed to answer back in the bottom of the third, stringing a few hits, a bad hop, and a sac fly together for three runs. Soriano collected another two RBIs, and he and David DeJesus were both 2-for-4 on the night.
The rest of the game was pretty quiet (except for all the Braun booing, HEYO!) until the ninth inning, when Geovany Soto took a Jose Veras curveball deep to left-center to make it 7-4. Unfortunately, that’s where it would stay until Darwin Barney grounded out to short, ending our long national nightmare. (I think it just felt really long, because it was hopeless from the very beginning.)
Tomorrow’s game will air on WGN at 1:20, and will feature Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Dempster. May the baseball gods help us all if the wind is blowing out.