They may get more of the same Tuesday, particularly from the home team.
One day after these teams combined to strike out 28 times, Mark Prior looks to continue that trend as he takes the mound for the Cubs against a Brewers team having trouble offensively.
Ben Sheets had 12 strikeouts in seven innings and outdueled the Cubs’ Matt Clement, who fanned 10 in seven frames, to lead Milwaukee to a 1-0 victory Monday. Chicago struck out a season-high 17 times in front of what seemed to be a pro-Cubs crowd of 45,016, the second-largest in Miller Park history.
“It was a great atmosphere. Any time you fill the stadium it’s going to be fun,” Brewers shortstop Craig Counsell said.
Prior’s career high for strikeouts in one game is 16, set against Milwaukee on June 26, 2003. He struck out 41 batters in 27 innings against the Brewers last season, going 2-0 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts.
The 23-year-old right-hander, second in the NL last year with 245 strikeouts, goes into his first matchup this season against Milwaukee with the benefit of facing a struggling offense.
The Brewers have scored a total of nine runs in their last five games. They had just three hits Monday, but Counsell’s first homer since April 6 was enough for Milwaukee to snap a four-game losing streak.
“There was only one mistake and that was the whole game,” said Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa.
Chicago had won five in a row before Monday’s loss, which also ended the Cubs’ eight-game win streak at Miller Park.