“It’s not a slump, no. Those guys are pitching great,” Sosa said after Doug Davis threw eight strong innings and Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run homer in the Brewers’ 4-0 win that completed a three-game sweep Wednesday night.
“Good pitching is going to stop good hitting. That’s what happened in this series.”
The Cubs managed just two runs in 27 innings, trailed for 26 innings, never led in the series and got shut out twice by a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 1992.
“They pitched great all three days. They didn’t make any mistakes. Simple as that,” said Sosa, who was 1-for-8 in the series. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You get ready for the next series.”
Davis (9-6), who leads the club in wins, struck out a career-high nine and allowed just four hits and two walks in bouncing back from an 8-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday that snapped his four-game winning streak.
The Cubs hadn’t been swept in a series of three or more games since 2002, against Cincinnati. It was the Brewers’ first sweep of the Cubs since May 9-12, 2002, at Wrigley Field and their first sweep of the Cubs at home since Sept. 18-20, 2000, at County Stadium.
Last year, the Cubs won all seven games at Miller Park and entered this series with both momentum—they were coming off a sweep of the White Sox—and menace, with Matt Clement, Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano facing a team that had lost four straight to the last-place Pirates.
“Every arm they throw out there is a stud,” Jenkins said. “So, you know when you face a staff like that you’re not going to score a lot of runs. For the most part, you’re going to have to scrap and score your two, three, four runs and hope you play good defense and your guys are throwing strikes.
“That’s kind of what we did this series.”
The Cubs lived up to their billing, allowing just nine runs overall, but it was the Brewers, behind All-Star Ben Sheets, the surprising Victor Santos and the dependable Davis, who dominated hitters in this series.
Combined, they allowed two runs in 21 2-3 innings, both by Santos on Tuesday. And the bullpen didn’t allow Chicago any runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Mike Adams capped things off with a 1-2-3 ninth Wednesday.
“It was a tough series for us,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “They didn’t score a lot in this series, but they scored more than we did.”
Zambrano (9-4), who was named to his first All-Star team Sunday, allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings. It was just the fourth time in 17 starts this season that Zambrano allowed four or more earned runs.
Jenkins’ two-run homer, his 12th, gave Milwaukee a 3-0 lead in the third. After Lyle Overbay followed with a single, Zambrano started hollering at home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi over his pitch calls. Ben Grieve’s two-out RBI single in the fifth made it 4-0.
Overbay struck out but reached on a wild pitch in the second. He scored from second on a single by Wes Helms, giving Milwaukee 1-0 lead.
The Cubs fell a season-high six games behind St. Louis in the NL East and the Brewers moved into sole possession of third place, seven games back.
“It’s a huge series for us,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “Especially after going 0-7 against the Cubs last year here at Miller Park.”
Several Cubs batters took issue with Cuzzi’s wide strike zone, and Davis acknowledged he got away with some pitches off the plate that were ruled strikes.
“I may have gotten some calls, but if I’m going to hit the same spot every time, I’m going to get those calls,” Davis said.
As for Zambrano’s umbrage, Baker said his pitcher was “really upset with himself more than anything.”
Frustrated and flustered, just like the rest of the Cubs.
“It was just a bad three days,” Baker said.
Davis had struck out eight three times in his career. … The sellout crowd of 42,291 brought the series total to 129,602. … Brewers RF Grieve drew six walks in the three-game series. … Davis is the first Brewers LHP with nine or more wins at the break since Teddy Higuera was 10-7 in the first half in 1986.