Cubs 4, Brewers 0
MILWAUKEE (AP)—With Wrigley Field falling apart lately, the Chicago Cubs seem to love their spiffy home away from home.
The Cubs won three of four games in the series that drew a Miller Park-record 167,109 fans, the majority of them rooting for Chicago before heading back in a convoy down I-43.
“That’s big for us,” Zambrano said. “You can feel the support. You can feel that the fans are there for you. That makes you a little bit worry more about the game, more excited about the game.”
Sosa said he sees Cubs caps on the road everywhere he goes. But this week, he must have felt as if he hadn’t even left West Addison Street.
“Cubs fans follow us everywhere we go. It’s something that’s very nice to see, the support,” Sosa said. “Knowing they are there for us, that’s a good feeling. That’s how it makes you play much better.”
The Cubs returned to Chicago afterward for a three-game series against Philadelphia that will feature Greg Maddux’s attempt to join the exclusive 300-win club Sunday.
Workers at Wrigley Field this week put up heavy mesh netting to protect fans from falling chunks of concrete.
“I think they’ve taken all the necessary steps that they have to take to make sure they’ve solved the problem,” said baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who will attend Sunday’s game at the freshly webbed Wrigley.
Zambrano (10-6) walked two and struck out eight in snapping a personal three-game losing skid. He needed 31 pitches to get out of the first inning, but after putting men on second and third, struck out Geoff Jenkins, Russell Branyan and Lyle Overbay. He began the second with two more strikeouts.
“We had our chance to score a run there and take the lead, give (Ben) Hendrickson a little bit of a cushion,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “Just couldn’t get it done.”
After the first inning, Zambrano allowed just two hits: a single by Hendrickson in the third and a double by Craig Counsell leading off the sixth.
“He could have completed that game if he doesn’t throw all those pitches in the first inning,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
Farnsworth allowed a hit and walked a batter in the ninth before completing the five-hitter.
The Brewers’ inability to hit in the clutch doomed them again Thursday, when they went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. In their last 10 games, including eight losses, they’re just 4-for-73 with runners at second or third.
The Brewers are sick and tired of trying to figure out their futility.
“It’s to the point where we just got to get it done,” Lyle Overbay said.
Hendrickson had watched his ERA fall from 9.75 to 6.88 through five innings, but Sosa’s shot sent it back up to 8.47.
“He’s getting better every time out,” Yost said. “That’s what we expect out of our young guys. We know at times they’re going to struggle a little bit, but we want to try to see a little bit of improvement from start to start. Every time he’s gone out, he’s gotten a little bit better and actually he pitched pretty good today.”
Baker was sure impressed: “For a rookie, he threw the ball pretty good. We finally got to him.”
A 48-year-old man from Madison, Wis., fell off a stadium escalator and was hospitalized with undetermined injuries. He was the second fan in two months to fall off an escalator at Miller Park. … The previous attendance record for a four-game series at the stadium was 154,263 against Houston from July 29-July 2, 2001. Thanks to the Cubs, the Brewers have nine sellouts this season, surpassing their total from 2002 (three) and 2003 (four) combined.