Brewers shut out Cubs, Anthony Rizzo dubs Brandon Woodruff ‘bulldog’

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Maddie Lee
·2 min read
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How Woodruff silenced Cubs bats: “He’s a bulldog up there” originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

For the third time this season, the Cubs failed to score against the Brewers.

With Milwaukee ace Brandon Woodruff on the mound, the Cubs lost 6-0 on Sunday, recording just two hits against the right-hander in six innings.

“He’s a bulldog up there,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said of Woodruff. “It's fun facing him because you know he's coming at you, and we just didn't have it today.”

Woodruff was perfect through three frames, until Cubs leadoff hitter Ian Happ drew a walk to kick off the fourth inning. Following Happ, David Bote hit a line drive to left field for the Cubs’ first hit of the game.

That’s where the good news ended for the Cubs. Rizzo and Kris Bryant struck out one after the other. On Bryant’s swinging third strike, Happ tried to steal third. But Brewers catcher Omar Narváez’s throw beat Happ to the base to end the inning.

“It was two-seam (fastball) in hard and down,” Rizzo said when asked what made Woodruff such a tough matchup Sunday. “His changeup was the best I've seen his change. And his off-speed – he commands his off-speed. He commands all three.”

Cubs infielder Matt Duffy, pinch hitting for Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning, gave the Cubs their next best shot to score on Woodruff. Duffy led off the inning with a line-drive single to right field. Then, he advanced to third on two consecutive groundouts. But Rizzo struck out on a high heater for the third out.

“Even though it's a high percentage of fastballs,” Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner said, “A four-seam up and away and a sinker down and in are pretty different pitches to handle. There's a lot of stuff between that 95 (mph) to 98 range, but they're coming in at different angles, different locations, different movement. And he's in the zone a lot and was going to force us to really string together multiple hits to score a run.”

Due to a schedule quirk, Sunday marked the third time the Cubs have faced Woodruff (2-0, 1.55 ERA) this year, less than a month into the season. In those three starts, Woodruff has allowed just one run on six hits.

The Cubs have been shut out three times this season, each time with a different Brewers starting pitcher on the mound. First Freddy Peralta, then Corbin Burnes, and now Woodruff.

The first two shutouts came in the midst of a slow start for the Cubs offense. But before Sunday, the Cubs bats had begun to heat up. The Cubs had scored 38 runs in their past four games combined. They’d scored 13-plus runs in three of their past seven games.

 

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