Javier Baez flicked his bat and watched the ball rocket in the direction of Waveland Avenue, the last of the back-to-back-to-back homers against Cincinnati Reds starter/Cubs trivia answer Scott Feldman. That quick strike came during a four-homer fourth inning on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, where the offense looked explosive and the pitching looked combustible in a 13-10 loss that left the Milwaukee Brewers one game out of first place, the St. Louis Cardinals right behind them and the Cubs awaiting a diagnosis on Jon Lester’s lat injury. “I know the talent we got,” Baez said. “When they come to play a team like us, we know they’re going to come play hard and obviously play good baseball.
Anybody see what the Brewers did Wednesday afternoon? “I have no clue,” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said. “They win?” They beat the Pirates by a run just about the time many of the Cubs were getting to Wrigley Field for their game against the Reds. That shrunk the Cubs’ division lead to one game. “My gosh,” Bryant deadpanned. “So much pressure.” Bryant grins, and those around him laugh. But he and teammates are taking the Brewers, the Cardinals and their own tenuous position in a weak National League Central seriously with roughly a quarter of the season left. This time last year, the Cubs were 32 games over .500 with a 12½-game division lead and answering questions about playoff rotations.
Thats asinine, Maddon said after Wednesday nights 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, fuming over the ninth-inning at-bat where Ben Zobrist showed bunt and got drilled by Wandy Peraltas 96-mph fastball. Home plate umpire Ryan Blakney signaled for Zobrist to jog to first base, only to have first base umpire Chris Conroy call strike two.