This was an old school victory, or some kind of nonsense like that.
The Brewers manufactured four runs in separate innings, thanks to ten singles and only one extra base hit, a Jon Lucroy double in the fourth. Lucroy’s double resulted in a run after a single by Chris Narveson. The rest of the runs were purely the result of walks, singles, hit by pitches, and sacrifice flies.
The Brewers reliance on the home run has been a talking point among Brewers fans and the media. Don’t listen to it. The fact that the Brewers hit a lot of home runs is a strength; relying on the single to create offense is just as unreliable as the home run and it’s not as productive. It took 11 hits to get four runs and just barely win the game. The Brewers have a fantastic offense – 4.73 runs per game against 4.39 per game for the league – and it’s not because of singles. It’s because any time the team gets runners on, there’s a significant chance that a big blast knocks them in.
Chris Narveson had a great start tonight, even though it was pretty short. Narveson held the Cubs to only one run by scattering six hits and, more importantly, keeping the ball in the yard and only walking one. The six strikeouts were key in keeping the Cubs off the board with runners on.
Predictably, things got dicey when Todd Coffey faced left handed Kosuke Fukudome, who jacked a donger into right field. Zach Braddock got one out but was yanked on a short leash. Kameron Loe got some important strikeouts but also gave up some pretty solid contact; it was enough, though to maintain a 4-2 lead into the ninth.
John Axford didn’t make this one easy. Mike Fontenot doubled to lead it off, and after an out, Starlin Castro singled him in, setting up a mere one run game with a runner on, only one out, and the meat of the Cubs order (as unimpressive as it has been lately) coming up. Castro tripped up attempting to stretch a single into a double, however, and was tagged out on the bases. It looked like Castro could’ve made it in to second without the stumble, which would’ve been a well worthy gamble. However, Castro looks like the proverbial goat in this case. Derrek Lee struck out to end the game, leaving the Brewers with the win and the series victory.