The Milwaukee Brewers will look to continue their dominance of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night when the National League Central rivals reconvene at Wrigley Field.
Milwaukee recorded a 4-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday and a 6-3 victory in the nightcap. The division-leading Brewers, who are 22 games above .500, improved to 11-3 against the Cubs this season.
Avisail Garcia has played an important role in the Brewers’ success. He went deep in the first game on Tuesday for his 20th homer of the season, which matched his career high set in 2019 with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The 20 homers have come despite Garcia slimming down during the offseason, during which he lost more than 20 pounds.
“I worked really hard in the offseason,” Garcia said. “I lost a lot of weight. That’s the way you can survive in the big leagues. You keep working hard and try to do your best every single game. I feel proud.”
Teammates laughed as their first reaction to Garcia’s slimmer physique.
“We said, ‘Oh my God, let’s see if he still hits homers,'” Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta said. “And he’s doing it. For me, he’s looking better. He doesn’t get tired too quick, and it’s awesome. It’s great for him.”
Meanwhile, the Cubs hope to snap a six-game losing streak. They have lost 12 of their last 14 games, including nine of 11 since shipping out Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Craig Kimbrel ahead of the trade deadline.
Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (5-10, 6.34 ERA) will try to stop his team’s skid. He has lost six decisions in a row and is searching for his first victory since May 25, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 10 starts since then, Arrieta is 0-6 with a 9.00 ERA. He has given up 43 runs (35 earned) in his last 35 innings, and he has walked 21 and struck out 33 during that span.
Arrieta will make his 23rd career start against the Brewers. He is 9-9 with a 3.46 ERA versus Milwaukee.
Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes (6-4, 2.39) will oppose Arrieta and the Cubs. Burnes is coming off a quality start against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, when he allowed one run on four hits in seven innings in a no-decision.
Burnes is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in nine career games (three starts) against the Cubs. He has 35 strikeouts in 24 innings but has surrendered five home runs in that period.
The Cubs hope for a better day from their hitters after scoring only five runs in Tuesday’s doubleheader. Patrick Wisdom will try to stay hot after doubling and homering in the nightcap.
Another Cubs position player who is looking to make the most of his playing time down the stretch is outfielder Rafael Ortega, who went 3-for-4 in Tuesday’s opening game.
“I’m grateful to the Chicago Cubs for giving me this opportunity to be here,” Ortega said. “But what I’m trying to show them is I can do this every day. I can maintain this same type of production moving forward.”
–Field Level Media