MILWAUKEE – Not even the bullpen could keep them from picking up a victory on Saturday – even if they once again had their issues.
Luckily for the relievers, the Cubs’ offense was at their best in this very early 2019 season.
They slugged four homers, including two from a surging Jason Heyward, and scored a season-high 14 runs over the course of nine innings. While the bullpen struggled again, surrendering six runs in three innings, the offensive output was enough for a 14-8 win over the Brewers at Miller Park.
Yes, the offense continues to shake off their issues from 2018, and yes, the bullpen is still struggling, but at least a troubling six-game losing streak is over for the Cubs.
Continuing his strong start to the year, Heyward had three hits and drove in three RBI on the evening. David Bote and Victor Caratini also drove in a trio of runs with Anthony Rizzo adding two as well.
Heyward started the offensive barrage in the second inning with a two-run homer to give the Cubs a one-run lead. After Milwaukee tied the game again against Cole Hamels, Victor Caratini put the team ahead with his first homer of the year – a two-run shot – to put the visitors up 4-2.
Javier Baez hit his fourth long ball of the season to start a three-run sixth inning that had the Cubs up by five runs. Cole Hamels drove in the last run of that inning and a sacrifice fly and pitched in the bottom half to finish off a six-inning effort which he allowed just two runs while striking out five without a walk.
Fear crept back in for fans when Kyle Ryan and Allen Webster struggled when filling in for Hamels in the seventh. Ryan allowed two runners and Webster surrendered a three-run homer to Ryan Braun to cut the lead to two. Each pitcher was called up earlier in the day to replace the injured Mike Montgomery and demoted Carl Edwards Jr.
But Heyward and the offense would ease the fears in the 8th with a seven-run inning, which began with a solo homer for the outfielder who has three round-trippers in two games at Miller Park. Anthony Rizzo’s two-run double and David Bote’s bases-clearing hit finished off the frame that put the game out of reach.
Even a three-run homer by Eric Thames in the 8th couldn’t stop the Cubs from getting a win, one in which the relievers can really thank their offense for the efforts.