Coming into the three game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs were in prime position to spoil the party for the Brewers. Losers of five in a row, the Brewers were ripe for the picking, and the Cubs certainly made them pay.
During the three game series the Cubs outscored the Brewers 17-5. The pitching was great as well as all three starters that pitched for the Cubs in the series got wins.
The Brewers had at least a share of first place for almost the entire season. The last time the Brewers were not in first place was way back in the beginning of April. After sweeping the Brewers to start the week, they are now three games back of the St. Louis Cardinals and losers of eight consecutive games. This is the second three game sweep of a first place team in the last 2 weeks, as the Cubs also swept the Baltimore Orioles.
This series was a prime example of what the Cubs can expect for the future. There were timely hits from the young guys like Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara. The pitching was excellent as Jake Arrieta, Jacob Turner and Kyle Hendricks were able to hold the Brewers offense down and had their respective leads over to the bullpen.
The bullpen was outstanding, as it has been all season long. Neil Ramirez lowered his ERA to an astonishing 0.96. The Cubs could have possible found the bullpen of the future as Ramirez, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon have been excellent late in games and solidified a weakness of the team.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the sweep of the Brewers, is that it was done without Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo did not play in any games and may miss the rest of the season with a back strain, and yet the Cubs were able to dominate the series. The Cubs also lost All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro early in game two of the series with a high ankle sprain. Castro is also likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Overall, the series against the Brewers is a sign of changing times. No longer did the Cubs look over matched against the first place Brewers. In fact, they were the team that kept jumping out to early leads and forcing the Brewers to play catch up all series long.
The young prospects that have been playing for the Cubs and will continue to do so for the rest of the season will make for a very exciting September and should offer hope to the Cubs faithful.