Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/29/24): Brewers 10, Cubs 6 – Imanaga’s First Clunker Leads to Loss

After a dramatic extra-innings win on Tuesday night, the Cubs were back to their struggles against the Brewers on Wednesday with Shōta Imanaga putting up the first bad start of his major league career. Chicago’s offense showed signs of life but outstanding Milwaukee defense and bad luck stalled several potential rallies as the home team won rather comfortably.

Imanaga had issues in the opening frame, allowing a double to Joey Ortiz and then a long two-run homer from Christian Yelich to put the Brewers ahead 2-0. Ian Happ cut that deficit in half when he hit a solo shot off of Bryse Wilson in the top of the 2nd.

The wheels really came off for Imanaga in the bottom of the 3rd when Milwaukee put up a five-spot. Gary Sánchez whacked a two-run double and then Blake Perkins, who had robbed Christopher Morel of a home run by reaching over the center field wall in the top of the frame, hit a dinger that put the Brew Crew up 7-1.

The Cubs scored three runs on two groundouts and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch the next two innings but failed to do more damage even as the Brewers seemed to be trying to let them back in the game. Kyle Hendricks took over in the 5th and pitched the rest of the way and allowed three runs, including a two-run blast to Cub-killer Willy Adames in the 7th.

The North Siders tacked on a couple of garbage tallies in their final at-bat and went down to a 10-6 defeat. (Box score)

Key Moment

The Cubs had the bases loaded with two outs in the 5th inning trailing 7-4. Dansby Swanson hit a deep fly ball off of lefty Jared Koenig that died right at the wall in right-center just a foot away from being a go-ahead grand slam.

Why the Cubs Lost

Imanaga didn’t give his team a chance to win for the first time in 10 starts. The uncharacteristic poor effort put the team in a hole they couldn’t climb out of even with six runs scored.

Stats That Matter

  • It’s hard to know what role giving Imanaga 10 days of rest played in Wednesday’s performance but he was not sharp, to say the least: 4.1 IP, 7 R, 8 H, 1 K, and 1 BB.
  • Happ is suddenly showing a lot more power and that is a very good sign.
  • Seiya Suzuki had two hits and hopefully is starting to wake up a little bit at the plate.

Bottom Line

Even the best pitchers have bad starts and it was Imanaga’s time in the barrel Wednesday. Let’s hope it’s just a one-off because the Cubs really need him to be good if they want to stay in the race. If Chicago can somehow win the final game of this series, their next nine are against Cincinnati and the White Sox. It’s going to be as good a chance as they are going to get to right the ship. The question of whether they will actually take advantage of said opportunity is very much an open one at the moment.

On Deck

Chicago tries to salvage a split of the series Thursday afternoon at 12:10pm CT. Jameson Taillon takes the mound against former Cub Colin Rea in a matchup broadcast on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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