MLB Baseball
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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Milwaukee1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 5111
Chi Cubs0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 162
  W: J. Hader (6-1)   L: K. Hendricks (11-11)
5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, September 12, 2018
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 40,234

Series finale crucial for both Cubs, Brewers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs

  1. Chicago has gone 10-6 against Milwaukee in 2018. The Cubs won eight of the first nine matchups, but have lost five of the last seven, falling victim to three shutouts. The Cubs are 5-1 at home against the Brewers this season after going 3-6 against the Brew Crew at Wrigley in 2017.
  2. The Brewers have gone 9-2 since August 29, outscoring their opponents 65-41 over that span. Milwaukee is tied for the major league lead in runs since that date with the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays, and the team's .818 win percentage in this span is the best in MLB.
  3. The Cubs have dropped four of their last six games, scoring as many runs (12) in their two victories as in their four losses. The team will return to Chicago where it has won seven of eight behind an average of 6.13 runs.
  4. Anthony Rizzo and Christian Yelich both have a .381 on-base percentage, with Rizzo edging Yelich by percentage points to rank sixth in the NL among qualifying left-handed hitters. The Brewers are 70-40 (.636) when Yelich reaches base at least once while the Cubs have gone 67-44 (.604) when Rizzo reaches.
  5. Wade Miley faced the Cubs at home in his last start, going 6.0 innings and limiting Chicago to one run on three hits. In three career starts at Wrigley, Miley has allowed 11 earned runs in 19.0 innings (5.21 ERA), and has allowed 1.89 home runs per nine innings.
  6. Jon Lester has thrown 158.0 innings in 2018, his 11th consecutive season with at least that many innings pitched. Lester is tied for the longest active streak in MLB with Zack Greinke, who also has thrown at least 150.0 innings in every season since 2008.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/10/2018 thru 9/12/2018
(AP Photo/David Banks)

CHICAGO -- If the Chicago Cubs are going to stave off the Milwaukee Brewers down the stretch for their third straight National League Central Division title, finding ways to win tight ballgames will be key.

And if that's to happen, their pitching will have to certainly do its part, which loomed large as the Cubs were able to push their divisional lead back to two games heading into Wednesday's series finale at Wrigley Field.

Chicago's bullpen backed up a stellar start by Jose Quintana in a 3-0 win over the Brewers on Tuesday that kept Milwaukee from moving into a virtual tie for first place.

The victory also snapped Chicago's three-game losing streak. But as the Cubs look to again create more distance not only on Wednesday but as the regular season winds down, at least one of their relievers realizes he has to get back on track.

Before Tuesday's victory, Carl Edwards Jr., told reporters that he has to again become a critical part of Chicago's bullpen. In his past seven appearances, Edwards has an ERA of 1.73 but has surrendered key runs, including on a wild pitch that spelled the difference in a one-run loss in Monday's series opener.

He likened his recent struggles to writer's block.

"All of a sudden you wanted to say something and you just forgot what you wanted to write about," Edwards told reporters Tuesday, according to NBC Sports Chicago. "I've been doing something forever and it's like, 'what just happened?'"

A night after Quintana shut the Brewers down, Kyle Hendricks (11-10, 3.71 ERA) will face the Brewers on Wednesday. Hendricks has won two of his past three starts and is coming off a no-decision in which he gave up four runs (one earned) while striking out six over five innings against the Washington Nationals. Hendricks is 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 18 career starts against Milwaukee.

The Brewers, who saw their four-game winning streak halted on Tuesday, failed to score in a game for the first time since June 18. The loss also marked the sixth time this season the Brewers have been shut out by Chicago.

Despite losing for only the third time in its past 13 games, Milwaukee could still win the series with a win and get back to within a game of the Cubs.

Chase Anderson takes the mound for the Brewers. Anderson (9-7, 3.95) hasn't lost since July 14, but has five no-decisions in his past seven outings. He scattered five hits, allowed two runs and struck out five over five innings in his last start against the San Francisco Giants. Anderson is 4-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cubs.

Wednesday's game will mark the final face-to-face meeting with the Cubs during the regular season. Although there's still time to catch Chicago this month, the Brewers realize that games like Wednesday's carry some extra weight - and meaning.

At least publicly, however, manager Craig Counsell's players won't admit it.

"We feel good," Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas said on Monday, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Each day is a big game for us. Each time we step on the field, we've got to find a way to win. It doesn't matter who's on the other side. ... But we can't look too far ahead.

"As long as we take care of business, that's all we can control."

Updated September 12, 2018

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