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May 4, 2024 3:47 am

Cubs hope to get bullpen in order vs. Brewers

brewers

No lead has been safe for the Chicago Cubs as of late.

Chicago’s bullpen has been scuffling, and it will attempt to get things sorted out on Saturday afternoon when the Cubs continue a three-game set with the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.

It looked like Chicago was going to take the series opener on Friday, as it took a 1-0 lead into the eighth after getting 6 1/3 shutout innings from starter Hayden Wesneski.

Richard Lovelady recorded the last two outs of the seventh and the first of the eighth, but Adbert Alzolay then got shelled, giving up three runs on four hits in just one-third of an inning.

The Cubs’ offense failed to make up any ground, and Milwaukee escaped with a 3-1 victory to extend its winning streak to three games.

Chicago dropped to 2-5 over its past seven games, with relievers being tagged with the loss in four of those five setbacks. The Cubs’ bullpen has coughed up leads on back-to-back days, squandering a 5-2 advantage in the sixth inning during Thursday’s 7-6, 11-inning loss to the New York Mets.

Alzolay’s struggles have been among the most apparent, and he’s accounted for two of the losses during Chicago’s current rut.

“He’s struggling right now for sure,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said of Alzolay. “But we need Adbert. We need Adbert to be an effective member of the bullpen, and we need to keep giving him opportunities to do that.”

Jameson Taillon (2-0, 1.50 ERA) will try to take some pressure off Chicago’s bullpen when he makes his fourth start of the season on Saturday.

In his most recent outing, Taillon settled for a no-decision after allowing one run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings against the Mets on Monday. He is 3-7 with a 3.36 ERA in 14 career appearances (13 starts) against the Brewers.

Fellow right-hander Tobias Myers (0-1, 4.50) is expected to get the nod for Milwaukee.

Myers went five innings against the New York Yankees last Sunday, giving up four runs on five hits, and he did not factor into the decision.

A 25-year-old rookie, Myers has never faced the Cubs.

Backing Myers will be an offense that has averaged six runs during the three-game winning streak. Brewers associate manager Rickie Weeks has been impressed with Milwaukee’s ability to generate scoring opportunities in a variety of ways.

“For our offense to really work, we have to be creative. And creativity comes with getting on base, maybe having a bunt here or there, maybe stealing a base,” Weeks said. “But those guys in the clubhouse, they’re baseball players, and when you have that, you have a good chance of winning a baseball game at the end.”

Weeks was standing in as the Brewers’ acting manager while Pat Murphy served a two-game suspension for his role in a brawl that transpired in Tuesday’s 8-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Murphy will be eligible to return to the bench for Saturday’s meeting with Chicago. His predecessor, Counsell, is seeking his first win against his former team. Counsell managed Milwaukee from 2015-23.

–Field Level Media

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