How it happened: As the offense stalled, Jeff Samardzija still struck out 10 Brewers batters and Darwin Barney extended his errorless streak for second basemen to a National League-record 114 consecutive games. Barney provided the only run with a second-inning ground out. As struggling rookie Anthony Rizzo was given the night off, the Cubs offense was quiet once again.
What it means: It seems like all there is left to watch is second baseman Barney’s errorless streak. It appeared to come to an end when his throw to third baseman Luis Valbuena in the seventh inning got away and was originally ruled an E4. After checking the replay multiple times, official scorer Bob Rosenberg changed his call and gave the error to Valbuena, preserving the errorless streak.
Outside the box: Samardzija’s 10 strikeout game was his third double-digit strikeout game, with all of them coming since the start of July. He had 11 strikeouts in games on July 2 at Atlanta and Aug. 13 against the Astros. In fact, all three of those games of 10 strikeouts or more have come since Samardzija stopped throwing a curveball and started focusing more on his slider and sinker.
Off beat: With one game to go against the Brewers this season, the Cubs have already lost to their division rival 13 times. The previous high for most losses in a season against Milwaukee was 10, set last season, as well as in 2002. The Cubs do have three victories against the Brewers this season, one better than their least ever against them, set in 1997.
Up next: The Cubs will send left-hander Brooks Raley (1-2, 6.64 ERA) to the mound Thursday against the Brewers in the finale of a four-game series. Milwaukee will counter with right-hander Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.19) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field. It will be the final game between the two teams this season.