Jake Arrieta’s release wasn’t the only move the Cubs made before their 17-4 loss to the Brewers on Thursday. The team also put catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right knee.
Contreras has been a workhorse in 2021, starting more games than any other catcher in baseball. This is his first missed time this season, and giving him a chance to recover is a top priority. He’s slashing .226/.333/.417 with 17 homers and 40 RBI in 104 games.
The Cubs activated catcher Austin Romine from the 60-day injured list to take Contreras’ place on the roster. Romine had been out with a severely sprained left wrist since the end of April.
Down a pitcher after Arrieta’s release, the Cubs also selected right-handed Ryan Meisinger from Triple-A Iowa. Meisinger is 2-2 with a 4.25 ERA and three saves in 24 appearances in the minors this season. He pitched 1 ⅔ innings against the Brewers on Thursday, allowing four runs and four hits.
Left-hander Kyle Ryan was designated for assignment, clearing space on the 40-man roster. Ryan had a 6.75 ERA in 13 appearances.
Hendricks allows career-high 9 runs
There haven’t been many games this season where things snowballed on right-hander Kyle Hendricks, but that’s exactly what happened against the Brewers. In the second inning, Hendricks allowed a leadoff triple to Eduardo Escobar before surrendering an RBI double against Luis Urias to make it a 1-0 game. The next batter, Jace Pederson, homered to make it 3-0.
The Brewers added two more runs in the inning on a single by Willy Adames. It was just the second time since
April 28 that Hendricks allowed more than four earned runs in an outing.
“I probably saw more misses up in the zone today than I had seen in a while,” manager David Ross told reporters.
The Brewers dealt Hendricks a knockout blow in the fifth after loading the bases with nobody out. Manny Pina’s grand slam made it 9-1.
Hendricks, who fell to 13-5, allowed a career-high nine runs and 11 hits in four-plus innings.
“Today, it was just a bad day for me, honestly,” he told reporters after the game. “I just made a lot of bad pitches. We’ve gotten predictable at times. Really just missed over the plate with too many pitches, which I haven’t been doing lately.
“It’s just one of those I’ve got to move on from, but now it’s preparing the same exact way. We have big-league guys in here going out trying to win ballgames, and I’m in the same spot. I’ve just got to pick it up tomorrow.”
The offensive onslaught didn’t end after Hendricks exited. The Brewers scored four runs in the sixth and three in the seventh. Urias tacked on a solo homer in the ninth.
The Cubs got back-to-back solo homers from Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom in the seventh and added a fourth run in the ninth when Schwindel scored on a throwing error by Urias.