Chicago Cubs: Three takeaways from series win over Brewers

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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David Bote, Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Brewers are frustratingly good at defensive alignment

It was especially evident during Friday’s game that the Brewers seemed to shift perfectly to deal with the pull ability of the Cubs biggest left-handed bats. During a frustrating 7-0 loss, the shift bailed out the Brewers more than once.

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward had a golden chance to help the Cubs out offensively when he smacked a ground ball up the middle with two men on base and nobody out in the seventh inning. The Brewers infield was shifted perfectly and turned it into an easy double play.

Even manager Joe Maddon acknowledged after the first game of the series that it seemed as if the Brewers shift was playing a big role in slowing down their offense. Here’s what Maddon had to say about defensive shifts against some of his batters (Via NBCSN):

"That can go the other way eventually, too. For right now, yes, we hit some balls really well right at them and that can be frustrating at times. But you just gotta miss."

Well said, Joe. The shift played a role in the next two games as well, but the Cubs had strong pitching on their side to help keep the Brewers offense off the scoreboard.

One conspiracy theory is that former Cubs assistant hitting coach Andy Haines may be tipping the Brewers off on the best shift alignments. Haines is now the Brewers hitting coach and was credited early in the year for giving his hitters tips on driving the ball off Quintana.

I doubt Haines has anything to do with the success of the Brewers shifting. It’s clear that the shift is taking away RBI opportunities from some of the team’s biggest hitters, and it’s something the Cubs should try to improve.