Please remember, though, that these are the Cubs and nothing’s ever easy.
This one started out well, much as Monday’s game did. With an 80-57 record, the Cubs aren’t just lying down and giving the division to the Cardinals. That silenced the hometown crowd, or whatever portion of the announced 42,206 actually showed up on a rainy evening. The Cubs have won four in a row and got an 11-game trip off to a strong start.
The rain never fell too hard, but it did rain steadily for the first four innings on a typical sticky St. Louis evening. The Cardinals had been resting Wacha with their lead but he made an appearance. “I think that’s a great sign of the kind of pitcher this kid’s gonna become”. He didn’t walk a batter in 7 1/3 innings, allowing 7 hits with 6 strikeouts. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny stresses one game at a time.
“It was definitely good to get that one”, Piscotty said.
“I like Deno [Denorfia] there a lot”, Maddon said. This despite the addition of two more relievers Tuesday, making the active Cubs relief-pitcher count 13. The ankle wasn’t the issue. “I’m really happy we’re disappointed right now”. All right, it’s still a six-run lead. MarkReynolds was walked. Hammel was retired followed by Justin Grimm.
Lester allowed just two hits and a run, walking one and striking out seven.
“Obviously we went real quick to Yadi”. Rookie Tommy Pham connected for a single to load the bases. Greg Garcia pinch hit next, slapping a single (8-for-19 now as a pinch hitter) to put two on for Carpenter. The Chicago Cubs have split their last eight road games. He saw the bottom of the order coming up and wanted Strop to have an easy inning after getting hit the night before. The small sample size came through again, as Cruz laced a single to left to make it 8-5. This near-sweep of the Cardinals is all the Cubs need to know that they can beat anyone.
Fortunately, the Cubs did not blow that lead. Stephen Piscotty drove in the tying and go-ahead rusn with a double to deep center off Fernando Rodney.
Lindor, who also tripled and scored two runs, finished a double shy of the cycle.
Five of the starting position players departed before the eighth inning, and Maddon also pulled many of his starters before the last out. The blast got the Cardinals on the board for the first time in this series against the Cubs and injected some life into the offense.
The Cubs have done such a good job this season with finding the right balance between relaxed and intense, focused and oblivious, youth and inexperience.
The St. Louis Cardinals are announcing their 2016 regular season schedule today in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s league-wide schedule release.
The Chicago Cubs had no trouble scoring runs to secure a series win in St. Louis, and they could have a key bat back as they try for the sweep.
“I couldn’t resist that time”, the normally even-keeled 24-year-old said with a smile. Greenwood was recalled to St. Louis a week ago but was sent back to Memphis nine hours later after a game. Haren fell to 4-3 lifetime against St. Louis on June 25, when he yielded four runs over six frames while with Miami. The game preview will post at 11 a.m. Connecticut.