Game Ten: Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 – 11 innings
WP – Justin Grimm (1-0) LP – Trevor Rosenthal (0-1) Save – Hector Rondon (1)
Jeff Samardzija finally received some run support and was in line for the win after the Cubs scored two runs in the eighth inning. But Jose Veras blew his second save of the season and the game went into extra innings. After Mike Matheny left Trevor Rosenthal in to hit in the tenth with two outs and the winning run at second base, Welington Castillo launched his second home run of the season into the stands in left center, a three-run shot with two outs in the 11th inning that proved to be the game winner.
Jeff Samardzija was very good once again. Samardzija limited the Cardinals to one run on six hits in seven innings. Samardzija did not walk a batter and struck out four on 98 pitches, 62 for strikes. While a pitcher’s win-loss record is not as important as it used to be, Samardzija deserved to pick-up the victory with the way he pitched on Friday night.
Pedro Strop was shaky in the eighth. Strop walked two batters before Matt Adams lined out to right to end the inning. The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the ninth. But Jose Veras could not throw strikes, much less close out the game.
Jose Veras was horrible once again. And while excuses could be made that he didn’t get any calls, when a pitcher is as wild as he was (again) on Friday night, he is not going to get a single call. Veras had no command whatsoever and gave up two runs on one hit with two HBP and a walk. Veras also uncorked a wild pitch that was ruled a passed ball that allowed the Cardinals’ second run to score.
Rick Renteria said after the game that Jose Veras is the Cubs’ closer.
Justin Grimm picked up his first win in a Cubs’ uniform with a scoreless tenth inning and Hector Rondon notched his first big league save.
The Cubs offense was non-existent over the first six innings. Joe Kelly allowed just two hits before the seventh inning. And it was an error by Kolten Wong that opened the door for the Cubs.
Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4 with a SF RBI and a run scored) reached on Wong’s error and scored on a Ryan Sweeney (2-for-4 with a RBI) single to left … the first run scored while Samardzija was on the mound this season and the first run in the previous 35 innings dating back to Sept. 23, 2013.
Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly in the eighth off of lefty Kevin Siegrist. And Mike Olt (1-for-1 with a run scored), scored the Cubs third run on a Nate Schierholtz (4-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) single.
The Cubs first 10 hits of the game were all singles. Nate Schierholtz led off the 11th with a double and Welington Castillo (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) delivered the game winner with a 426-foot home run to left center.
Mike Olt hit for Luis Valbuena in the eighth inning and appeared to hurt his shoulder when he dove back into first base on a pickoff attempt. Olt ran the bases and slid in with the Cubs’ third run. But he did not stay in the game defensively in the eighth. Emilio Bonifacio played third while Darwin Barney took over at second base. The Cubs have not provided any updates on Mike Olt.
With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 4-6 on the season.
The Cardinals put a run on the board in the second inning. Matt Adams led off the inning with a double into the right field corner (1-0 pitch). A 1-2 offering to Molina hit in front of Castillo, bounced off his chest protector and Adams went to third on a wild pitch. Yadier Molina looped a 2-2 pitch into right center. Schierholtz tried to make a diving catch, but he could not hold on to the ball as he hit the grass. Adams scored, 1-0 Cardinals. Allen Craig rolled in to a 4-6-3 double play and Peralta grounded out to the hole at short to end the inning. Samardzija needed only 25 pitches, 14 for strikes, to complete two innings on Friday night.
The Cardinals took the 1-0 lead into the seventh inning. Joe Kelly retired one Cub after the other while Samardzija kept St. Louis from tacking onto their lead. Samardzija threw 84 pitches, 51 for strikes, over the first six innings.
Anthony Rizzo led off the seventh inning. After falling behind Joe Kelly, Rizzo worked the count back to even and pulled a 3-2 pitch toward the right side of the infield. Kolten Wong was playing Rizzo in shallow right and he allowed the ball to eat him up. Rizzo reached on the error and advanced to second when Nate Schierholtz blooped a single into left. Ryan Sweeney followed and single to left. Rizzo was waived around third and scored. With two on, no outs and the game tied at one, Mike Matheny went to his pen for flamethrower Carlos Martinez. Starlin Castro stepped in with runners on first and second and no outs. Rick Renteria called for a hit and run on a 2-1 pitch. Castro swung and missed … and Schierholtz was out by a mile at third base. Sweeney advanced to second while Molina was throwing out Schierholtz and held at second when Castro popped out to Wong. After missing with the first three pitches to Ryan Kalish, Martinez put him on and decided to face Welington Castillo with runners on first and second with two outs. Welington Castillo grounded out to short to end the inning.
Jeff Samardzija retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh. Samardzija caught Peter Bourjos looking to end the inning and skipped off the mound. The game went to the eighth tied at one.
Justin Ruggiano hit for Samardzija to start the eighth. Ruggiano got just enough of a 1-2 pitch from Martinez to bloop a single into right. Emilio Bonifacio bunted him to second. Mike Matheny went to his pen for lefty Kevin Siegrist with the tying run at second and a host of lefties due up for the Cubs. Rick Renteria went to his bench and sent up Mike Olt to hit for Luis Valbuena. Olt pulled a 2-2 pitch into left. Ruggiano misread the grounder and could only advance to third base. Anthony Rizzo stepped in with runners on the corners and one down. Rizzo pulled a 2-2 pitch into right. Allen Craig caught the ball, Ruggiano tagged and scored … 2-1 Cubs. Olt held at first base. Nate Schierholtz blooped a 3-2 pitch into left. Matt Holliday tried to make a sliding catch running toward the infield. Holliday missed the ball and it skipped past him. Olt was running with the pitch. Gary Jones waived him around third. Holliday’s throw was well off the mark and hit Olt. Olt slid in safe with the Cubs’ third run and Schierholtz advanced to third on the throw. Siegrist caught Sweeney looking to end the inning.
After Pedro Strop worked around a pair of walks in the eighth, the game went to the ninth with the Cubs up 3-1. The Cubs could not add to their lead in the ninth … and Rick Renteria gave the ball to Jose Veras for the bottom of the ninth.
Jose Veras gave up a single to Yadier Molina then hit Allen Craig. The ball appeared to miss Craig and Renteria asked for the call to be reviewed but there was not enough to overturn the call on the field. Shane Robinson ran for Craig at first base. Jon Jay bunted Molina and Robinson to second and third. Jose Veras missed badly on his first pitch to Peter Bourjos. Castillo was setup on the outside of the plate, the fastball was well on the inside of the plate and the ball hit off Castillo’s glove. Molina scored, 3-2 Cubs, on what was ruled a passed ball. With Robinson at third and one out, Renteria brought his infield in. Veras hit Bourjos with a 3-1 pitch and put runners on the corners with one out. Bourjos stole second with Daniel Descalso at the plate. Veras walked Descalso to load the bases with one out. Veras could not find the strike zone. Matt Carpenter pulled a 3-2 pitch into right. Schierholtz caught the liner, Robinson tagged and scored, game tied at three. Kolten Wong grounded out to third to end the inning.
And the game went to the tenth tied at three.
After Trevor Rosenthal mowed down the Cubs in order on six pitches in the tenth, Justin Grimm walked Holliday and Adams on eight pitches to start the tenth. Grimm struck out Yadier Molina swinging and retired Shane Robinson on a fly to left. Mike Matheny left Rosenthal in and Grimm caught the Cardinals’ closer looking to end the inning.
Nate Schierholtz led off the 11th inning with a double to left off of Trevor Rosenthal, the Cubs’ first extra basehit of the game. Sweeney bunted Schierholtz third. Rosenthal intentionally walked Castro to put runners on the corners with one out for Ryan Kalish. Another head-scratcher from Kalish as he popped up a bunt attempt to Molina for the second out.
Welington Castillo smoked a 1-1 pitch from Rosenthal into the stands in left center. The ball traveled an estimated 426 feet and gave the Cubs a 6-3 lead. Barney lined out to right to end the inning.
Hector Rondon retired three of the four batters he faced in the bottom of the 11th to close it out for his first big league save.
Carlos Villanueva faces Adam Wainwright on Saturday afternoon (1:15pm CDT).