Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine: Cubs 3, Cardinals 1
WP – Jake Arrieta (10-5) LP – John Lackey (3-3) Save – Hector Rondon (27)
The Cubs beat the Cardinals in the final home game of the 2014 season behind a tremendous outing from Jake Arrieta. Not only did Jake Arrieta hold the Cardinals to one unearned run on two hits in seven innings but Arrieta knocked in the Cubs first two runs with a fourth inning triple.
The Cubs posted a 41-40 record at Wrigley Field in 2014 with Wednesday’s victory over the Cardinals, the team’s first winning record at home since 2009. The Cubs took two of three against the Redbirds to finish the final homestand of the season with a 6-4 record. And the Cubs ended up with a 9-10 record in the season series with St. Louis.
For the seventh time in his last 18 starts, Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Yadier Molina broke up Arrieta’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the fifth. Arrieta allowed just two singles on the night and the run the Cardinals scored was unearned due to a Welington Castillo throwing error.
Jake Arrieta was on the top of his game Wednesday night and shutdown a very good Cardinals’ offense. Arrieta struck out 10 batters and allowed only four baserunners in seven outstanding innings. Arrieta posted his fourth double-digit strikeout game in the last start of his breakout season.
Jake Arrieta allowed one unearned run on two hits with a walk, a HBP and 10 strikeouts. Arrieta threw 97 pitches, 69 strikes, in seven innings.
Jake Arrieta also delivered the big hit on the night. After Luis Valbuena (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) doubled to start the fourth, John Lackey struck out Welington Castillo and Junior Lake before intentionally walking Logan Watkins. Arrieta made Lackey pay and drove a 0-2 pitch into the gap in right center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Arrieta slid in at third with the first triple of his career.
The Cubs added a big insurance run in the eighth on back-to-back pinch hits. Ryan Kalish (1-for-1 with a double and a runs scored) doubled to left with two outs, and scored on a Chris Valaika (1-for-1 with a RBI) single to left. All three of the Cubs runs scored on two out hits.
Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon closed out the game. And Rondon picked up his 27th save of the season.
Wednesday night was the end of an Era at Wrigley Field. The old ballyard at the corner of Clark and Addison will look much different when the Cubs face the Cardinals on Opening Day 2015.
With Wednesday’s win over the Cardinals, the Cubs improved to 71-88 on the season.
Jake Arrieta retired the Cardinals in order in the fourth inning and allowed only two baserunners, a walk and a HBP, over the first four innings. Arrieta threw 52 pitches, 48 for strikes.
Luis Valbuena led off the fourth with a double to right (2-2 pitch). John Lackey struck out Welington Castillo (3-2 pitch) and Junior Lake (3-2 pitch) swinging. Logan Watkins received an intentional free pass. With two on and two down, Jake Arrieta drove a 0-2 pitch into the gap in right. The ball skipped all the way to the wall, and both Valbuena and Watkins scored on the first triple of Jake Arrieta’s career. Chris Coghlan lined out to Lackey to end the inning. The Cubs were 1-for-5 with RISP and left five men on base in the first four innings. And John Lackey needed 76 pitches, 46 strikes, to complete four innings Wednesday night.
At the end of four innings, the Cubs led 2-0.
Jake Arrieta’s no-hit bid ended in the top of the fifth. Yadier Molina singled to center on a 2-2 pitch to start the inning. Oscar Tavares singled to right (3-2 pitch) and Peter Bourjos stepped in with two on and no outs. Bourjos grounded a 1-2 pitch toward second. Watkins fielded the ball and threw Baez at second. Tavares was forced, but Bourjos beat Baez’s throw to first. Bourjos took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Lackey. Welington Castillo’s throw was into the baseline. The ball skipped into center, Molina scored, 2-1 Cubs. Bourjos did not advance on Castillo’s error. Lackey struck out swinging and Matt Carpenter grounded out to first to end the inning. Arrieta used 74 pitches, 52 strikes, to complete five innings.
The Cubs could not cash-in a two-out double by Jorge Soler in the fifth. And the game went to the sixth with the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead.
The Cubs held on to the one-run lead through the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Jake Arrieta tossed two scoreless innings to end his season and Pedro Strop kept the Cardinals off the board in the eighth.
Luis Valbuena led off the eighth against lefty Randy Choate and grounded out to second. Mike Matheny went to his pen for Carlos Martinez. Welington Castillo struck out. Ryan Kalish hit for Junior Lake and doubled to left on a 3-1 pitch. Chris Valaika hit for Pedro Strop and smoked Martinez’s first pitch into left. Kalish was waived around and scored, 3-1 Cubs. Valaika went to second on the play, but was stranded when Alcantara popped out to second for the third out.
The Cubs led 3-1 after eight innings.
Hector Rondon took over in the ninth and made quick work of Holliday (grounder to second) and Adams (flyout to right). Jhonny Peralta hit a sinking liner to right (0-1 pitch). Soler appeared to lose the ball in the lights. Peralta reached and advanced to third on a Yadier Molina single to left. Tommy Pham ran for Molina representing the tying run. Arismendy Alcantara made a diving stop on a ball ticketed for center off the bat of Oscar Tavares and flipped the ball to Baez to end the game … and the 100th year at Wrigley Field. And it’s always a good day when the Cubs beat the Cardinals.
Only three games left in the 2014 season for the Chicago Cubs.
Thursday is an off-day for the Cubs, the last one of the season. The Cubs open a three-game series Friday night (7:10pm CDT) in Milwaukee. Eric Jokisch faces Matt Garza in his first big league start.