Game Two – Cubs 2, Cardinals 0
WP – Jake Arrieta (1-0) LP – Lance Lynn (0-1) Save – Hector Rondon (1)
Jake Arrieta shut down the Cardinals for seven innings. Starlin Castro drove in Anthony Rizzo and scored on a Miguel Montero sacrifice fly as the Cubs beat the Cardinals for the first win of the season.
The Cubs returned the favor to the Cardinals from Opening Night and made two hits, a hit by pitch and an error by Cardinals’ pitcher Lance Lynn count while Jake Arrieta and the bullpen took care of the Redbirds offense.
After a shaky first inning in which he dealt with command issues and issued two walks, Jake Arrieta settled down and kept the Cardinals off balance throughout his seven innings of work. The Cardinals put a runner on third in two different innings and both times Arrieta made the pitches he needed to in order to keep the Cards off the board.
Jake Arrieta picked up where he left off last season. Arrieta retired the side in order in four of the seven innings he pitched. Arrieta struck out the last two batters he faced on the afternoon and did not allow his first hit until the third inning, a bloop single to right by Lance Lynn.
Jake Arrieta gave up three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. Arrieta threw 104 pitches, 65 for strikes, in seven innings.
The bullpen was lights out again Wednesday. And Joe Maddon used his relievers perfectly in the eighth. Phil Coke, Neil Ramirez and Pedro Strop each recorded an out in the eighth before Hector Rondon retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth on just six pitches to end the game.
The Cubs offense was non-existent until the fourth inning. Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a triple) broke up Lance Lynn’s perfect game with a triple to right center. The Cubs could not cash in Soler and ended up 0-for-15 to start the season with RISP before Castro delivered in the seventh inning.
Lance Lynn plunked Anthony Rizzo (0-for-1 with a walk, a hit by pitch and a run scored) to start the seventh. Lynn then uncorked a wild pickoff throw to first that allowed Rizzo to move up ninety feet. Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored) lined a 1-1 pitch into left center. Rizzo scored, 1-0 Cubs, and Castro moved to second on the throw to the plate. Chris Coghlan bunted Castro to third and Miguel Montero (0-for-2 with a sac fly RBI) lifted a 2-1 pitch out to right. The wind held up the ball, Jason Heyward hauled it in and Castro tagged from third, 2-0 Cubs. And that’s all the runs the Cubs would need on a cold, damp day at Wrigley Field to pick up the first win of the season.
Hector Rondon gave Joe Maddon the ball from Wednesday’s victory.
Thursday is a scheduled off day for the Cubs. Maddon has a team workout scheduled for Thursday prior to leaving for Denver in the afternoon. The Cubs begin a three-game series on Friday afternoon (3:10pm CDT). Travis Wood is scheduled to face Tyler Matzek opener.