Game Twenty-Five – Cubs 4, Cardinals 7
WP – Mitch Harris (1-0) LP – Edwin Jackson (1-1) Save – Trevor Rosenthal (9)
For the second night in a row the Cubs built a lead just to see the Cardinals comeback and tie the game. And the bullpen could not keep the Cardinals off the board as the Cubs dropped their fourth game in a row on Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Kyle Hendricks struggled with his command but limited the Cardinals to one run over the first four innings. The Cubs took advantage of a Cardinals miscue in the third and scored three runs in the fifth on a single from Kris Bryant (1-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) and a ground out to short off the bat of Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with two RBI).
The Cardinals tied the game at four in the fifth inning on a three-run homer by Matt Carpenter. Hendricks left after five innings (73 pitches, 42 for strikes) and allowing four runs on six hits with two walks, two HBP and a strikeout.
Edwin Jackson started the sixth with the game tied at four. Before Joe Maddon could get him out of the game Jackson gave up two runs on four hits in just two thirds of an inning. James Russell made his 2015 debut and cleaned up Jackson’s mess without allowing any more runs to score. But a Starlin Castro mental and physical error in the seventh handed the Cardinals another run.
Cubs’ pitching allowed seven runs on 12 hits with two walks, three HBP and only two strikeouts on Tuesday night.
The Cubs did not capitalize on the opportunities they had or make enough contact. The Cubs managed 10 hits and four walks but struck out 12 times. The offense finished the game 2-for-12 with RISP and left 11 men on base.
Anthony Rizzo (3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored) was on base four times. Kris Bryant drove in a run and scored another on an excellent baserunning play in the fifth inning. Bryant scored from second base with the bases loaded when Castro hit a chopper to short that the Cardinals could not turn two on to end the inning.
Addison Russell (2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and a run scored) just missed two homers and settled for a pair of doubles. And Welington Castillo (1-for-4 with a double) doubled in four trips to the plate.
Even with the offense not putting as many runs on the board as they should have Tuesday night, a new game plan for the pitching staff might be in order after two days of throwing batting practice to the Cardinals.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 13-12 on the season.
Yadier Molina singled in Jhonny Peralta in the second inning and gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. But the Cubs tied the game at one after taking advantage of a Cardinals’ throwing error.
Anthony Rizzo singled to right center to start the third. Bryant could not check his swing on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. With Soler at the plate, Tyler Lyons threw to first to hold Rizzo close to the bag. The ball skipped past Matt Adams and Rizzo ended up at third with one down.
Jorge Soler plated Rizzo with a sac fly to left and tied the game at one. Castro was caught looking to end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks issued a two out walk to Matt Carpenter, but that was all for the Cardinals in the third inning. After three innings it was a 1-1 game.
Addison Russell led off the fifth with the game tied at one. Russell pulled a 1-2 pitch from Lyons to deep left. The ball hit at the base of the wall. Russell stopped at second with a double. Dexter Fowler bunted him to third. With the infield in and one down, Lyons wanted nothing to do with Rizzo and walked him on five pitches.
Kris Bryant ripped a 2-2 pitch into left, Russell scored and the Cubs took a 2-1 lead. With runners on first and second and one down, Jorge Soler smoked the first pitch into left. Gary Jones held Rizzo at third with one out and loaded the bases for Castro. Mike Matheny decided that was enough for Tyler Lyons and went to his pen for Seth Maness.
Starlin Castro dribbled a 2-1 pitch toward short. Jhonny Peralta fielded the ball and flipped to Wong. Soler was forced but Wong’s throw to first was high. Castro hustled down the line and beat the throw. Rizzo scored and so did Bryant, all the way from second base. And the Cubs took a 4-1 lead. Junior Lake struck out swinging to end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks took the hill for the fifth inning with a 4-1 lead. Hendricks threw 58 pitches, 32 for strikes, in the first four frames.
Kolten Wong pulled a 1-0 pitch over Soler’s head in right. Hendricks hit pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos and put runners on first and second with no outs for Jon Jay. Junior Lake made an excellent catch going toward the wall in left to retire Jay for the first out.
Matt Carpenter stepped in and pulled a 0-1 pitch to right. The ball left the park in a hurry and tied the game at four.
Matt Holliday followed with a single to center. Hendricks refocused and retired Adams on a liner to right and Peralta on a fly out to center to finally end the inning.
After five complete, the game was tied at four.
The Cubs could not cash in a two-out double by Addison Russell in the sixth and Edwin Jackson replaced Hendricks for the bottom of the sixth.
Edwin Jackson retired Heyward on a tapper to the first base side of the mound to start the inning. Yadier Molina singled to left (2-1 pitch) and Wong singled to center. Mark Reynolds hit for Mitch Harris and drove a 0-1 pitch to deep right. The ball hit off the base of the right center field wall. Molina scored and the Cardinals took a 5-4 lead. With runners on second and third with one out, Jackson hit Jon Jay to load the bases.
Matt Carpenter drove a 2-1 pitch from Jackson to deep left. Junior Lake made another excellent catch. But Wong tagged and scored, 6-4 Cardinals. Matt Holliday reached on an infield single to short. Castro tried to make a barehanded pickup but could not get a handle on the ball. Russell backed up the play, and picked up the ball or another run would have scored. With the bases loaded and two down, Maddon went to his bullpen for James Russell.
In his first game back with the Cubs, James Russell retired Matt Adams on a grounder to short to end the inning.
The Cardinals had a 6-4 lead after six innings.
Anthony Rizzo led off the seventh with a single to right. Rizzo did not advance and James Russell stayed in for the bottom of the seventh.
James Russell retired Peralta on a fly out to right. And he appeared to get Heyward to roll into an easy out. Addison Russell was in position to field the grounder on the first base side of the second base bag. But Starlin Castro ran into Russell and Heyward reached on what was ruled an infield single.
Mike Matheny called for a hit and run on a 2-1 pitch to Molina. The Cardinals catcher pulled the ball down the line. Bryant made an excellent stop and strong throw to first, but Heyward rounded second and went to third on the play. Rizzo could not return the throw across the diamond in time. Wong rolled a 1-1 pitch toward the hole at short. Castro fielded the ball and made a strong throw to first, but it was late and Castro’s miscue cost the Cubs a run as Heyward scored from third on the play … 7-4 Cardinals. Reynold flied out to left to end the inning.
And that was the final score on Tuesday night. The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth but former Cubs’ right hander Miguel Socolovich retired Anthony Rizzo on a grounder to second to end the inning.
Jon Lester is scheduled to face Lance Lynn in game three of four with the Cardinals on Wednesday night (7:15pm CDT).