Game Seventy-Three – Cubs 1, Cardinals 8
WP – Michael Wacha (10-3) LP – Donn Roach (0-1) Save – Carlos Villanueva (1)
The Cubs wasted chances to put runs on the board against Michael Wacha before the game got out of hand in the fourth inning. The Cardinals scored four runs in the fourth off Donn Roach and Travis Wood and four more in the fifth and cruised to a win over the Cubs on Saturday night.
The Cubs scored only one run Saturday despite putting multiple runners in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings. The Cubs hit into three double plays in each inning, second through the fourth, before the Cardinals took control in the fifth.
Donn Roach (1-for-1 with a RBI) drove in Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) with a bases loaded single in the second inning.
The Cubs managed seven hits, four walks and finished the night 1-for-8 with RISP while leaving seven men on base.
Donn Roach had a predictably rough game. Roach faced 18 batters and only two did not put the ball in play. Roach wiggled out of a jam in the first inning when Yadier Molina grounded into a 5-3 inning ending double play. Roach worked around a leadoff walk in the second and retired the side in order in the third.
The Cardinals found holes in the fourth inning and before Roach could record three outs, the Cardinals scored two runs and loaded the bases with the bottom of the lineup. Maddon did not leave him in to face the Cardinals for a third time through the order.
Donn Roach left the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth. Travis Wood gave up a two-out, two-run single to Matt Carpenter on a 2-2 pitch that closed the book on Roach.
Donn Roach was charged with four runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings. Roach threw 61 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Travis Wood replaced Roach in the fourth. Wood struggled before he ended up taking one for the team. Once the Cardinals jumped out to a five-run lead, it was pretty obvious that Joe Maddon was going to leave Wood in as long as possible without risking an injury. Wood gave Maddon 2 2/3 innings.
Travis Wood allowed four runs on four this with four walks and three strikeouts on 69 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Edwin Jackson pitched the final two innings and gave up a hit and walked a batter on 30 pitches, 17 for strikes.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 39-34 on the season.
The Cubs went down in order on 12 pitches to start the game. Donn Roach made his Cubs’ debut and became the 1,999th player in franchise history.
Kolten Wong reached on an infield single to second. Matt Carpenter rolled a 2-2 pitch toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball and threw to second and forced Wong. Jhonny Peralta singled to left (3-1 pitch) and put two on with one out. Jason Heyward singled to right (3-1 pitch) and loaded the bases with one out. Roach wiggled out of the jam when Yadier Molina grounded into a 5-3 double play to end the inning. Roach made 24 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes. And after one, it was still 0-0.
Starlin Castro reached on an infield single with one out in the second. Castro smoked a ball back up the middle that hit Wacha in the hip. Chris Coghlan followed with a double to left. Castro stopped at third with one out. Wacha missed on his first two pitches to Mike Baxter then issued the last two intentionally to load the bases.
Donn Roach stepped in and worked a 2-2 count before poking a single into right. Castro scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Addison Russell bounced a 1-0 pitch toward second. Wong fielded the ball, tagged Roach and threw to first to complete the double play. The Cubs let Wacha off the hook. Wacha threw only 31 pitches, 19 for strikes, in the first two innings.
Donn Roach worked around a leadoff walk to Randal Grichuk in the second. And after two, the Cubs led 1-0.
The Cubs wasted another scoring opportunity in the third inning. Dexter Fowler led off with a single to right and went to third on a single to right by Anthony Rizzo. Kris Bryant struck out swinging. Miguel Montero rolled into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Donn Roach retired the Cardinals in order in the third inning … 46 pitches for Roach after three, 27 for strikes.
And the Cubs had a 1-0 lead after three complete.
The Cubs could not cash in another run scoring opportunity in the fourth. Castro led off with a double to right center, moved to third on a grounder to second by Coghlan. With the infield in, Baxter hit a grounder to first. Castro broke on contact, stopped and was tagged out. And Baxter was thrown out at second to end the inning (3-2-5-4).
And the game quickly got out of hand in the fourth inning.
Jason Heyward started the fourth with a single to center. Matheny called for a hit and run with Molina at the plate. Yadier Molina doubled to right center, Heyward scored and tied the game at one. Grichuk flied out to left center. Xavier Scruggs singled to center. Molina scored, the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead and never looked back. Bourjos singled to center. At that point Donn Roach could catch a break. Wacha followed with an infield single off Roach’s glove and loaded the bases with one out.
Joe Maddon decided that was enough for Roach and went to his bullpen for Travis Wood.
Travis Wood struck out Kolten Wong swinging. But with the bases loaded and two down, Matt Carpenter singled to right on a 2-2 pitch. Molina and Scruggs scored, 4-1 Cardinals. Peralta flied out to left to end the inning.
After four innings, the Cardinals had a 4-1 lead.
Travis Wood walked to start the fifth, but he did not advance. Russell (swinging strikeout), Fowler (flyout to center) and Rizzo (grounder to second) went down in order to end the inning.
Wood walked Heyward to start the fifth. Molina struck out swinging. Grichuk doubled to right center. Heyward scored, 5-1 Cardinals. Scruggs followed with a double that plated Grichuk, 6-1 Cardinals. Wood intentionally walked Bourjos. A wild pitch to Wacha advanced both runners 90 feet. Wacha grounded out to second with the infield in for the second out.
Kolten Wong put the exclamation point on an ugly game for the Cubs. Wong launched a 2-0 pitch to deep center. The ball hit on the track, hopped into the stands and the Cardinals scored two more runs … 8-1 Cardinals. Wood struck out Carpenter to finally end the inning.
The Cardinals were thumping the Cubs 8-1 after five innings.
And that was the final score on Saturday night.
Jason Hammel faces Carlos Martinez on Sunday night (7:08pm CDT) as the Cubs look to salvage a game in St. Louis.