Game Eighty-Four – Cubs 5, Cardinals 6
WP – Miguel Socolovich (3-1) LP – Pedro Strop (1-4, BS 2) Save – Trevor Rosenthal (25)
With the Cubs leading 5-4 and two outs in the ninth, Pedro Strop walked Matt Carpenter on four pitches. Strop got ahead of Jhonny Peralta 1-2. Strop did not execute his next pitch and Peralta pulled the mistake into the bleachers in left. Peralta’s two run homer gave the Cardinals a 6-5 victory in the finale of the four game set at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs were one strike away from taking three of four from the Cardinals.
The Cubs split the series with the Cardinals and there were positives from Wednesday night’s game. But as Miguel Montero said that was a game the Cubs have to win, especially with two outs and nobody on in the ninth inning.
The Cubs fought all the way back from a 4-0 hole against Michael Wacha with five unanswered runs.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with two runs scored) changed the game with a 12-pitch at bat against Michael Wacha leading off the four inning. The Cubs scored two runs in the fourth on a triple from Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, a RBI and a run scored) and an infield single by Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI).
Miguel Montero (1-for-4 with a double and three RBI) gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead in the sixth with a two out bases clearing double that plated Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored), Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler (2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base).
Jason Hammel removed himself from Wednesday’s game after the first inning with left hamstring tightness. Hammel felt something on the second batter of the night and he said he was in so much pain he had to leave the game. Hammel is undergoing an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury.
Wednesday was a very tough loss but if Hammel misses any time the Cubs season will be impacted. There is not enough quality pitching for the team to absorb him going on the disabled list.
Clayton Richard was called on and really struggled. Richard lasted two innings and gave up four runs on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout. The bottom of the Cardinals lineup really took it to Richard. Dan Jennings, who was called up prior to Wednesday’s game, drove in two runs and Michael Wacha recorded two hits, including a run scoring single against Richard.
Travis Wood stepped up Wednesday. Wood did not allow a run or any hits for three innings and gave the Cubs a chance at a comeback. The offense responded and he was in line for the win.
Hector Rondon quietly pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 46-38 on the season.
Clayton Richard replaced the injured Jason Hammel for the second inning. Richard struck out Jason Heyward to start his night. Yadier Molina singled to center. Richard walked the free swinging Mark Reynolds (3-2 pitch). Randal Grichuk hit a chopper toward third. Bryant fielded the ball and threw to Russell at second. Russell made a quick turn to first but Grichuk just beat the throw. And replays showed it was the correct call. With runners on the corners and two down, Dan Johnson blooped a 3-2 pitch just out of the reach of Castro into right center. The Cubs were in the shift and Castro could not make the catch. Molina scored, 1-0 Cardinals.
Michael Wacha followed Johnson with a single to right. Grichuk scored and the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead. Richard walked Tommy Pham to load the bases. Matt Carpenter lined out to Rizzo to end the inning.
As it started raining at Wrigley, the Cubs did nothing against Michael Wacha in the second.
The Cardinals led 2-0 after two innings.
Both sides went down in order in the third. Richard made 41 pitches, 26 for strikes, in two innings of work and Michael Wacha needed 41 pitches, 26 for strikes, to complete three innings.
Mark Reynolds started the fourth with a triple to right center. Soler took a bad route on the wet grass and the ball skipped past him to the wall. Grichuk followed and drove a 1-2 pitch from Richard to the gap in right center. Reynolds scored and Grichuk ended up at third with a triple, 3-0 Cardinals.
Dan Johnson singled to center (2-0 pitch), Grichuk scored and the Cardinals went ahead 4-0. Michael Wacha singled to right. With runners on first and second and no outs, Pham rolled a 1-2 pitch toward third. Bryant fielded the ball and threw out Pham at first. Both runners moved up ninety feet. Maddon brought his infield in. Carpenter hit a grounder toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball and threw to the plate. Montero applied the tag on Johnson for the second out. With runners on the corners and two down, Maddon had Richard intentionally walk Jhonny Peralta.
Jason Heyward grounded out to second (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Anthony Rizzo led off the fourth with his best plate appearance of the season. Rizzo worked a 12-pitch at bat that ended with a single to center, the Cubs first hit of the game.
Kris Bryant followed with a triple to center. Rizzo scored from first, 4-1 Cardinals. Jorge Soler struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch for the first out.
Starlin Castro grounded a 2-2 pitch toward first. Dan Johnson fielded the ball. Wacha did not cover, Bryant scored and Castro ended up at first with an infield single … 4-2 Cardinals. Montero smashed a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. Carpenter fielded the ball and flipped to Peralta, 4-6-3 double play, inning over. Wacha made 71 pitches, 47 for strikes, in four innings.
After four complete, the Cardinals led 4-2.
Travis Wood pitched around a two out walk to Grichuk in the fifth and completed a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Dexter Fowler started the sixth with the Cardinals leading 4-2 and singled to center (1-2 pitch) off Michael Wacha. Anthony Rizzo singled to right and put two on with no outs. Bryant popped out to Carpenter in shallow right for the first out. Soler grounded a 3-1 pitch back up the middle that Wacha deflected toward third. Soler reached on an infield single and loaded the bases with one out. Castro was caught looking at a 2-2 pitch for the second out.
Miguel Montero put together an impressive at bat. Montero pulled a 3-2 pitch from Wacha into the gap in right center. And his bases clearing double gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead.
While the Cubs were busy circling the bases, Molina turned to the homeplate umpire and started complaining about the strike zone. Molina was ejected and an extremely animated Mike Matheny was soon thrown out of the game. When play resumed Coghlan popped out to second to end the inning.
The Cubs had a 5-4 lead after six innings.
Travis Wood pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning and the Cubs went down in order in the home half against Mitch Harris.
After Hector Rondon pitched a perfect eighth, the Cubs wasted a chance to tack on in the bottom of the eighth. Randy Choate struck out Rizzo swinging to start the inning. David Bell replaced Choate with Miguel Socolovich. Bryant walked and went to third on a Jorge Soler single to center. With runners on first and third with one out, Starlin Castro pulled a 0-2 pitch down the left field line. Castro did not run out of the box but the ball appeared to hit the chalk. Maddon asked for a review and the call stood. Castro struck out swinging for the second out. Montero went down swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Pedro Strop started the ninth with the Cubs leading 5-4.
Peter Bourjos hit for Socolovich and popped Strop’s first pitch to Castro at short for the out. Tommy Pham struck out swinging. Strop lost his command to Carpenter and walked him on four pitches. Pete Kozma ran for Carpenter with the Cardinals down by a run.
Strop threw a hittable fastball on a 1-2 pitch to Jhonny Peralta and he pulled it into the first row of the bleachers in left. The Cardinals took a 6-5 lead. Heyward popped out to Bryant near the mound to end the inning.
Addison Russell doubled to right center in the ninth after Coghlan lined out to short and Chris Denorfia, hitting for Strop, grounded out to second. Fowler struck out swinging on three pitches to end the game.
The Cubs split the four-game series with the Cardinals.
After Thursday’s off day, the Cubs open a three-game series with the White Sox at Wrigley on Friday afternoon (3:05pm CDT). Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face Carlos Rodon in game one of the Crosstown series.