Game One Hundred Thirty-Eight – Cubs 3, Cardinals 4
WP – Jonathan Broxton (2-4) LP – Clayton Richard (3-1) Save – Trevor Rosenthal (43)
The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning. Jon Lester pitched an excellent game, allowing just one run in seven innings. The Cardinals scored three runs off Pedro Strop, Clayton Richard and Fernando Rodney and salvaged the finale of the series with the Cubs.
The Cubs outplayed the Cardinals throughout the three-game series but the offense could not capitalize early against Carlos Martinez and it cost them late. The Cardinals first lead of the entire series did not come until the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game.
Jon Lester turned it over to the bullpen after seven innings. Joe Maddon decided to give Pedro Strop another shot against the Cardinals and it cost the Cubs again. Strop could not get the job done and was lifted with one out and two on after walking Mark Reynolds and giving up a single to pinch-hitter Greg Garcia. Clayton Richard served up the single to Matt Carpenter that made it a 3-2 game. And Fernando Rodney’s first pitch to Stephen Piscotty ended up over Dexter Fowler’s head in center. Piscotty’s two-run double was the winning hit.
Jon Lester settled down after a shaky first inning. Lester gave up a run on two hits, a triple to Matt Carpenter and a single by Jason Heyward in the first. And that was it. Lester retired 20 of the next 21 batters he faced. Lester allowed one run on two hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Lester made 105 pitches, 67 for strikes, in seven innings and even helped his own cause at the plate.
Jon Lester (1-for-3 with a run scored) singled in the second, his first career hit to the outfield, and scored on a Dexter Fowler (1-for-5 with a RBI) single to center.
The Cubs took advantage of Cardinals’ centerfielder Randal Grichuk not being able to throw the ball in the first two innings and jumped out to an early lead.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) doubled to right center and Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a run scored) scored all the way from first base due to Grichuk’s injury. Tommy La Stella (1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a RBI) smacked a ground rule double to left that plated Rizzo from third in the first inning. Dexter Fowler singled in Jon Lester in the second.
The Cubs offense pounded out 11 hits with a walk, but managed only two runs. The Cubs finished the day 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.
Javier Baez (2-for-4) and Addison Russell (2-for-4) had two hits while Kyle Schwarber (0-for-4) had a rough day in his return to the lineup. Schwarber struck out all four times and left three men on base.
Against good teams on the road, it is usually a recipe for a loss when nine men are left on base.
The Cubs won the series two games to one and ended up with a 3-7 mark in the regular season at Busch Stadium.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 80-58 on the season.
Dexter Fowler (looking, 3-2 pitch) and Kyle Schwarber (swinging) struck out to start the game. Chris Coghlan lashed a 2-1 pitch into right center for a two-out single. Carlos Martinez jumped ahead of Rizzo 0-2.
Anthony Rizzo pulled a 1-2 pitch into the gap in right center. Randal Grichuk cut the ball off before it reached the wall but due to his elbow injury had to flip the ball to Jason Heyward. Gary Jones waived in Coghlan and he scored 1-0 Cubs. Rizzo got caught in a rundown but no one covered third. Rizzo ran out of the jam and end up at third with two outs.
Tommy La Stella drove a 1-1 pitch to deep left. The ball sailed over Piscotty’s head, hit the track and bounced over. Rizzo scored on La Stella’s ground rule double, 2-0 Cubs. Javier Baez struck out swinging to end the inning. Carlos Martinez threw 25 pitches in the first inning, 17 for strikes.
Matt Carpenter led off the home half of the first with a triple to right center (1-1 pitch). Lester struck out Stephen Piscotty swinging. Jason Heyward ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and into center. Carpenter trotted in, 2-1 Cubs. Heyward took off for second on the first pitch to Peralta. Heyward made it, but it was close. Maddon spent his challenge. The call stood. Jhonny Peralta hit a weak grounder to La Stella at second. Heyward moved to third and was stranded when Lester caught Randal Grichuk looking to end the inning.
After one complete, it was 2-1 Cubs.
David Ross started the second by grounding out to Reynolds at third base. Jon Lester singled to left on a 3-2 pitch. Addison Russell blooped a 0-2 pitch into center. Lester read the play and was standing on second when Carpenter threw the ball in.
Dexter Fowler smoked a single to center (1-1 pitch). Jon Lester was waived in as Matt Carpenter ran to centerfield to get the ball. Grichuk could not make a throw. Lester scored, 3-1 Cubs. Russell went to third with one out. The Cubs wasted a scoring opportunity. Kyle Schwarber and Chris Coghlan struck out swinging to end the inning. Martinez needed 51 pitches, 23 for strikes, to complete two innings.
Jon Lester pitched a 1-2-3 second inning … 32 pitches for Lester after two, 23 for strikes.
The Cubs had a 3-1 lead after two innings.
The Cubs were not able to cash in several opportunities to tack on against Carlos Martinez. The Cubs went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base while Martinez was on the mound.
Jon Lester allowed one base runner, a walk to Yadier Molina leading off the fifth, after the first inning. Lester retired 20 of the last 21 batters he faced.
And the Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning.
Jonathan Broxton struck out the side in order in the eighth (Ross, Herrera and Russell) and Pedro Strop replaced Lester for the bottom of the eighth.
Brandon Moss popped out to center for the first out in the eighth. Strop walked Mark Reynolds. Greg Garcia hit for Jonathan Broxton and ripped a single into right. With runners on first and second with one out, Maddon went back to his pen for Clayton Richard. Pete Kozma ran for Reynolds at second base.
Matt Carpenter smoked a 2-1 pitch into center. Kozma scored … 3-2 Cubs. Maddon made the slow walk and brought in Fernando Rodney with runners on first and second with one out. Stephen Piscotty launched Rodney’s first pitch over Fowler’s head in center. Carpenter and pinch-runner Peter Bourjos scored and gave the Cardinals the first lead of the series, 4-3 Cardinals. Rodney walked Heyward. Jhonny Peralta flied out to right and Grichuk was caught looking to end the inning.
The Cardinals had a 4-3 lead after eight innings.
Trevor Rosenthal pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game.
The Cubs open a four-game series in Philadelphia on Thursday night (6:05pm CDT). Jake Arrieta takes the hill in game one and will oppose rookie southpaw Adam Morgan.