Game One Hundred Forty-Seven – Cubs 8, Cardinals 3
WP – Tommy Hunter (4-2) LP – Seth Maness (4-2) Save – None
Starlin Castro had a career day as the Cubs started the weekend with a win over the Cardinals at the old ballyard. Castro drove in six of the eight runs with two home runs and a single. Castro broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth with a two-run homer and hit a three-run blast in the sixth. And the bullpen kept the Cardinals off the board over the last four innings.
Starlin Castro (3-for-3 with two home runs, a walk and six RBI) led the way on Friday afternoon and made a curtain call in the sixth after his three-run shot put the Cubs up by five runs. Castro singled in the Cubs’ third run in the first inning with a bases loaded single to center. Castro unloaded on a 1-0 pitch from Seth Maness in the fifth and gave the Cubs a 5-3 lead with a big fly into the bleachers in left center. Castro teed off on Steve Cishek in the sixth with a three-run homer that ended up in the bleachers in left.
Starlin Castro tied a career-high with six RBI that he set during his big league debut on May 7, 2010. Friday was Castro’s third multi-home run game. And first curtain call at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs made Lance Lynn work and he was out of the game by the fourth inning. The Cubs batted around in the first inning and scored three runs on three hits with three walks. Lynn threw 37 pitches in the opening inning.
Kyle Schwarber (0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored) and Chris Coghlan (0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored) scored the Cubs first two runs after working walks against Lynn. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a double, two HBP, a walk and a run scored) and Tommy La Stella (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI) plated Schwarber and Coghlan before Castro delivered the bases loaded single to center.
The Cubs walked 11 times with two HBP, pounded out 10 hits and forced Mike Matheny to use eight pitchers to complete eight innings. The Cubs were 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.
Dan Haren had a solid outing and pitched into the fifth inning. Haren set the Cardinals down in order in three of the four innings he completed. Haren really made only two mistakes in his 4 1/3 innings and one cost him two runs in the second inning. After Stephen Piscotty reached on an error by Anthony Rizzo, Kolten Wong tripled to right center. Piscotty scored and Wong crossed the plate on a grounder to short off the bat of Tony Cruz.
Dan Haren turned the game over to the bullpen with two on and one out in the fifth. The Cubs led 3-2 at the time. Zac Rosscup walked the first two batters he faced and forced in the tying run. After Rosscup struck out Jason Heyward swinging for the second out, Tommy Hunter retired Jhonny Peralta with the bags juiced to end the inning … and closed the book on Dan Haren.
Dan Haren was charged with three runs, one earned, on three hits with a HBP, no walks and two strikeouts. Haren made 51 pitches, 34 for strikes, in 4 1/3 innings.
Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, Fernando Rodney and Neil Ramirez allowed two hits and a walk over the last four innings of the game. Ramirez made his first appearance since July 25, and while the numbers look good his lack of velocity (92-94) on the fastball was rather concerning.
The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry heated back up Friday afternoon. Dan Haren hit Matt Holliday in the back of the head in the fifth inning. The ball slipped, which was easy to see by the reactions of Miguel Montero and Dan Haren. There was no intent whatsoever. But Haren knew what was going to happen later in the game.
With two outs and the bases empty in the seventh inning, Matt Belisle threw behind Anthony Rizzo, near his knees, and hit him. Belisle and Mike Matheny were ejected from the game. Rizzo showed restraint from charging the mound after taking a couple of steps toward Belisle.
The classless act by the Cardinals, hitting Rizzo for the second time in the game, incensed Joe Maddon and he voiced his disappointment with the Cardinals in his post-game press conference.
Joe Maddon said, “We don’t start stuff. We’ll stop stuff. We are not going to put up with that from them or anyone else.”
With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to a season-high 25 games over .500 with an 86-61 record.
Dan Haren did his job in the first inning. Haren put the Cardinals down in order on 11 pitches, seven for strikes. And the Cubs went to work against Lance Lynn.
Dexter Fowler rolled out to short (2-2 pitch) for the first out. Kyle Schwarber showed a lot of patience and walked on four pitches. Chris Coghlan had an excellent at bat that ended with a free pass.
Anthony Rizzo ripped a 1-2 pitch back up the middle and past a diving Kolten Wong. Schwarber scored, 1-0 Cubs. And Coghlan ended up at third on Rizzo’s single to center.
Tommy La Stella lashed a 0-1 pitch down the left field line. Coghlan scored as the ball rolled into the corner, 2-0 Cubs. Rizzo held at third on La Stella’s double. Miguel Montero walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out.
Starlin Castro lined a 0-1 pitch into center. Rizzo scored, 3-0 Cubs. La Stella stopped at third. Dan Haren lined out to Carpenter at third. Addison Russell struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cubs batted around, scored three runs on three hits and three walks in the first inning. Lance Lynn made 37 pitches in the opening inning, 21 for strikes.
After one complete, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinals made a big dent in the deficit in the second inning. Peralta popped out to Fowler in center for the first out. Stephen Piscotty hit a one-hopper toward first that Rizzo fumbled. And the Cardinals pounced on Rizzo’s error.
Kolten Wong smoked Haren’s first pitch into the gap in right center. Piscotty scored easily as Wong motored around the bases, 3-1 Cubs. With Wong at third, Tony Cruz hit a routine grounder to Russell. Wong scored, 3-2 Cubs. Brandon Moss doubled to right. Haren got out of the inning when Lynn flied out to center. Haren made 25 pitches in the first two innings, 17 for strikes.
The Cubs managed a one-out walk by Kyle Schwarber in the second, but that was all. Coghlan grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.
The Cubs led 3-2 after two innings.
Dan Haren completed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. And the Cubs wasted a chance to add to the lead in the bottom of the fourth.
After Addison Russell flied out to right for the first out in the fourth inning, Mike Matheny and the Cardinals’ trainer checked on Lance Lynn. The right hander appeared to tweak his back on the last pitch to Russell. Lynn talked his way into facing another batter. Dexter Fowler walked on four pitches and that was it for Lynn.
Lefty Tyler Lyons replaced Lynn and caught Schwarber looking at a 2-2 pitch as Fowler stole second base. Austin Jackson batted for Coghlan and walked. Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the 28th time this season to load the bases with two outs. Maddon left La Stella in to face the southpaw and he rolled a 2-2 pitch to Wong for the third out.
After four complete, the Cubs had a 3-2 lead.
Dan Haren started the fifth and Cruz flied out to right (2-1 pitch). Brandon Moss doubled to right and Mike Matheny sent up Matt Holliday to hit for Tyler Lyons. Haren’s first pitch slipped and he hit him in the back of the head. Holliday stayed on his feet and walked slowly to first base. Pete Kozma ran for Holliday as Maddon went to the bullpen.
Zac Rosscup walked Matt Carpenter to load the bases. Rosscup continued to struggle with the strike zone. Rosscup walked Tommy Pham and forced in Moss with the tying run. Maddon left in Rosscup to face Jason Heyward with the bases loaded and one down. Rosscup got Heyward to chase a 0-2 pitch well out of the zone and struck him out swinging. Maddon made the slow walk again and asked for the right-hander Tommy Hunter. And Hunter retired Jhonny Peralta on a pop out to right for the third out.
The Cardinals called on Seth Maness for the fifth and Miguel Montero greeted him with a single to right.
Starlin Castro stepped in and unloaded on a 1-0 pitch from Maness.
Castro launched a two-run shot to left center. And Castro’s ninth longball of the season gave the Cubs a 5-3 lead.
Jorge Soler batted for Hunter and struck out swinging (2-2 pitch). Russell flied out to right center. Fowler worked a two-out walk. Kyle Schwarber grounded out to second (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.
It was 5-3 Cubs after five innings.
Justin Grimm retired the Cardinals in order in the sixth with help from another smooth defensive play from Russell at short.
Austin Jackson pounded a 0-2 pitch from Maness back up the middle and into center for a single to start the sixth. Matheny switched out Maness for lefty Randy Choate. Rizzo popped out to second. As soon as Bryant was announced as the pinch-hitter for La Stella, Matheny popped out and went to the mound to make another pitching change. Steve Cishek faced Bryant and Maddon started Jackson on a 2-1 pitch. Bryant grounded out to third. Jackson stayed out of the double play. Montero walked and put two on with two down for Castro.
Starlin Castro launched the first pitch from Cishek into the bleachers in left. And Castro’s second home run of the game gave the Cubs an 8-3 lead.
And the much-maligned Starlin Castro made a curtain call.
Javier Baez hit for Justin Grimm and singled to center. Addison Russell walked, the tenth walk of the game for the Cubs. Fowler fouled out to Wong near the bullpen to end the inning.
The Cubs had an 8-3 lead after six innings.
Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless seventh. Fernando Rodney faced the minimum in the eighth. The Cubs were not able to add to the lead and the game went to the ninth with the Cubs leading by five runs, 8-3.
Neil Ramirez struck out two of the four batters he faced to end the game.
Travis Wood gets the ball first in what will be a ‘Bullpen Day’ for the Cubs in game two against Michael Wacha and the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon (12:05pm CDT).