National League Division Series Game 4 – Cubs 6, Cardinals 4
WP – Trevor Cahill (1-0, BS 1) LP – Kevin Siegrist (0-1) Save – Hector Rondon (2)
Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber launched home runs to right field and Jason Hammel put the Cubs on the board with a two-out single in the second inning. The backend of the bullpen held the lead and the Cubs advanced to the National League Championship Series with an incredible win at the old ballyard Tuesday.
The Cubs won the National League Division Series over St. Louis three games to one. Down go the Cardinals! Down go the Cardinals!
As Joe Maddon’s team has done all season they did not let an early deficit keep them from winning the game. The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead four pitches into the game. Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run homer off Jason Hammel.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run) delivered when his team needed it. Rizzo collected the Cubs first hit and got under John Lackey’s skin. After Rizzo was erased on the bases, Kyle Schwarber (2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored) put Starlin Castro (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) into scoring position with a single to center.
Jason Hammel (1-for-1 with a RBI and a run scored) drove in Castro with a single and was on first base when Javier Baez (2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) took Lackey out to right with a three-run homer.
The Cardinals tied the game at four in the sixth. And it was a throw from Jorge Soler in right field that kept the Cardinals from taking the lead. Soler nailed Tony Cruz at the plate to end the inning.
Anthony Rizzo led off the next half inning with a solo shot to right. And Kyle Schwarber gave the bullpen a little breathing room with a mammoth homer that ended up on top of the scoreboard in right field leading off the seventh inning.
The Cubs scored five of the six runs on three home runs Tuesday.
Jason Hammel completed three innings Tuesday on the mound. At the plate, Hammel delivered a big hit with two outs in the second inning that put the Cubs on the board and rattled John Lackey. Hammel singled to center, plated Starlin Castro and cut the Cardinals lead to 2-1.
Jason Hammel gave up a lot of hard contact but limited the Cardinals to a Stephen Piscotty two-run homer in the first inning on his fourth pitch of the game. Hammel turned the game over to the pen in the fourth after issuing a leadoff walk to Jhonny Peralta. Hammel allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Hammel made 49 pitches, 29 for strikes, in three-plus innings.
Justin Grimm replaced Hammel in the fourth. An error by Kris Bryant put two on with no outs. Grimm struck out the next three batters he faced, all swinging, with high-90s heat. Tuesday was easily the best outing of Grimm’s career with the Cubs.
Travis Wood pitched a scoreless fifth before departing in the sixth after allowing a leadoff single to Jason Heyward. Trevor Cahill gave up the game tying hits to Tony Cruz and pinch-hitter Brandon Moss. Cahill missed his location and received a big lift when Jorge Soler threw out Cruz at home to end the sixth.
Pedro Strop was filthy in the eighth after Fernando Rodney and Clayton Richard combined on a scoreless seventh.
Hector Rondon allowed a two-out single to Matt Carpenter in the ninth, but that was all. Rondon struck out Stephen Piscotty to punch the Cubs ticket to the NLCS.
The Cubs celebrated winning a post-season series at Wrigley Field for the first time in franchise history.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs will face either the Mets or Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Game 4 started on a bad note for Jason Hammel. And four pitches into the game, the Cubs were down 2-0. Matt Carpenter smoked a 1-1 pitch into right for a single. Stephen Piscotty launched Hammel’s first pitch to the bleachers in left center … and the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead. Hammel struck out Holliday (1-2 pitch) swinging. Jason Heyward walked and moved to second when Peralta rolled out to Baez at short. Grichuk flied out to center to finally end the inning. Hammel made 15 pitches, nine for strikes.
The Cubs went down 1-2-3 in the first inning, and really made John Lackey look good again. Lackey struck out two and threw 13 pitches, eight for strikes.
The Cardinals led 2-0 after one inning.
Jason Hammel settled down somewhat in the second inning. The Cardinals managed a two-out broken bat single to center by John Lackey, but that was all. Hammel retired Carpenter on a flyout to left center for the third out.
Anthony Rizzo led off the second inning with an infield single toward third. Rizzo beat the shift on a 1-2 pitch and Lackey was not happy with the Cardinals decision to shift the infield. Castro pulled a 2-0 pitch to the hole at short. Peralta fielded the ball and threw a strike to Wong at second to force Rizzo. Castro took over at first. Kyle Schwarber lined a 0-1 pitch into center. Castro stopped at second with one down. Miguel Montero made Lackey work as Justin Grimm warmed up in the bullpen. Maddon had Hammel in the on-deck circle. Montero struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) and Maddon let Hammel hit with two outs.
Jason Hammel smacked Lackey’s first pitch into center. Castro scored, 2-1 Cardinals. Lackey was livid with himself and let it impact his next pitch.
Javier Baez drove Lackey’s first pitch deep to the bleachers in right … and the Cubs took a 4-2 lead on Baez’s three-run homer.
Dexter Fowler went down swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs led 4-2 after two innings.
Jason Hammel stayed in for the third inning. Hammel sat down Piscotty on a soft liner to Castro and Holliday flied out to right (1-2 pitch). Hammel walked Heyward. But Miguel Montero picked off Heyward from first base with Peralta at the plate. Inning over.
John Lackey faced the minimum in the third. Soler walked. Bryant rolled into a 5-4-3 double play. And Rizzo struck out swinging.
The Cubs led 4-2 after three innings.
Jason Hammel started the fourth inning. Hammel issued a four-pitch walk to Peralta and that was it for Hammel. Maddon made the slow walk and called in Justin Grimm.
Randal Grichuk grounded a 1-2 pitch toward third. Bryant took his eye off the ball at the last minute. Bryant bobbled the ball and the Cardinals had two on with no outs after E5.
Justin Grimm struck out Kolten Wong, Tony Cruz and pinch-hitter Tommy Pham swinging on high-90s fastballs to get out of the jam in the fourth.
Adam Wainwright set the Cubs down in order in the fourth.
The Cubs led 4-2 after four innings.
Travis Wood completed a 1-2-3 fifth inning and started the sixth with Jason Heyward due up. Heyward blooped a 0-1 pitch into center for a single. Maddon went to his pen for Trevor Cahill. Peralta singled to center on a 2-1 pitch and put two on with no outs.
Trevor Cahill struck out Grichuk and Wong swinging, and jumped ahead of Cruz 1-2. Tony Cruz lashed a 1-2 pitch past Rizzo and down the first baseline. Heyward scored, 4-3 Cubs. Peralta stopped at third on a double by Cruz. Brandon Moss ripped a 0-1 pitch into right. Peralta scored easily and tied the game at four. Jorge Soler threw a strike to Montero and nailed Cruz at the plate to end the inning.
Kevin Siegrist took over on the mound for the Cardinals in the sixth. Soler lined out to second base (3-2 pitch) and Bryant flied out to center. Rizzo quickly fell behind 0-2.
Anthony Rizzo launched Siegrist’s third pitch into the bleachers in right. And the Cubs took a 5-4 lead.
Starlin Castro grounded out to Peralta to end the inning.
The Cubs led 5-4 after six innings.
Fernando Rodney started the seventh by striking out Matt Carpenter. Rodney walked Piscotty. Matt Holliday flied out to left on a 3-2 pitch. Maddon went to his pen for Clayton Richard. And Heyward struck out swinging.
Kevin Siegrist stayed in for the seventh inning. And Schwarber unloaded on the lefty.
Kyle Schwarber destroyed a 1-1 pitch from Siegrist. Schwarber launched the ball on to the top of the video board in right and gave the Cubs a 6-4 lead.
Tommy La Stella batted for Richard and went down swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Mike Matheny went to the mound and switched out Siegrist with Jonathan Broxton. Baez singled to left and Fowler walked. After a meeting at the mound, Soler swung at the first pitch and fouled out to Piscotty down the first baseline.
The Cubs led 6-4 after seven innings.
Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Trevor Rosenthal was summoned for the eighth. Kris Bryant tripled to right center. Rizzo struck out swinging and Castro was intentionally walked. Austin Jackson came in for defense in the top of the eighth and took two straight out of the zone. Castro stole second. Jackson bunted a 2-1 pitch back to Rosenthal. And the safety squeeze did not work this time. Bryant was tagged out. Montero was walked and the bases were loaded with two down. Chris Denorfia, who also entered the game for defense in the top of the inning, grounded out to short (3-1 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cubs led 6-4 after eight innings.
Hector Rondon took the hill for the ninth. Cruz grounded out to third (2-2 pitch). Rondon struck out Mark Reynolds swinging (2-2 pitch), but Matt Carpenter singled to left on the first pitch. Rondon got Piscotty to chase a 0-2 pitch.
And the Cubs took down the Cardinals to advance to the National League Championship Series.
The Cubs play Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday, time and park is yet to be determined. If the Mets win, the Cubs open at Citi Field. If the Dodgers win, the Cubs fly to the West Coast and begin the NLCS at Dodger Stadium.