National League Division Series Game 1 – Cubs 0, Cardinals 4
WP – John Lackey (1-0) LP – Jon Lester (0-1) Save – None
Jon Lester gave up three runs over 7 1/3 innings while the offense managed only two hits off John Lackey as the Cubs lost game one of the National League Division series on Friday night.
Jon Lester pitched a good game. Lester made one mistake on the night and Tommy Pham hit it to deep left in the eighth inning to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Lester allowed one run through the first seven innings and it came in the first inning on a ground rule double and a single from Matt Holliday.
Jon Lester settled in and retired 12 in a row through seven and kept the Cubs in the game. Lester turned the it over to Pedro Strop with one out in the eighth after he walked Matt Carpenter. Pedro Strop served up a two-run homer to Stephen Piscotty that put the game out of reach. Strop should not be used for the remainder of this series.
The Cubs played right in to John Lackey’s hands Friday night. The offense made very little hard contact off Lackey and did not make him work. The few hard hit balls came deep into counts when Lackey was forced to throw a hittable strike.
Kyle Schwarber (2-for-3 with a walk) and Addison Russell (1-for-3) collected the Cubs only three hits. Jorge Soler (walk) worked a walk in the ninth pinch hitting for Pedro Strop.
The Cubs had a grand total of five baserunners in nine innings.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the best of five NLDS with Friday night’s win.
The Cubs went down in order to start the game. Fowler struck out swinging. Schwarber popped out to Peralta down the third base and Bryant smoked a 3-2 pitch into left center. John Lackey threw 12 pitches, eight for strikes, in the opening frame.
Jon Lester retired Carpenter on a fly out to left. Stephen Piscotty doubled to right. Piscotty lifted a 2-2 pitch down the right field line that landed fair and hopped sideways into the stands. Schwarber could not catch up to the ball. Matt Holliday singled to center (0-1 pitch). Piscotty scored, 1-0 Cardinals. Heyward flied out to left and Peralta struck out swinging with Holliday at second to end the inning. Lester made 15 pitches, 11 for strikes, in the first inning.
The Cubs managed only two hits and three total baserunners off John Lackey and Jon Lester retired 12 straight going into the eighth inning.
Jon Lester started the eighth with the Cubs trailing 1-0. Kolten Wong grounded out to Castro for the first out. Tommy Pham hit for Kevin Siegrist and launched a 3-1 pitch to deep left. The solo home run gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Lester walked Matt Carpenter and Maddon went to his bullpen for Pedro Strop.
Strop’s first pitch to Piscotty got away from David Ross. Carpenter went to second. Piscotty put the game out of reach. Piscotty smacked a two run homer to left … 4-0 Cardinals. Holliday and Heyward grounded out to first base to end the inning.
Trevor Rosenthal took the hill for the ninth inning. Chris Denorfia hit for David Ross and was called out on strikes. Jorge Soler batted for Strop and walked, the Cubs’ second free pass of the game. Dexter Fowler was also called out on strikes. Kyle Schwarber collected his second hit, a single to left. Mike Matheny got Adam Wainwright up in the pen with two on and two out. Kris Bryant was called out on strikes (2-2 pitch) to end the game.
Game two is Saturday afternoon (4:37pm CDT) … Kyle Hendricks versus Jaime Garcia.