National League Division Series Game 2 – Cubs 6, Cardinals 3
WP – Travis Wood (1-0) LP – Jaime Garcia (0-1) Save – Hector Rondon (1)
The Cubs scored five runs in the second inning on two squeeze bunts, an infield single and a two-run homer from Jorge Soler. The Cubs built a 6-1 lead before the Cardinals went back-to-back off Kyle Hendricks in the fifth inning. Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill shut the Cardinals down and Hector Rondon picked up the save as the Cubs evened the NLDS at a game a piece with a win at Busch Stadium.
The Cubs played a good game Saturday and did not allow a first inning homer from Matt Carpenter to hold up. The Cubs took advantage of Cardinals’ mistakes in the second inning and scored five times.
Kyle Hendricks (0-for-1 with a SAC RBI and a run scored) tied the game with the first of back-to-back bunts. Austin Jackson (0-for-4 with a run scored) scored and a Jaime Garcia throwing error put runners on second and third with one out. Joe Maddon called for the bunt again and Addison Russell (0-for-3 with a SAC RBI) executed to perfection. Russell bunted in Miguel Montero (0-for-3 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) with the go ahead run. Hendricks crossed the plate on an infield single by Dexter Fowler (2-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored).
Jorge Soler (2-for-2 with a double, a home run, two RBI and two walks) had a huge day and launched a two-run shot to center off Garcia to cap the five-run inning. The Cubs added a sixth run in the third inning off Lance Lynn when Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) scored on a grounder to second off the bat of Miguel Montero.
Kyle Hendricks served up a home run to Matt Carpenter in the first inning. Hendricks went on to retire 14 of the next 15 batters he faced and found a good rhythm once the Cubs gave him a lead. Hendricks gave up back-to-back homers to Kolten Wong and pinch-hitter Randal Grichuk with two outs in the fifth.
Joe Maddon went to his pen after the two longballs in the fifth. Hendricks allowed three runs on four hits (three home runs) with no walks and seven strikeouts. Hendricks made 66 pitches, 48 for strikes, in 4 2/3 innings.
Travis Wood did an excellent job in relief of Kyle Hendricks. Wood recorded seven outs from the eight batters he faced. Wood allowed just one single, a two-out knock by Yadier Molina in the seventh. Wood struck out two on 28 pitches, 17 for strikes.
Trevor Cahill was tremendous in the eighth. Cahill struck out two of three batters in the eighth on eight pitches, seven for strikes.
Hector Rondon was sharp in the ninth. Rondon gave up an infield single to Jason Heyward, but that was all. Rondon recorded the 27th out for the first time in post-season play.
The Cubs infield defense was sensational Saturday. And not helping the Cardinals was key for the Cubs. Starlin Castro made a head’s up play for the third out in the first inning. Kris Bryant did not have a ball hit to him the entire game and made excellent plays in the ninth for all three outs.
Addison Russell turned in another game changing play in the second inning that took a hit away from Jhonny Peralta and did not give any momentum back to the Cardinals after the five-run top of the second inning.
With Saturday’s win, the NLDS is tied (1-1) and now it is a best of three series with two of the three games at Wrigley Field.
Jorge Soler collected the Cubs’ first extra basehit of the series, a one-out double to the left field corner in the first inning. Kris Bryant was called out on strikes (2-2 pitch) and Anthony Rizzo went down swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Jaime Garcia threw 19 pitches, 13 for strikes, in the first inning.
Kyle Hendricks made a mistake on a 1-2 pitch to Matt Carpenter and it cost him. Carpenter homered to center and gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Hendricks settled back in quickly. And retired the next three batters he faced. Piscotty struck out swinging. Holliday flied out to deep left. Heyward grounded out to first base, the ball hit off Rizzo, bounced to Castro and he flipped to Hendricks covering for the third out. Hendricks made 17 pitches, 12 for strikes in the first frame.
The Cardinals had a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Starlin Castro started the second inning with a single to center. Austin Jackson pulled a 1-2 pitch to the hole at short. Peralta fielded the ball and threw to Wong at second as Castro barreled into the bag. Wong could not get a grip on the ball and threw it into the camera well. Jackson advanced to second base on the error. Jackson took off for third on a 1-1 pitch to Montero and slid in ahead of Carpenter’s tag. Montero walked.
Kyle Hendricks bunted a 1-0 pitch to the first base side of the mound. Jaime Garcia picked the ball up as Jackson raced toward the plate. Garcia had no idea what to do with the baseball. He looked at first, turned and looked at the plate and finally threw the ball. Jackson scored as the ball sailed past Wong into foul ground. Montero went to third, Hendricks to second and the game was tied at one.
Addison Russell bunted a 0-1 pitch to the first base side of the mound. Montero scored and the Cubs took a 2-1 lead on the second straight safety squeeze. Hendricks went to third on the play.
Dexter Fowler chopped a 2-0 pitch over the mound. Peralta fielded the ball but had no shot at Fowler at first. Hendricks scored, 3-1 Cubs.
Jorge Soler launched a 2-2 pitch from Garcia to deep center. The ball sailed over the wall and the Cubs took a 5-1 lead. Bryant rolled out to short for the third out. A flustered Garcia needed 45 pitches, 29 for strikes, to complete two innings.
Kyle Hendricks pitched a 1-2-3 second inning thanks to an incredible play from Addison Russell to take away a hit from Peralta to start the inning. Hendricks made 28 pitches, 19 for strikes, in two innings.
After two complete, the Cubs led 5-1.
Lance Lynn replaced Jaime Garcia for the third. Anthony Rizzo walked on four pitches and went to third when Starlin Castro ripped a 2-1 pitch into right. Austin Jackson struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the first out. Miguel Montero bounced a 1-2 pitch toward the hole at second. Wong fielded the ball as Rizzo scampered in, 6-1 Cubs. Montero was thrown out at first. With Castro at second, Hendricks struck out swinging to end the inning. Four of the Cubs first six runs scored without a ball leaving the infield.
Kyle Hendricks set the Cardinals down in order in the third.
The Cubs led 6-1 after three innings.
Carlos Villanueva took over in the fourth and retired six of the seven batters he faced. Only Soler reached in two innings on a walk. The game went to the bottom of the fifth with the Cubs leading 6-1.
Kyle Hendricks made 54 pitches, 39 for strikes, and retired 12 of 13 after serving up the leadoff homer to Carpenter. Hendricks struck out Moss and Molina for the first two outs in the fifth.
Kolten Wong homered to right off Hendricks first pitch, 6-2 Cubs. Randal Grichuk hit for Villanueva and made it a 6-3 game. Grichuk hit a home run to left on a 1-1 pitch. And that was all for Kyle Hendricks. Travis Wood struck out Carpenter on a check swing (3-2 pitch) to end the fifth.
The Cubs led 6-3 after five innings.
The Cubs were not able to add on against Seth Maness in the sixth. Wood put a zero on the board in the sixth. The Cubs threatened in the seventh after a hustle double by Dexter Fowler and a walk by Jorge Soler. Mike Matheny went to his bullpen for Adam Wainwright with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh. Rizzo lined out to third and Wong took a hit away from Castro with a nice pick on a ball hit up the middle to end the inning.
The Cubs led 6-3 after seven innings.
Adam Wainwright struck out the side in order in the eighth. And Trevor Cahill pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth.
The Cubs led 6-3 after eight innings.
Jonathan Broxton completed a three up, three down ninth inning. Russell grounded out to third. Fowler grounded out to second. Denorfia struck out swinging (1-2 pitch).
Hector Rondon picked up the first out in the ninth when Holliday grounded out to Bryant at third base. Jason Heyward reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Bryant made a good play to his left on a bouncer from Peralta. Bryant stumbled and threw a strike to Castro covering second. Heyward was forced for the second out. With Peralta at first, Mark Reynolds rolled out to Bryant to end the game.
Game three of the National League Division Series is Monday at Wrigley Field. The game will start at either 3:37pm CDT or 5:07pm CDT. Jake Arrieta takes on Michael Wacha.