Game One Hundred Fifty-Five – Cubs 3, Cardinals 1
WP – Jon Lester (19-4) LP – Carlos Martinez (15-9) Save – Aroldis Chapman (36)
In what will be remembered as the David Ross Game, Jon Lester pitched 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. David Ross homered. Addison Russell doubled in a run and Willson Contreras added a run scoring single in the eighth as the Cubs beat the Cardinals on Sunday night at the old ballyard.
The Cubs won their 57th game at Wrigley (57-24), the most wins in a single-season in franchise history at Wrigley Field. And Sunday’s victory over the Cardinals was win No. 99 on the season, the most for any Cubs’ team since 1935 (100-54).
The Cubs took two of three in the weekend series from the Cardinals and won the season-series (10-9) with Sunday’s victory.
Sunday was an incredible and unforgettable night for the Cubs. In what was the final regular season game for David Ross (1-for-2 with a home run and a walk) at Wrigley, the veteran catcher received a standing ovation before his first at-bat. But it was his second at-bat that was right out of a movie script.
David Ross stepped in with one out in the fifth inning of a scoreless game. Ross received a second standing ovation and looked at a ball out of the zone. Ross got all of the second pitch from Carlos Martinez.
David Ross launched a 1-0 pitch to deep left center. The ball just missed the bottom of the video board, Wrigley exploded and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead on Ross’ 10th home run of the season.
The Cubs added on in the sixth after Ben Zobrist (3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored) led off with a double and replay overturned a call on the field. Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and RBI) doubled down the left field line. The ball was called foul, replay showed the umps missed it. Russell was given a double. Zobrist trotted in and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead.
With the Cubs leading by two runs, Jon Lester started the seventh with a two-hit shutout. Lester struck out Jhonny Peralta and retired Brandon Moss on a fly out to left center. With two down, Maddon popped out of the dugout and made the slow walk to the mound. But it wasn’t to take Lester out, it was for David Ross. An emotional Ross pulled his mask down over his face and hugged his teammates on the mound.
David Ross walked off the field to a thunderous ovation as Willson Contreras gave him a big hug and replaced him behind the plate.
It was truly a special moment for one of the most respected players in all of baseball.
The Cubs tacked on a very big insurance run in the eighth inning. The Cubs loaded the bases on a single from Zobrist, a walk by Russell and Javier Baez (0-for-3 with a HBP) was hit by a pitch. Willson Contreras (1-for-1 with a RBI) blooped a single to right. Zobrist scored, 3-1 Cubs.
Jon Lester had a very good outing Sunday. Lester wasn’t sharp in the first two innings but he was effective. Lester wasn’t missing by much early, just didn’t exactly have it. Lester found his command and was outstanding. Lester sat down 11 in a row at one point.
Lester took a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning. Lester gave up a bloop single to Yadier Molina after Ross left the game and walked Jedd Gyorko, the only free pass given by Lester on Sunday night. Maddon went to his pen with two on, two down and the Cubs leading 2-0 in the seventh. Carl Edwards Jr. closed the book on Lester by striking out Randal Grichuk to end the inning.
Jon Lester gave up three hits, two singles and a double, with one walk and seven strikeouts. Lester made 96 pitches, 61 for strikes, in 6 2/3 innings.
Carl Edwards Jr. started the eighth inning and walked Jose Martinez on four pitches. Maddon went to Justin Grimm, not Travis Wood, with lefties due up for the Cardinals. Grimm struck out pinch-hitter Matt Adams swinging. Matt Carpenter singled to right and put runners on the corners with one out. Grimm struck out Stephen Piscotty swinging.
Jhonny Peralta broke up the shutout with a bloop single to center on a 3-2 pitch. Martinez scored and made it a 2-1 game. Maddon stayed with Grimm with runners on the corners and two outs. Brandon Moss flied out to center on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Aroldis Chapman issued a two out walk to Randal Grichuk before nailing down the win for Jon Lester.
With Sunday’s win, the Cubs improved to 99-56 on the season.
The Cubs hit the road for the final trip of the regular season. The Cubs begin a seven-game road trip Monday night (6:05pm CDT) with the first of four in Pittsburgh. Kyle Hendricks takes on Chad Kuhl in the opener.