The Cubs took two of three from the Cardinals this weekend at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Tempers were flaring, balls were reaching the bleachers, and a rivalry was renewed. Though the regular season series has come to a close, the two teams hope to meet again in October.
The first game of the series was started by Dan Haren and Lance Lynn. Anthony Rizzo, Tommy La Stella, and Starlin Castro each knocked in a run in the bottom of the first inning to boast an early 3-0 lead. St. Louis answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second and tied the score at three with a run in the fifth inning. In the same inning, Matt Holliday was hit in the batting helmet by a Dan Haren pitch. Thankfully, Mr. Holliday wasn’t hurt. Being that Anthony Rizzo had been hit by a pitch earlier in the ballgame, warnings were issued. The tie would break, though, in the bottom of that very frame. Starlin Castro belted a two-run homer, giving the Cubs a 5-3 lead. Castro further extended Chicago’s lead when he hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the second time that day in the seventh inning. Matt Belisle, the one who threw the pitch, was ejected along with his manager Mike Matheny. The Cubs went on to win by that 8-3 score.
Game two was started by Travis Wood and Michael Wacha. The 2-1 Cubs’ advantage grew in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant homered. With the score 5-1 entering the top of the ninth inning, Hector Rondon entered the game to try and seal the deal. Pinch-hitter Greg Garcia was plunked, the third Cardinal to be hit in the game. Rondon and Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon were ejected. Zac Rosscup was called upon to throw. Matt Carpenter hit a two-run bomb, his 24th of the year, and made things interesting. The score, now 5-3, knocked Rosscup out and brought Pedro Strop in. The Cardinals managed to push across another run but couldn’t manage any more. Addison Russell robbed Stephen Piscotty of a game-tying single, laying out to glove the ball and flipping away to get the game’s final out.
The finale of the series was started by Jon Lester and Carlos Martinez. The Cardinals were the first to score in the game, many thanks to a pair of home runs in the top of the first inning. Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty went yard. Carlos Martinez bit down on that lead. The only blemish of his respectable 6 2/3 inning performance came in the third inning. With the bases full, Anthony Rizzo singled. Two runs scored. Fast forward to the ninth inning, now. A hit and a walk surrendered by Kevin Siegrist brought Jonathan Broxton into the game. Broxton walked the next two batters, the first loading the bases, and the second forcing in a run. Bases loaded, zero outs, Cards up 4-3, Seth Maness is brought into the game for the 71st time in 2015. He got Addison Russell to fly out to Jason Heyward. Rizzo, the runner at third, tagged up to try to score the game’s tying run. Jason Heyward’s arm wanted otherwise. J-Hey threw a rocket to catcher Yadier Molina, and then Yadi tagged Rizzo to complete the 9-2 double play. Trevor Rosenthal was called into the game to record the final four outs, a task in which he successfully completed for the eighth time in his career. His 46th save and the Cardinals’ 93rd “W”.
On that mentioned 9-2 double play, Yadier Molina was injured. He caught the remainder of the bottom of the eighth inning but was lifted in favor of a pinch-hitter in the ninth. He suffered a sprain to his left thumb. He will be reevaluated tomorrow and is expected to have an MRI.
Tony Cruz caught Sunday’s game’s final frame and made his time worth it. Starlin Castro opened up the inning with a single and was pinch-ran for by Quintin Berry. Berry, who was 25-for-25 in his Major League career in stealing bases, attempted to make it 26-for-26. But that didn’t happen. With Soler batting, Berry took off for second base. Soler struck out, and then Tony fired down to second. A double play.
The Cubs will play three with the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field this week. The Cardinals will return back to Busch Stadium to play three against the Cincinnati Reds. Game one of that series will feature a pair of lefties–Jamie Garcia and John Lamb– and will kick off on Monday (9/21) evening.
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