A day after watching their starter virtually shutdown the bats of the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals were forced to deal with an outing from their second game’s starting pitcher that was less than stellar and far less than what was expected. Despite three home runs, St. Louis would end up on the losing side of the final score.
Jaime Garcia took the mound for the Cardinals against Kyle Hendricks of Chicago. After Jaime worked his way around a Jorge Soler double in the first, Matt Carpenter gifted him a lead to work with when he hit a dinger to start the bottom of the first inning. But Jaime found himself in a dicey situation in the second inning. With the corner bases occupied by Miguel Montero and Austin Jackson, the runner on third in large part due to Kolten Wong’s throwing error just a play ago, pitcher Kyle Hendricks laid down a solid sacrifice bunt. The bunt allowed the run to score, as planned, but Jaime’s inability to field the ball in a clean fashion would sting for more than just that moment. After confusion with catcher Yadier Molina as to whether or not he should throw the ball to home plate to try and record an out on Jackson, who was wheeling it on in from third, Garcia tossed the ball to first base in such a way that could not be handled. The failure to execute properly and record what would’ve been the inning’s second out allowed runners to advance to second and third and pave the path for a huge offensive inning for the Cubs.
Being that the bunt play had worked so well for them just prior, Chicago decided to play small ball once again in the very next plate appearance. Addison Russell squeezed out a bunt, allowing the runner on third to trot on in and take a 2-1 lead. Dexter Fowler singled next, padding the Cubs’ lead to 3-1. Jorge Soler stepped to the dish for the second time in the ballgame, carrying a game-log of 1-for-1 and double with him. Instead of trying his luck with bunting, Jorge decided to just use his ability to drive baseballs over 400 feet to its advantage by hitting a two-run shot. The homer gave Chicago a 5-1 lead and ultimately ended Garcia’s night. Lance Lynn entered and pitched the game’s third inning’s first half, surrendering a run. It would later be announced that Garcia had departed the game because he was dealing with a stomach virus. The 6-1 lead that the Cubs possessed would be enough for their pitcher.
Kyle would retire fourteen of the next seventeen batters he faced, allowing a single and a pair of home runs. Half of the outs he recorded, seven, came via the strikeout. The homers, hit by Kolten Wong and pinch-hitter Randal Grichuk, came back-to-back in the fifth inning. Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon wasn’t wasting any time, as he quickly lifted Hendricks following his slight hiccup. Travis Wood entered the game and pitched 2 1/3 innings and kept the Cardinal run column silent.
Adam Wainwright pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in Saturday’s game and struck out three. It was the first time he had pitched at Busch Stadium since way back on the nineteenth day of April against the Reds and the first time he had played the role of a postseason relief pitcher since the 2006 World Series.
The game would end by the 6-3 score, leveling the series to 1-1. The clubs will travel to Chicago on Sunday and prepare for the series to continue on Monday night at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta will get the ball for the Cubs against Michael Wacha and the Cardinals.
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