Cards, Wacha killed by long ball; do-or-die Game 4 for St. Louis

 Well, the Cardinals did it. The Cardinals got to Jake Arrieta. They scored four runs off of the National League Cy Young candidate in his 5 2/3 innings. Oh, but they didn’t win the ballgame. The Cardinal pitching staff gave up eight runs, six homers. Talk about a twisty plot. St. Louis mustered out two more runs off of the Cub bullpen but ended up on the losing side of the 8-6 final score. Chicago leads the best-of-five series 2-1. 

 Jake Arrieta and Michael Wacha started Game 3. Kyle Schwarber put Chicago on the board in the second inning with a homer. St. Louis jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the fourth on an RBI-double from Jhonny Peralta and an RBI-groundout from Tommy Pham. Starlin Castro wouldn’t let that Cardinal lead stand, though. He took Wacha deep in the bottom half of that very inning. Then, in the fifth inning, the pot of drama really began to boil. 

 Kevin Siegrist was warming up in the ‘pen before the inning had started, so, presumably, manager Mike Matheny had Michael Wacha on a short leash. After allowing a one-out single to Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant stepped up to the plate. Siegrist was loose, yet Matheny stuck with Wacha. Nonetheless, Kris Bryant homered. A two-run blast that didn’t need the help of the wind. Following the homer, Matheny took out Wacha and brought in Siegrist. He, too, allowed a homer. That one was to Anthony Rizzo, and it gave the Cubs a 5-2 advantage. Jason Heyward’s two-run jack in the top of the sixth put the Cardinals right back in the midst of things. The freshly shortened gap that separated the teams’ scores was later widened, again, in the bottom of the sixth.

 Seth Maness began pitching the bottom of the sixth inning. Chris Coghlan greeted him with a single, and Dexter Fowler bunted him over to second base. Adam Wainwright entered the ballgame following the bunt. He, on the first pitch he threw, was taken deep by Jorge Soler. A two-run shot that would prove to be the winner. Dexter Fowler homered off of Jonathan Broxton in the eighth inning. Cardinals’ rookie Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run homer in the ninth off of Hector Rondon but to no avail.

Brandon Moss served as a pinch-hitter for Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina in the sixth inning. Yadi, in a previous at-bat in the fourth, looked to be in severe pain following a swing. Tony Cruz caught the remainder of the game from the bottom of the sixth onward. 

 Chicago infielder Addison Russell tripled in the fourth inning of the ballgame but was removed shortly after due to left hamstring tightness. Jaiver Baez came into the game to replace him. 

 The Cubs will have the opportunity to win the NLDS today and advance to face the winner of the Mets/Dodgers series in the best-of-seven NLCS. John Lackey will be standing in their way. Lackey, as you may recall, started the first game of this series for St. Louis. Jason Hammel will get the nod for Chicago. The game is today, Tuesday, at 3:30 CT. 
Thanks for reading. 

Twitter: @Curtis_Josey

PC: Zimbio 


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