Jason Hammel and John Lackey started Game 4. Stephen Piscotty clubbed his third homer of the postseason in the first, giving the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. The Cubs put up four runs in the second inning, three of them on a three-run homer off the bat of Javier Baez. After the third inning was in the books, both of the game’s starting pitchers were taken out and a bullpen game is what Game 4 became. In part to a Tony Cruz double and a Brandon Moss single, the Cardinals were able to tie the score at four in the sixth. But they would be the final runs of their season.
Fernando Rodney, Clayton Richard, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were able to hold the Cardinals at bay for the final three innings and let their hot-hitting teammates take control. Anthony Rizzo homered, his second in as many days off of Kevin Siegrist. Then, in the seventh, Kyle Schwarber finished things off with a bang. He hit a ball over the scoreboard and out to the street behind it. The Cubs would hold on and take the NLDS from the Cardinals, 6-4.
Javier Baez was the Cubs’ shortstop, filling in for Addison Russell, in Game 4 and made his presence known with a three-run homer out of the ninth spot in the batting order. Russell was removed from Game 3 after legging out a triple due to left hamstring tightness.
Tony Cruz got the start in Game 4, replacing Yadier Molina. Yadi left Game 3 after aggravating his left thumb ligament, which is at least partially torn.
Stephen Piscotty is the only player in Major League Baseball history to hit at least one homer in three of his first four career postseason games.
The Cubs will move on and play the winner of the Mets/Dodgers NLDS in a best-of-seven NLCS. Jon Lester or Jake Arrieta will start Game 1 on Saturday, and it will be played on the road. The Cardinals will head home for the winter and hopefully heal up a bit. Yadier Molina will have an MRI on Wednesday to see if his left thumb ligament needs surgery.
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