The Cubs losing streak is now at four after dropping Saturday’s game in St. Louis. The offense finally showed up only to have the pitching and defense let them down.
The Northsiders jumped to an early lead with some small ball. Five singles and a squeeze bunt helped the Cubs to score four off Luke Weaver in the top of the 2nd. The lead didn’t last long, as Tyler Chatwood loaded the bases on two walks and a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the 3rd. A sacrifice fly and a single scored two before a Kyle Schwarber misread assisted Matt Carpenter’s game-tying double.
Both bullpens took over in the 5th and the Cubs pulled back ahead. Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo both hit solo homers to build a 6-4 lead. Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, and Carl Edwards Jr. shut the Cardinals down for four innings. Unfortunately, Brandon Morrow didn’t have it in the 9th inning. A walk and a single put two on for Marcell Ozuna, who promptly doubled to left to tie the game at 6-6. The game made it to the 10th inning before the Cardinals were able to pull out the win.
Unfortunately, Brandon Morrow didn’t have it in the 9th inning. A walk and a single put two on for Marcell Ozuna, who promptly doubled to left to tie the game at 6-6. The game made it to the 10th inning before the Cardinals were able to pull out the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
All three of the Cardinals run-scoring innings began with a leadoff walk. It’s not a wise move to start off an inning with a free baserunner, especially with a powerful lineup like St. Louis has. The Cubs paid a big price for it Saturday.
With one on and none out in the bottom of the 10th, Kolten Wong hit a walk-off two-run homer off Luke Farrell. The shot just inside the right-field foul pole to secure the Cardinals’ 8-6 victory.
Stats That Matter
- Tyler Chatwood walked five and hit Kolten Wong twice in four innings. That’s seven men reaching without a hit against Chatwood. Even though he only allowed three hits, the Cardinals still scored four runs. The stout righty has been able to skate around most of his early season walks, but it doesn’t feel sustainable all year.
- Jason Heyward reached base three times, which is nice to see after he has slumped the last week.
- Kyle Schwarber took some wacky routes to fly balls and literally had his shoe fall apart on a high fly that he somehow caught.
It’s frustrating to watch the Cubs blow two leads in this game. After a shaky starting effort by Chatwood, the bullpen pitched great before Morrow surrendered his first run and blown save as a Cub. It’s also hard to ignore that the Cubs have an identical record to last year after 30 games. May 2017 was the Cubs worst month under Joe Maddon. Hopefully, May 2018 is better, but it hasn’t started that way.
The Cubs look to avoid the sweep on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Jon Lester takes on Michael Wacha at 7:05 pm CT.