The game got off to a quick start and the hits just kept coming. The Cardinals scored first in the 1st when Tommy Edman hit a triple to center and scored on a Paul Goldschmidt groundout. The Cubs hit back quickly, scoring two runs off a Nicholas Castellanos double (58) and four walks in a row. A sacrifice fly from Jason Heyward scored Kyle Schwarber put the Cubs up 3-1.
The Cardinals scored again in the 3rd on a Goldschmidt sac fly that drove in pitcher Dakota Hudson, then tacked on the following inning to make it 5-3. Both teams were into the bullpens at that point, and Ian Happ took Dominic Leone deep in the 4th for a two-run home run that tied the game at 5-5.
Nico Hoerner hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th to put the Cubs up 6-5, then Marcell Ozuna blasted a two-run homer to take the lead back. Tony Kemp was batting in the 7th when a balk erased what would otherwise have been a strikeout. The light-hitting infielder made the most of his second chance by smacking a two-run home run, his first as a Cub, to make it 8-7 for the home team.
Craig Kimbrel came on to close the game and gave up a homer to Yadier Molina on the first pitch he threw, a high fastball the Cardinal catcher was clearly sitting on. Kimbrel then threw the exact same pitch to Paul DeJong, who likewise deposited it in the bleachers for the game-winner. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The offense was there, but the pitching wasn’t. The Cardinals’ bullpen was hittable, just not quite as hittable as the Cubs’.
With so much back-and-forth offensive output, the key moment was probably somewhere in the 4th inning. It hadn’t been a pitcher’s duel by any means, but both pitchers left that inning, and the frequent pitching changes and matchup optimization made the game even longer.
Stats that Matter
- Castellanos’ double was his 58th of the season, making him only the 10th player to reach that total.
- It was the longest 9-inning game in the history of the franchise.
Well, I’d like to be able to say it was a good year, but oof, it’s been a bumpy ride. The confusing use of the Injured List continued from past seasons and it’s hard not to think players were put back in the lineup before their time in an effort to catch the Cards or a Wild Card spot.
The Cubs and Cardinals wrap up this series Sunday at 1:20pm CT as Yu Darvish (6-7, 4.02 ERA) steps up against Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.29 ERA). NBC Sports Chicago has the local broadcast, with TBS on the out-of-market call and 670 The Score for radio.