After Tuesday’s improbable comeback, the Cubs were looking to win two in a row against the archrival Cardinals behind MLB victories leader Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks was sharp as he pitched another quality start, but the offense could not provide sufficient run support. They finished the night with just two runs on eight hits, one of which came in the 9th inning to tie the game.
Despite loading the bases thanks to a timely double and three hit batters by Cardinals pitchers in that final regulation frame, the Cubs could only manage to tie the game. They failed to push across another tally in the 10th after having men on first and third with no outs, opening the door to a Cardinals walk-off. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Northsiders did not cash in on various scoring opportunities. The most glaring failure was in the 10th inning, when ghost runner Anthony Rizzo got caught in a rundown at home plate and failed to score the go-ahead run.
With two outs in the 9th inning and Nico Hoerner at first base after being struck by a Giovanny Gallegos slider, Eric Sogard stepped in as a pinch hitter. Sogard lined a double to center field and Hoerner flew around the bases to score the tying run. John Gant then replaced Gallegos and hit two more Cubs batters, but Rizzo stranded the runners with a groundout to second base.
After the Cubs failed to take the lead in the top of the 10th, Nolan Arenado walked to lead off the Cardinals’ half of the inning against Craig Kimbrel. Dirty Craig struck out Tyler O’Neill but Cubs nemesis Yadier Molina drove a 95 mph Kimbrel heater into the right field corner, giving St. Louis a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Stats that Matter
- Hendricks had his 15th quality start of the season, which lands him just behind MLB leader Walker Buehler (16).
- Cubs batters managed only two walks in an extra-innings game, and one was intentional. A lack of patience will result in more low-scoring games like this one.
- Ortega is hitting .462/.563/.769 over his last seven games.
It looked like the Cubs had a chance for a second straight comeback victory, but they fell short. They will need to win Thursday to leave St. Louis with a series split.
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