Despite a nice outing from Cory Abbott in his first big league start, the Cardinals went to work on building another streak, winning 4-3 on a Paul Goldschmidt walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th at Busch Stadium.
Both team’s starting pitchers, Abbott and Dakota Hudson, went five strong innings in this game without figuring in the decision. Abbott did give up two early bombs to a red hot Tyler O’Neill in the 1st and 4th, but limited damage to just that and kept his team close. Trayce Thompson decided to give the Cubs the lead on a three-run blast in the top of the 6th against Cards reliever T.J. McFarland.
The Cardinals tied it up in the bottom of the 6th and both bullpens did a nice job until the bottom of the 9th. Rafael Ortega robbed what would have been a Goldschmidt go-ahead home run in the bottom of the 8th, then Ortega’s base knock the other way should have set up a first and third with one out in the top of the 9th. Instead, Willson Contreras ran right through a stop sign and was easily thrown out at home by O’Neill in left.
While Goldschmidt was robbed earlier, the Cubs couldn’t manage to work around him in the 9th as Rowan Wick gave up the game-winning hit immediately after being summoned to replace Tommy Nance with just one out to get. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
It’s hard to admit, but the Cardinals are playing well and finding all kinds of ways to win at the moment.
Contreras being gunned down at the plate completely changed the tone and feeling in the 9th inning and may have given the Cards all the momentum they needed in the midst of a crazy winning streak.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs seem to be stuck on 69 wins and will pick 7th in the 2022 MLB Draft.
- Ortega had a nice game, going 2-for-4 with a walk and great catch in center.
- The Cubs continue to use all kinds of players and continue to set records for players used. Erick Castillo was the eighth catcher used this season among 66 total players.
The Cubs have now locked up the 7th pick in next year’s draft and are just playing out the string at this point. It seems like 10 guys have been called up in the last three days, so if you’re interested in seeing some fresh Cub faces this weekend, you might be in luck.
The guy pitching tomorrow is neither fresh-faced nor a Cub anymore, but we still love him. Big Jon Lester takes the hill on Saturday for the Cards and will face pleasant surprise Adrian Sampson. Game time is 6:05pm CT and will be broadcast on FOX, Marquee, and 670 The Score.