clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cardinals vs. Cubs Double Header Recap: Exhuasting day ends on high note, Cards split DH after 13-2 win

After dropping the first game 5-1, the Cards bounce back to split the double header with a 13-2 curb stomping.

eff this pitch
eff this pitch
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

pre game

Today is an important day for Justin Masterson. Since his arrival, although he seems like a very nice guy and it hurts me to say this, he has pitched... well terribly, save one game against the Marlins. It is crucial to his position in the rotation that he pitches well today. Rumor has it he will pitch the entire game from the stretch to work on mechanics.

For the second game, Marco Gonzales makes his second trip up to the big league club looking for his first win. In his first emergency stint, it became quite obvious that he just wasn't quite ready for the majors... yet. His change-up was a plus offering, but without a consistent third pitch, he was unable to be effective against a team the second time through the order without pinpoint command.

Game One's Lineups

Chris Coghlan - LF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Javier Baez - 2B Randal Grichuk - RF
Starlin Castro - SS Matt Holliday - LF
Luis Valbuena - 3B Matt Adams - 1B
Arismendy Alcantara - CF Jhonny Peralta - SS
Logan Watkins - RF A.J. Pierzynski - C
Chris Valaika - 1B Jon Jay - CF
John Baker - C Daniel Descalso - 2B
Felix Doubront - LHP Justin Masterson - RHP

Game Two's Lineups

Arismendy Alcantara - CF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Javier Baez - 2B Kolten Wong - 2B
Starlin Castro - SS Matt Holliday - LF
Jorge Soler - RF Matt Adams - 1B
Welington Castillo - C Yadier Molina - C
Luis Valbuena - 3B Oscar Taveras - RF
Chris Valaika - 1B Peter Bourjos - CF
Matt Szczur - LF Daniel Descalso - SS
Tsuyoshi Wada - LHP Marco Gonzales - LHP

game one

Innings one through four:


I mean, I could talk about Masterson walking the pitcher to load the bases in the second. I could talk about Masterson giving up back-to-back bombs to Watkins and Valaika. I could talk about Masterson giving up a third bomb to Castro in the fifth.

Or, or, I could talk about Tyler Lyons, king of the jungle, king of our hearts, protector of Italian virginity and the savior of the Cardinals bullpen. The game was pretty much lost with the score being 5-1, and with the starter coming out in the fourth inning and the rookie Marco Gonzalez slated for the next game, if the Birdos were going to have any chance in game two of this double header, Lyons was going have to do exactly what he did.

Pitch the whole. damn. thing.

And he pitched it well. Four and two-thirds innings allowing one hit, striking out eight, and being handsome. Talk about a good day.

And that is all I have to say about that.

game two

To say this game was much more enjoyable to watch than the previous one would be an understatement of epic proportions. I think the past few games have given me permanent wrinkles on my face from cringing.

Me during the eighth inning of this game.

I am just... I am so happy. No, I am not crying. I just have something in my eye.

For this game, let's talk about Matt Holliday. What did he do, you ask? He hit not one, but two dingers in the game! Yeah, Cubbies, we can hit home runs, too*! His three run shot in the fifth put the Cardinals up four to one, and his solo shot to lead off the eighth gave him his fourth RBI of the evening and kicked off a nine run inning for the Birdos. You can only kick a sleeping dog so much before it wakes up and bites you.

*Just not very often

Oh my, that glorious eighth inning. The inning that saw the Cards send thirteen men to the plate. The inning that didn't see an out recorded until eleven men batted. The inning that brought joy and relief, tidings of comfort and joy. It felt good. It felt right.

It would be a shameful oversight to not acknowledge the twenty-two year old rookie, Marco Gonzales, and his wonderful outing. In his first major league win Marco went six innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts. He dominated with his change-up, getting ten whiffs and fourteen foul balls on the pitch. The Cardinals were desperate for a good pitching outing and the youngster delivered.

Pat Neshek bounced back pitching a scoreless eighth after Seth Maness pitched a scoreless seventh. After "The Inning", Nick Greenwood came in to finish off the night.

post game

Win Expectancy Graph of Shame

Source: FanGraphs

Win Expectancy Graph of Jubilation

Source: FanGraphs


For game one, I am making a judge's decision here. Normally when the Cardinals lose I pick some sort of pest from the other team, but you know what? Tyler Lyons today. Yes only .039 WPA (I mean, not his fault the game what out of hand when he came in), but four plus innings with eight strikeouts. That is a good game for most starting pitchers. He did it out of the pen. Your efforts today will not soon be forgot, Tyler. Especially with a new starter possibly being considered to take over Masterson's spot in the rotation.

The player of the game for game two is Matt Holliday. Duh. Holliday's .355 WPA leads all players. His two home runs leads all players. HIs five RBI lead all players. Matt Holliday leads all players. He wins.


I am tired. So very tired. This day of baseball has been exhausting. I can only imagine how the players feel. The Cardinals look for the split tomorrow at 1:15pm. John Lackey toes the rubber against Travis Wood.