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Cubs @ Cardinals 6.28 recap - Cards weather the storm for big sweep

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Carlos Martinez weathers storm like a champ; offense favors doubles for series sweep.

Jason Heyward makes a gold-glove play in the first inning against the Cubs
Jason Heyward makes a gold-glove play in the first inning against the Cubs
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis Cardinals

Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.65 ERA, 3.03 FIP, .938 WHIP) vs. Carlos Martinez (8-3, 2.89 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.26 WHIP)
7:05 p.m. CT (Rain Delayed) (7:55 CT real first pitch)
Busch Stadium - St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups -

Some News -

Things we were looking for -

The Cards look to finish off their sweep and make a big statement to the third-place Cubs.  The ESPN folks gave the edge to Hammel for his veteran-ness which would translate into being able to handle a weather delay better than Carlos.  Take that for what it's worth, I guess.

Things that happened -

Top halves -

Carlos got things going quick.  Jason Heyward made a magnificent play- he ran a really long ways and dove into foul territory to get Carlos his second out of the inning.  He issued back to back walks to Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero, but left them stranded.  It seemed to me that he was trying to be too fine and just missing the zone to some good hitters.

Chris Coghlan led off the second with a double that Jon Jay jussssssssssssstttt missed on a diving attempt.  I'm sure there were those that lamented Bourjos or even Grichuk being out there to get it, but alas!  It did no damage.  Carlos, cool as a cucumber, dispatched the subsequent trio of batters to strand the doubler.

Martinez came back to try his luck after the rain delay, spotted a 1-run lead.  Dexter Fowler greeted him with a double over Heyward's head.  He got to third on an errant pitch.  After a strikeout of Kris Bryant, Rizzo sac-flied Fowler in to tie the game 1-1.

Coghlan worked a 1-out walk in the fourth, but made it no further.

In the fifth, a Scruggs error allowed Fowler to reach first, but Carlos let him stay out there to end the inning.  He threw a particularly nasty slider to Rizzo en route to his getting out of the inning.

Carlos breezed through the sixth with 10 pitches, to put him at 84 on the night.  That was it for Mr. Martinez.  His line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 84 pitches thrown.

Seth Maness checked in to take the seventh for the Cards.  He allowed a leadoff single courtesy of Chris Denorfia, but no more.

Kevin Siegrist in the eighth.  Bryant led off with a double, and he made it to third, but wasn't able to come in and score.

Trevor Rosenthal came in for the save opportunity in the ninth.  It seems like there hasn't been a straight up save opportunity for him in a while.  He did give up a couple singles (Coghlan, Matt Szczur), but got the save, finishing it off with a sweet changeup to Fowler.  It was pretty.  Cards win 4-1!!

Bottom halves -

Jason Hammel made quick work of the top three in the Cards' order, aided by the ol' ball called strike to Matt Carpenter.  It was even worse than the usual one.  That poor guy.

The rain started again enough in the mid-second to put the tarp on the field and a crazy thunderstorm/tornado scare ensued.  Fast forward 1:49 to the bottom of the second...

Hammel came back out a couple hours since he had pitched the first.  He got Jason Heyward to line out.  Randal Grichuk struck out.  With two outs, Yadier Molina blasted a double to the left-center gap, a double despite the wet ground preventing it from going all the way to the wall.  Xavier Scruggs chased him around with an RBI single to put the Birds on top 1-0.

In the third, Hammel used a couple strikeouts and a fly out to get through the 9-1-2 hitters in the Cards' order.

The Cards got a doubles train going in the fourth.  Jhonny Peralta collected one, to lead off.  Heyward traded places with him, smashing one to the right field corner wall.  Yadi kept it going with yet another, putting the Cards up 3-1.

Hammel came back again for the fifth.  He didn't last long.  Kolten Wong doubled down the line, knocking Hammel out of the game in favor of James Russell.  Carp collected yet another double (the team's sixth), driving in Wong.  He got caught stealing third.  Cards up 4-1.

Hammel's final line: 4 + IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 69 pitches thrown.

Justin Grimm pitched a clean inning for the Cubbies in the sixth.

Neil Ramirez did the same in the seventh.

Old friend Jason Motte took the eighth for the Cubs.  Peralta got a single.

Final Notes -


  • It was a hell of a performance from Carlos after weathering 2 hours worth of delays.  Impressive indeed.
  • Scruggs went 1-3 with an RBI and stole a base.  His and Peralta's single in the eighth were the only non-doubles of the game.  Yadi looked especially good at the plate tonight.
  • ESPN had a fun little music montage about the "next man up" for the Cards.
  • In a interview in the 4th, Maddon revealed his plan to go about 70 pitches with Hammel, depending on how stressful the next few innings were.  That seemed weird to me that he'd say it, even if it's a totally logical move.  I guess I just expected a "we'll see how it goes".
  • Fangraphs
  • Gamenotes: CubsCards

Looking ahead -

Tune in Tuesday for some interleague action.  Chris Sale and the White Sox come into town to take on Lance Lynn and the Cards.  Action starts @ 7:15.