Jaime Garcia rolls into this game with a 3.83 SIERA. The story with Garcia is that he seems to be a bit streaky so far this year, and his K/9 as well as BB/9 are up from last year. John Lackey has a much better 3.35 SIERA and so far I wish that he was still in a Cardinal uniform. He is having one of the best seasons of his career with sub-3.0 ERA and FIP rates and very good K/9 & K/BB numbers.
As for the Cubs and Cardinals position players, the 2 offenses have been about equally deadly overall, with the difference maker being the Cubs superiority on defense. The two offenses at this point in the season are very very similar results-wise, but the main difference in spirit is that the Cubs get on base and steal more while the Cards just tend to murder the ball.
1. Brandon Moss homered again. A solo shot at Wrigley. Lackey allowed Wong a hit and eventually Diaz connected with a pitch no one should have been able to hit out of the infield, which resulted in an RBI. 2-0 Cards. (I am giving it a try recapping this on my smartphone in the air conditioned living room.)
2a. Baez's speed got him on base, despite a wonderful play and good throw by Aledmys Diaz. He is faster than I thought. Garcia battled back and got his first strikeout of the game, then retired John Lackey to get out of the inning.
2b. The Cardinals lead off another inning with a solo shot, this time by Jhonny Peralta. Wong also followed up with another single. A solo shot and singles show for the Cards.
3. Zobrist got on board, and Kris Bryant solidly doubled to send Ben Z home. 3-1 Cardinals. There was a high pressure moment vs Anthony Rizzo and Jaime was able to strike him out. But with 2 outs the Cubs chipped away with more chops and climbed to within one run.
5. Kind of a not real good ump zone tonight. Weird at bat of Kris Bryant vs Jaime Garcia. One pitch was dangerously near the groin area and then later in the at bat Bryant got hit by the pitch. The Cubs announcers theorized it was in retaliation for Moss getting hit by Lackey earlier. This did not amount to anything but it is a subplot to the season now I suppose.
6. Garcia remained in the game. He was progressing but Baez somehow worked a walk, as Garcia did not seem as confident. But after the walk he caused a popout. 2 outs. The inning ended with a slick slide catch by Stephen Piscotty.
7a. Cahill threw one inside at Holliday, but then he threw one way outside. But he struck out in the end. Cahill struck out Piscotty too. Cards could not extend the lead.
7b. Garcia was at 93 pitches and had 2 outs. Facing Heyward, he was at 1-1. He then threw a nice pitch that was smooth as heck and made Heyward just look at it. Then Jason fouled one off. But Heyward had a good at bat. He created a hit with his speed and contact abilities. This ended the game for Jaime, nearly making it to 7 innings. Garcia exited the start with 82.1 IP on the season. Stone Buddha was brought in. The 33 year old rookie was given a warning about not throwing at guys by his young translator. The final boss of the 7th level finalized the inning.
8a. Cubs bullpen guy Wood repelled the Cards fire.
8b. Oh was back on the mound and feeling the Chicago vertigo. Strange things happen near the lake. The Cards produced a double play! Very close though. Part of it may be Diaz learning how to more efficiently produce these better throws. Hard to tell right now. The not so final boss pushed through the thick unpredictability of this inning and at the very least proved that Stone Buddha is one of the most badass nicknames one could invent.
9a. Carpenter got on base but tried to steal and was gunned down. But then Diaz drew a walk. Copying Matt... and hopefully not trying to steal! Well it did not matter, Cards had to shut down Cubs in a tight save situation.
9b. This save brought to you by Rosenthal... here we go! Rosenthal poured pure heat on the situation. 98, 99 mph. 3-2 count. Addison Russell struck out on high heat. 1 out. Almora doubled though. Almora was caught stealing by Yadi at third!
The game ended because Rosenthal broke Heyward's bat and Cards win 3 runs to 2! A dramatic win and end to the losing streak!
- The Cardinals pitchers Garcia, Oh, and Rosenthal really shut down the Cubs offense
- Aledmys Diaz, Brandon Moss, Jhonny Peralta producing in different ways for just enough to win
- Zobrist 3 for 5 with a run scored
- Our own brick wall covered in Moss instead of ivy has a .329 ISO after this game
- Heyward, Russell, Contreras, and Almora were extremely unclutch: the main negative for Cubs fans and what determined this game
- Yadi was 0 for 4
- Lackey was good but did not have his best game. Still, given his performance it is difficult to pin this loss on him...
The Cardinals take on the Cubs again tomorrow night. Wainwright takes on the ridiculously good Hammel. Hopefully they will both regress towards the mean. Or median. Or whatever.
Tonight i drank a couple Monkeynaut ipa from Alabama and some yumyum from Indiana. Please bring us some wins! 2 more games here in Chitown.