A wet game at Wrigley surprisingly starts on time with Adam Wainwright and Jake Arrieta pitching.
Before the game, licensed psychiatrist Joe Maddon provided the following details on how he thought the game would shake out after Holliday was sent to the DL after being hit yesterday:
Maddon was asked if he expects any retaliation after Holliday was hit and broke his thumb yesterday pic.twitter.com/Unp4hxI8FH— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 12, 2016
1st Inning: Cardinals went 1-2-3, as Arrieta carved right through Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, and Brandon Moss. In the bottom of the first, the Cubs quickly took advantage of relatively broad strikezone and missed pitches by Waino to the tune of 3 doubles, 2 walks, and 31 pitches. 2 runs would score as Kris Bryant and Addison Russell would each drive a run in. A possible double play by Jorge Soler was unable to be handled by Kolten Wong.
2nd Inning: Jedd Gyorko would reach on an error by Bryant and OBP MACHINE Greg Garcia would draw a walk, but the Cardinals failed to capitalize: gentle pop-up, strike out, ground out to second. I'm not even going to tell you who did each of those; it's too obvious. The Cubs would take advantage of Waino's struggles in the bottom of the inning. That's putting it mildly. A HBP, a double, a single, a walk, a home run combined for 5 runs as Wainwright had an eerily similar first couple innings to his last start.
3rd Inning: Wainwright would try to rally the troops with a leadoff double, but would be stranded at 2nd. He'd then get back to the dugout to find that he was being replaced by Seth Maness. Why not bring in someone to hit? Oh, because the Cards are working with only 3 bench players in the aftermath of DLing Holliday. Although I guess honestly you may as well take a chance on The Pitcher Who Could Only Hit XBHs. Maness would pitch relatively cromunlently in the bottom of the 3rd (other than giving up a single to Arrieta) to finally give the Cards a scoreless innning.
4th Inning: A tiny, miniscule whisper of hope was in the air as the Cardinals loaded the bases on a Gyorko single, Garcia (OBP MACHINE) reaching on an error, and a walk by Wong. Knowing that the Cardinals would not want to deplete their bullpen and Maness's spot up in the order, Matheny subbed in Jeremy Hazelbaker who flied out to Willson Contreras (who came thisclose to misplaying the ball, but came up with it). Alberto Rosario and Jonathan Broxton would replace Molina and Maness for the bottom half. Seemed like a situation tailor-made for Jerome Williams, but no. In any case, Broxton would go 1-2-3 and make a nice defensive play on a ball up the middle by Jorge Soler. (Note: This was only the second time in his long career that Broxton entered a game before the 5th inning. The time before this was so long ago (2005) that he was pitching to Carlos Delgado and Jeff Conine.)
5th Inning: Stephen Piscotty knocks one out of the park to straightaway center (though it looked briefly like Matt Szczczczczur would get to it) to put the Cardinals on the board. Arrieta hadn't given up a HR in the regular season at Wrigley for over a year. The Cubs would go relatively quietly (minus a single by Baez that Gyorko couldn't hold onto) in the bottom of the inning with two foul tip Ks. Broxton avoids plunking anyone.
6th Inning: After a double by Randal Grichuk, Arrieta would be replaced by Justin Grimm, who (other than a wild pitch that would advance Grichuk) struck out Wong to close out the inning. Wong's frustration was very evident. In the bottom of the inning, MIA Jerome Williams would finally appear, only to immediately give up a no-doubt HR to improbably-named Matt Sczcsczcszur. And then he gave up a HR to Soler.
7th Inning: Quick 1-2-3 for the Cardinals. Much less quick inning by the Cubs - a single, another home run, a HBP, ANOTHER HR, a single. Perhaps the MIA Williams needed to be missing just a bit longer. No action in the bullpen throughout all of this. The inning would finally mercifully end, but not before Williams' pitch count soared past 50. At least the HBP came in a situation that absolutely no person could claim was intentional.
8th Inning: Gyorko would homer on a hit that evidently out from the second it came off the bat. In the bottom of the inning, Williams would come back out again, but managed to get three straight outs.
9th Inning: Out. Out. Walk. Out. Single to prolong the game briefly. Out. You get the idea. Cubs fans were NOT happy with the walk based on the loud booing on the radio feed.
I'm not even going to bother posting the WPA graph. Cardinals and Cubs will continue this frustrating series tomorrow at Wrigley. Maybe Luke Weaver can make things better!