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Cardinals vs Cubs Recap: Cards lose 4-1, heroically avoid no-hitter

Cards lose game in manner akin to slow asphyxiation, Diaz pinch hits in return from DL.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Hello again, and how are you? The Cardinals lost to the Cubs and now have 42.4% playoff odds from Fangraphs. Time is running short.

What happened in this game? Lots of depressing failure that honestly you don't want to hear about. Instead, let's watch this gif of Jeremy Hazelbaker absolutely One Shining Moment-ing a shitty Kyle Hendricks changeup into the right field seats, thus ending a no-hitter that would've been the first by a Cardinal opponent in St. Louis in a century.

[h/t to @vanhicklestein, probably the most indispensable person on the internet]

Of course it's surprising that Hazelbaker would be the one to succeed where other, better hitters failed, but that's baseball for you. One day, you're riding the schneid along with your besties Brandon and Tommy--

--and the next, you're being celebrated apartment-wide as quote "the only good thing in this god-forsaken game" and as "HELL YEAH SUCK IT CUBS" and even as "who even cares, the WPA went up by like 2%, I'm going to bed." Quite the roller coaster!

Let's bask a little in Kyle Hendricks' one moment of utter, UTTER failure tonight. Here is how he approached Hazelraker:

Hmm, no fastballs, I see. Curve, change, change...

Decided to release the ball pretty much from the same spot, eh? Clever. Very clever indeed...

Ah, low strike on the curve and then a changeup in the zone and then--what's this? It's another changeup, this time in Jeremy's wheelhouse? Why, I would estimate that Hazelbaker is hitting approximately one thousand on changeups in that spot. Such hubris, Kyle Hendricks! What did you THINK would happen to such a pitch, once Jeremy saw it? Obliteration of said pitch, that's what!

You may have won the war, Kyle--BUT YOU LOST THE BATTLE! Ha!

Meanwhile, Mike Leake pitched six innings, giving up four runs on two homers, one walk, and four strikeouts. His xFIP? Well well well, looky here: it was 3.43 while Kyle Hendricks's was a hugely large 3.62. Ha! Take that, Kyle! Yet again we prevail!

Also, Aledmys Diaz pinch-hit once and Randal Grichuk made this catch:

Everything else was *taste of ashes in mouth* and *premonition of future death* but Mike Shannon seemed to be having fun.

Source: FanGraphs

The Cards will play the Cubs again tomorrow night at 7:15pm, Jaime Garcia versus Jason Hammel.