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Cardinals @ Cubs 9.25 recap: Cards drop finale to Lester and the Cubs 3-1

David Ross salutes Wrigley Faithful in his last regular season game in Chicago
David Ross salutes Wrigley Faithful in his last regular season game in Chicago
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs

Carlos Martinez vs. Jon Lester
7:08 p.m. CT
Wrigley Field - Chicago, Illinois

Today's Lineups -

Some News -

Things that happened -

First inning -

After a  1-2-3 top of the first by Jon Lester, the Cards and the umpires had an eventful bottom half.  Carlos Martinez walked Dexter Fowler to lead off the game.  Then Jedd Gyorko had some adventures.  Kris Bryant knocked a grounder to him, one that should have been a double play.  Jedd bobbled it enough that the Cards were only able to get the lead runner.  But he atoned somewhat when he tracked down a fly ball in the shallow outfield to retire Anthony Rizzo.  Ben Zobrist hit a hot grounder that ended up striking second base umpire CB Bucknor in the knee.  CB probably saved extra bases, but it turned into a single.  Carlos got Addison Russell to ground out to end the inning.

The next few -

In the second, both teams left a runner on second base.  Yadier Molina rocketed double off the ivy in the right-center gap.  Then old friend Jason Heyward singled to left field and then stole second.  No damage done by either team.

The only baserunner in next couple innings was Bryant, who worked a full count walk in the third inning.  Lester and Martinez both looked fantastic.  Both were working the bottom of the zone, which seemed to be a pitcher-friendly boundary tonight.  The Cardinals did lots of swinging at those low pitches and came up empty their fair share.  I felt like early on, Carlos was overthrowing, and sacrificed some of his control.  He was hitting 98-100 but was just missing.  He started dialing in, though, as he settled in.

The first run -

The Cubs finally broke through in the fifth.  David Ross, right on the wings of his second standing ovation from the Wrigley faithful, smacked a hanging slider out of the park into left.  Fowler singled, and stole second.  Yadi's throw was not good.  Bryant walked.  Then Fowler stole third, this time just picking Martinez' pocket while the infield failed to pay attention.  Luckily, Rizzo grounded out to end the frame.  Cubs lead 1-0.

The tease -

Jose Martinez picked up the Cardinal's second hit of the night, a single to left field.  then Carlos Martinez laid down a bunt that was not good.  It went just out in front of the plate.  David Ross jumped on it quickly and threw it down to second, where J. Martinez was called out.  After review, though, the umpires reversed the call, putting runners on first and second with no outs.  That's good, right?  The elation was short lived.  Matt Carpenter grounded to third, turning into two outs, and then Piscotty followed the leader, grounding to third to end the threat.

The tack-on -

Zobrist doubled to left leading off the sixth.  Addison Russell blasted a liner down the left field line, one called foul by the third base umpire.  After a review, though, the umpires deemed the hit a double, sending the Cubs second run home, and putting Russell on second.  Cubs lead 2-0.

The rest -

I'm counting on VHS to gif the Heyward play in the seventh on a Molina flare.  It was a crotch shot/Theriot crawl mashup that was incredibly amusing.  Stay tuned for that!  Gyorko took a walk.  That chased Lester from the game.  Thank goodness.  Carl Edwards came in to face Grichuk.  Randal struck out.

Kevin Siegrist pitched a clean seventh for the Cards.

Edwards came back out for the eighth.  He walked J. Martinez on four straight pitches.  Maddon went to Justin Grimm to navigate through pinch hitting Matt Adams and the first part of the Cardinal order.  Carpenter stroked a single to right.  And then my nerves almost killed me during Peralta's at bat, but he came through, singling into center.  That scored Martinez, and Carpenter moved up to third.  Brandon Moss came to the plate with two outs.  Moss got a good swing on a ball, but it settled easily into the center fielder's mitt. Cubs lead 2-1.

Zach Duke started the eighth for the Cards.  He got Heyward out when he bunted strike three foul, but Duke allowed a hit and a walk.  Broxton checked in.  Javier Baez started to offer at an inside pitch.  It appeared to hit the knob of the bat as he started to offer.  After a review, he was awarded first base as a HBP.  Contreras flared a single into right, scoring one.  On the play, Piscotty fell awkwardly on the bullpen mound, but seemed to be ok.  He threw behind the runner rounding first, who got into the start of a rundown.  Russell, on third, tried to take home, but Carpenter nailed him there.  Cubs lead 3-1.

Aroldis Chapman got a couple quick outs in the ninth for the Cubs.  But Grichuk worked a walk, bringing up the tying run in the form of J. Martinez.  Chapman threw some fastballs at 102, 103, 104, and 103 on pitches that Martinez was able to foul off.  It was an impressive AB by the young outfielder.  The final pitch was a 92 mph slider in off the plate that Martinez didn't offer at.  But the umpire was ready to be done, and called it strike three.  Cubs win 3-1.

Final Notes -

  • Carlos' final line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 107 pitches thrown.
  • Lester's final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 96 pitches thrown.
  • It was fun to watch the ovations that David Ross got.  The last one was in the seventh, when Joe Maddon came in and replaced him mid-inning with Wilson Contraras.  It's cool that he was so beloved.
  • On two occasions, runners tried their luck on Yadi (Heyward in the second, Fowler in the fifth), and Yadi's throws were not good either time.
  • Fangraphs
  • Game notes - CardinalsCubs

Looking ahead -

Tomorrow, Jaime Garcia returns to the rotation as Tim Adleman and the Reds come in to Busch.  Game time is 7:15 CT.