Carpenter led off by working a full count, as he is wont to do, but was called out on a Jose Quintana fastball away and well off the plate. Pham followed with a 3-2 count of his own, but watched his strike 3 cross belt-high on the inside half of the plate. Paul DeJong slashed a single down the first base line, but Martinez flew out to the warning track in RF to end the inning. Quintana had a couple of deep counts but still only threw 16 pitches.
Lance Lynn came out firing bullets. After he battled back from 3-0 to get Zobrist to ground out to SS, he struck out Kris Bryant with a series of sinking, 95mph fastballs, and got Rizzo to pop out into foul territory. Lynn also threw 16 pitches.
Quintana got the Cardinals in order in the 2nd. Fowler and Molina each grounded out to SS, the latter of which required a nifty glove on a short-hop by Addison Russell, and Wong grounded out softly to 2B. Quintana was at 26 pitches.
Lynn matched his counterpart in the bottom half. He battled Avila to a full count before striking him out looking on a pitch that was called a ball earlier in the PA. He struck out Schwarber, as well, then got Almora to line out to 1B. Lynn was at 31 pitches.
Quintana struck out the side in the 3rd, getting easy targets Grichuk and Lynn hacking at fastballs before Carpenter waved at a change-up. He was cruising along at 40 pitches.
Jason Heyward led off the 3rd with a single up the middle past Wong, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Russell worked a walk and Quintana bunted them up a base, Zobrist brought home a run with a ground out to SS. But after Bryant beat out an infield single and Rizzo walked, Lynn struck out Avila with his 55th pitch to strand the bases loaded. 1-0 Cubs.
Tommy Pham led off the 4th with a single over Russell’s head. After DeJong struck out looking at a pitch low and off the plate, Jose Martinez lined a single to short CF that just popped out of Almora’s glove, and Fowler reached on an error by Bryant. With the bases juiced, however, Quintana got in on Molina’s hands, getting the Cardinal catcher to ground into a devastating, 6-4-3 double play. He was at 56 pitches.
Kyle Schwarber made the Cardinals pay for squandering their big opportunity, and led off the 4th with a towering HR to LF. Almora followed with a single up the middle, though Heyward erased him with a 4-6-3 double play ball. Lynn lost his feel after that, Russell and Quintana worked a pair of walks, and Zobrist brought another run home. Lynn struck out Bryant with his 81st pitch to limit the damage. 3-0 Cubs.
Quintana settled back into his groove in the 5th. He got Wong to line out to LF on the first pitch, Grichuk to ground out to SS, and pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko to pop out to short CF. He was at 68 pitches.
Zach Duke relieved Lynn. He got Rizzo to ground out to 3B before Avila dumped a single into LCF. Schwarber decided to bunt for some reason, and Duke was able to field the ball and force the lead runner out at 2B, and then Almora struck out swinging.
Matt Carpenter led off the 6th with a gift double, courtesy of the perennially inept Schwarber in LF. After Pham struck out, DeJong walked, and Martinez struck out, Dexter Fowler burned his last bridge in Chicago with a titanic 3-run HR to LF. Molina followed with a double down the LF line and Wong was hit by a pitch, and suddenly Quintana was out of the game. Carl Edwards Jr. relieved and struck out Grichuk. 3-3 Tie game.
Duke returned in the 6th to face Heyward, who crushed a double off the thumb of Grichuk’s glove, serving to even his competition with Schwarber. John Brebbia relieved and surrendered a single to Russell, but recovered to strike out Jay, got Zobrist to pop out to short RCF, and got Bryant to fly out to RF. The Ginger Bread Man came up huge.
Pedro Strop relieved Edwards. Greg Garcia, pinch-hitting for Brebbia, led off the 7th by doing what he does best: drawing a walk. Magneuris Sierra pinch-ran. After Carpenter struck out, Pham knocked a ground ball single past a diving Russell at SS. DeJong’s ground out moved the runners up a base, but Martinez could only manage a ground out to 1B.
Tyler Lyons relieved Brebbia. His first pitch buzzed Rizzo, and was ruled a HBP after review. Javy Baez pinch-hit for Avila and promptly slashed a single to LF. After Schwarber popped out to SS, Matheny countered with Matt Bowman. Bowman got Ian Happ, pinch-hitting for Almora, to ground into a 6-4 fielder’s choice that Wong almost turned into an inning-ending double play. Jason Heyward promptly made the Cardinals pay with an RBI single to LF to put the Cubs ahead. After Russell drew his third walk of the afternoon, Bowman got Victor Caratini to ground out to 1B. 4-3 Cubs.
Brian Duensing relieved Strop. Fowler battled him in a 7-pitch at bat that ended in an infield single to 2B, but Molina erased him with his 2nd 6-4-3 double play of the afternoon. After Wong worked a walk, Grichuk knocked a single to LCF. Wong made a daring decision to try for 3B and was successful, which allowed Grichuk to advance to 2B. But Matt Carpenter struck out swinging to earn himself a Golden Sombrero, and squander yet another scoring opportunity.
Juan Nicasio relieved Bowman. He struck out Zobrist, got Bryant to ground out to 2B and, after Rizzo singled to LF, got Baez to ground out to SS. Would have been nice to have seen him in the 7th.
Wade Davis entered to close it out. Tommy Pham greeted him with a single back up the middle. But DeJong popped out to short LF, Martinez lined out to 2B, and Fowler gave another ball a ride, but this time was thwarted by the Chicago winds as the ball died at the warning track in CF. Cubs win 4-3.
Lance Lynn: 4.0IP, 3ER, 5H, 1HR, 5K, 4BB, 36GSc
Jose Quintana: 5.2IP, 3ER, 6H, 1HR, 8K, 1BB, 53GSc
- The Cardinals’ elimination number is 8. They are 6 back of the division lead, 5 back of the 2nd wild card, and 2 back of Milwaukee for each.
- The Cardinals won 1 game at Wrigley this season.
- Lynn flashed his highest velocity of the year, but one is left wondering if that was what caused him to lose his ability to locate.
- Kris Bryant is not as fearsome as he was in years past. Matt Carpenter can empathize.
- John Brebbia has been nails of late. In September he’s struck out 43%, walked 7%, and has posted a 2.20 FIP.