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Tyler Chatwood Stymies the Cardinals 7.21.18

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Opportunities were squandered all game long, and the bullpen gets pantsed in the first game of the double-header.

MLB: Game One-St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Events

1st Inning

Tyler Chatwood was the same guy he’s been all year, in that he had zero command of the zone. The Cardinals could still do nothing about it. Carpenter was finally muzzled when he popped out to LF on a 1-0 fastball, but Yadi took his easy walk and, after DeJong popped out to RF, stole 2B. But Marcell Ozuna swung through 3 would-be balls to strand him. Despite his wildness, Chatwood was made to throw just 16 pitches.

The Cubs wasted no time sticking it to Luke Weaver and the Cardinals. Rizzo yanked the first pitch he saw down the RF line where Dexter Fowler booted it and enabled the Cub leadoff batter to reach 3B standing up. After Happ worked a walk, Heyward smoked a grounder right at DeJong, who converted the 6-3 double play as Rizzo scored. Weaver then walked Zobrist, and Baez beat out an infield single on a grounder to the hole between 1B & 2B that Wong muffed. But Weaver finally was able to strike out Schwarber swinging with his 24th pitch to escape the jam. 1-0 Cubs.

2nd Inning

The Cardinals just replayed the 1st inning in the 2nd. Pham led off with a walk, and stole second as Wong watched a 2-2 fastball sail right down the middle for a K. Fowler grounded out easily to 1B and Garcia, an obvious walk candidate with the pitcher on deck, popped out to SS on the first pitch he saw. Chatwood was at 29 pitches.

Weaver bounced back in the 2nd. He got Caratini to ground out sharply to 2B before Tommy La Stella blooped a single to CF just out of the reach of a diving Pham. Chatwood bunted La Stella’s 2B and, after Schildt walked Rizzo, Happ popped out to LF to end the inning. Weaver was up to 37 pitches.

3rd Inning

The Cardinals finally broke through in the 3rd. After Weaver worked the most patient PA of the game to 3-2 and flew out to RF, which was a shame of a result because, soon after, Matt Carpenter launched another no-doubter to RF. Yadi followed with a grounder to the hole between SS & 3B, but Baez made a great play and was able to nail the slow-footed catcher at 1B, and DeJong crushed a fly ball out to LF into the wind that died on the warning track. Chatwood was up to 43 pitches. 1-1 Tie.

Weaver worked himself into and out of trouble again in the 3rd. Heyward led off with a sharp ground out to SS, which deflected by Weaver, before Zobrist snuck a single up the middle. Baez then dropped a bunt and was initially ruled safe because Carpenter’s foot came off the bag, but was ruled out on replay. After Schwarber walked, Caratini grounded out to SS to end the frame on Weaver’s 54th pitch.

4th Inning

With Carpenter not due up for another inning, the Cardinals went back to their offensive template. Marcell Ozuna, having learned his lesson from his last PA, accepted the walk from Chatwood to lead off. But Pham lined out to CF, Wong popped out to LCF, and Fowler grounded out weakly back to the pitcher, pushing Chatwood’s count up to just 59.

The strike zone started getting tight on Weaver in the bottom of the 4th. La Stella & Chatwood grounded out to 2B & SS to start things, but then Rizzo drew a 4-pitch walk in which 3 of the pitches had an argument to be strikes. Weaver then fell behind Happ 3-0 on similarly located pitches, and Molina actually turned around to confront Lance Barksdale about his zone. After that interaction, Weaver was able to battle back and strike out Happ swinging. He was up to 73 pitches.

5th Inning

The Cardinals wasted a huge opportunity spectacularly in the 5th. Greg Garcia led off with an easy walk, was bunted to 2B, and later joined on base by Carpenter via IBB and Molina via HBP. Chatwood then fell behind DeJong 2-0, drawing a visit from his pitching coach and the entire infield. So of course what happened next is that DeJong grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to bring the inning to a crashing halt. Chatwood’s pitch count was up to 76.

As the offense came to a crashing halt, so did Weaver’s afternoon. Heyward & Zobrist led off with a pair of bloop singles to CF, and Javy Baez followed with a 1st-pitch RBI single to RF. Schildt had seen enough, and pulled his starter in favor of Mike Mayers. Mayers pitched well and, after allowing a delayed steal of 2B by Baez, retired Schwarber on a sac fly to deep CF, and then got Caratini to pop out to short Ozuna in short LF, who threw home and retired Baez trying to swipe an extra run. 3-1 Cubs.

6th Inning

The Cardinals returned to their template in the 6th. Ozuna led off with a ground out to SS before Pham battled back from 0-2 to work a walk to chase Chatwood from the game. Carl Edwards Jr. came on in relief and got Wong to pop out to 2B, and Fowler to ground out to SS.

Mayers returned for another inning, and set the Cubs down in order. He got La Stella to ground out to 2B after a long battle, Almora to ground out to Garcia playing in, and Rizzo to pull a hard-hit one-hop ground out to 2B.

7th Inning

The Cardinals finally scratched across a run in the 7th. Justin Wilson relieved Edwards, and was greeted by Yairo Munoz, who stroked a clean single to RCF to start the inning, and Jose Martinez who grounded a single off the heel of La Stella’s glove at 3B. Matt Carpenter stepped in with those 2 on, worked a deep count, and flew out to the warning track in CF, moving Munoz to 3B. Cishek relieved Wilson and got Molina to fly out to LCF for a sac fly, and DeJong to ground out to 3B to end the rally short. 3-2 Cubs.

The Cubs answered the Cardinals and then some in the bottom half. Tyler Lyons was in to relieve Mayers after his excellent outing, and just poured gasoline on the game. Though he got Happ to ground out to 3B on his first pitch, he walked Heyward on 4 pitches. Zobrist then followed with a single to RF before Javy Baez placed a pop up in a perfect location shallow down the LF line to score 1. Then, after an IBB to Schwarber and Victor Caratini sac fly, Tommy La Stella lined a 2-run single to RCF that busted the game wide open and chased Lyons from the game. Gregerson relieved and got pinch-hitter Kris Bryant to ground out to 3B. 7-2 Cubs.

8th Inning

Jesse Chavez made his Cubs debut in the 8th, and set the Cardinals down in order for the first time all game. He got Ozuna to ground out to SS, Pham to ground out to 2B, and Wong to ground out to 2B.

With a whole other game to play later, Gregerson returned to eat an inning. Rizzo led off by drawing a walk, before Happ struck out swinging through a curveball. Heyward then hit a sharp grounder that seemed destined to be a base hit, but Wong dove, gloved the ball, and flipped it awkwardly from his glove to DeJong to get the lead runner. Zobrist looped to CF his 4th hit of the game, which advanced Heyward to 3B, but Gregerson was able to strike Baez out to end the inning.

9th Inning

Chavez closed this one out. He struck out Fowler looking at a pitch beneath the zone, got Munoz to ground out to SS, and Bader to fly out to LF. Cubs win 7-2.

Final Lines

Luke Weaver: 4.0+ IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 0 HR, 2 K, 5 BB, 33 GSc, 77 pitches.

Tyler Chatwood: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 HR, 2 K, 6 BB, 51 GSc, 85 pitches.

Notes

  • Carpenter has homered in 5 games straight.
  • It’s going to be hard to win when Marcell Ozuna, Dexter Fowler, Paul, DeJong, and Kolten Wong are all swinging wet noodles at the plate.
  • Greg Garcia deserves more playing time. Lots of starters deserve less.
  • We lost to Tyler freaking Chatwood, I don’t know what else to say.

The Cardinals will try to salvage a split of the double-header without Matt Carpenter tonight, sending John Gant to face Mike Montgomery. Game starts at 6:15 CST, and can be viewed on FOX (KTVI).