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Cards Sweep Doubleheader and Beat Cubs 5-1 in Game 2 Behind Bombs from DeJong and O’Neill

Cards’ pitching staff holds Cubs to 3 hits

Chicago Cubs v St Louis Cardinals - Game Two Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

The Cards were placed in a position today where they needed to overcome tough circumstances to capitalize on an opportunity. The club got news before the game that starter Kwang Hyun Kim, who was rushed to the hospital with abdominal pain, had to be placed on the IL with a kidney problem, and that the second game of today’s doubleheader would have to be handled by the bullpen. This after the bullpen had to throw 5.1 IP in last night’s game started by Jack Flaherty. But they knew that they also needed to seize on the fact that the Cubs needed two starters today that they don’t normally use. Regular starter Tyler Chatwood had to go back on the injured list with a forearm strain. Jose Quintana—who was originally slated to be the club’s number 5 starter before injuring his thumb in a dishwashing accident—was supposed to slide into Chatwood’s spot in the rotation, but had to go on the injured list again with left lat inflammation. As a result, the Cubs had to turn to Adbert Alzolay and Colin Rea, who are not normally in the rotation. Alzolay had handled the Cards pretty well in his last start against the club, pitching 5 innings in the 2nd game of a doubleheader, allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk and one unearned run, while striking out 6. After getting virtually skunked last night by Yu Darvish, the Cardinals needed to bounce back against the irregular starters.

Given the circumstances, the Cards did just that. After Wainwright gave the club over 6 strong innings in Game 1, Austin Gomber came out on short notice and did about as well as one could expect in the situation. While one could do without the 3 walks, Gomber counteracted them with 5 strikeouts in 2.2 IP. The staff as a whole walked 6, which is enough to make anyone nervous, but held firm and limited the Cubs to just 3 hits on the night. Meanwhile, Tyler O’Neill hit a 2-run bomb and a double, which hopefully increases his confidence going forward as he fights for an outfield job.

For the 2nd game, Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter and Dylan Carlson all sat for the Cards with Tyler O’Neill in left, Harrison Bader in center, Lane Thomas in right and Tommy Edman at third base. The Cubs rested Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo and designated Game 1 left fielder Steven Souza, Jr. for assignment between games.

The Cards are functioning as the home team for this game, and thus the Cubs bat first. Dakota Hudson was originally set to start this game, but the sudden placement of KK on the injured list with a kidney ailment forced the Cards to change their plans at the last minute. The Cards are wearing their powder blue jerseys for the 2nd game in a row. This will be a bullpen game for the Cards with Austin Gomber trying to go a couple of innings on 2 days of rest. He started off by walking Ian Happ on 4 pitches. After throwing 6 straight balls, Gomber struck out David Bote looking at a 3-2 outside fastball. Gomber got a little help from the umpire on the 3-1 pitch that was called a strike, despite the fact that it looked like it was a little high. After being ahead in the count 3-0, Kyle Schwarber chased a 3-2 high-and-outside slider and flied it to Bader in right-center. Javier Baez then struck out looking at a 2-2 low-and-in fastball on the corner to end the inning. Righty Colin Rea took the mound for the Cubs and got Kolten Wong to ground a 0-1 hanging curve to short to lead off the bottom of the 1st. David Bote made a nice pick of Baez’s throw in the dirt. Tommy Edman struck out looking at a 3-2 low-and-away fastball that caught the corner. After Paul Goldschmidt took a close 3-2 low-and-away splitter to work a walk, Brad Miller struck out swinging at a nasty low-and-in 1-2 cutter to end the inning.

Jose Martinez grounded an outside 1-1 change deep in the hole at short, but DeJong fielded it and made a strong throw to get him to start the top of the 2nd. Jason Heyward struck out swinging at a high hanging 1-2 slider. After Victor Caratini worked a 3-2 walk, Nico Hoerner flied an up-and-in 1-1 fastball to Bader in left-center to end the inning. To lead off the bottom of the 2nd, Paul DeJong smoked a first-pitch hanging curveball over the left field wall for a solo HR to give the Cards a 1-0 lead.

After Lane Thomas worked a 3-2 walk, Tyler O’Neill drove an center-cut fastball just over the right-center field wall for a 2-run HR to extend the Cards’ lead to 3-0.

Matt Wieters struck out looking at a low 3-2 fastball. Harrison Bader hit a 1-0 hanging cutter deep to left-center but it stalled for Schwarber at the track. Wong grounded a first-pitch inside fastball to Bote at 1st base for the 3-1 flip to end the inning.

To lead off the top of the 3rd, Jason Kipnis drove a high fastball to left-center and off of the base of the ivy wall for a double. After Happ struck out swinging at an up-and-in 0-2 fastball, Bote worked a 3-2 walk. Schwarber struck out swinging at an inside 2-2 fastball. Gomber’s night was over after 55 pitches and with Baez coming up, Shildt brought in Ryan Helsley to pitch to him. Baez flied a 2-2 low-and-in curve to shallow left-center that DeJong ran out and grabbed to end the inning. Edman blooped a high 1-1 cutter to center for a base hit to start the bottom of the 3rd. Goldschmidt crushed a center-cut fastball for a base hit to left-center, with Edman hustling all the way to reach 3rd base. With runners at the corners and nobody out, Brad Miller lined an outside 1-1 splitter to left-center for a base hit to score Edman, move Goldschmidt to 2nd and extend the Cards’ lead to 4-0.

That was it for Rea after 46 pitches and Duane Underwood, Jr. came out to pitch to DeJong, who chased an elevated 2-2 fastball to strike out. Thomas then grounded a very low first-pitch curve to short for an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Martinez flied an 0-2 low curve to medium center to lead off the top of the 4th. Heyward worked a 3-2 walk after taking two very close outside fastballs. Caratini grounded an outside 2-2 96 mph fastball to Wong at 2nd for an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Righty Tyson Miller, who was just recalled between games of this doubleheader, came out to pitch the bottom of the 4th. O’Neill lined a 2-0 center-cut fastball to the gap in left-center that rolled to the wall for a leadoff double. Wieters grounded an outside 1-2 curve to 2nd to move O’Neill to 3rd base. Bader drove an 0-1 center-cut fastball to the track in the right field corner to score O’Neill on the Sac Fly and give the Cards a 5-0 lead. Wong grounded an outside 0-2 cutter to 3rd to end the inning.

To lead off the top of the 5th, Hoerner chopped an outside 2-1 slider toward the line at 3rd. Edman charged it, but decided to eat the ball, perhaps realizing that Hoerner was going to make it anyway and he didn’t want to risk making a bad throw across his body. With that base hit, Shildt brought in Genesis Cabrera to face the lefty Kipnis. Cabrera’s 0-2 pitch to him was a curve in the dirt that looked like it bounced on the plate and went through Wieters’ legs to the backstop for a wild pitch that allowed Hoerner to advance to 2nd. The next pitch was a fastball that went over Kipnis’s head and hit the backstop brick for another wild pitch to move Hoerner to 3rd. Cabrera gave Kipnis a little chin music again on the 3-2 pitch, with Kipnis not even realizing at first that it was ball 4. With runners at the corners and nobody out, Happ struck out swinging at a hanging high 1-2 curve. Bote grounded an outside 1-0 change to Goldschmidt at 1st. He thought about trying to throw to 2nd, but bobbled the exchange, then changed his mind and stepped on the 1st base bag for the sure out. Hoerner scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 5-1. Cabrera is wild and Schwarber worked a 3-2 walk, their 6th walk in the game. Shildt brought in John Gant to pitch to Baez, who struck out swinging at a 2-2 change in the dirt to end the inning. Edman grounded an inside 2-2 fastball back to the mound to lead off the bottom of the 5th. Goldschmidt drove a low 1-2 cutter to the track in right, but Heyward turned around and snagged it. Brad Miller chopped an 0-1 center-cut fastball high to the mound, which Underwood fielded and threw Miller out by a step to end the inning.

Jose Martinez chopped a low 3-2 fastball to short to lead off the top of the 6th. Heyward lined a low 1-2 curve to right for a base hit. Cartaini flied a 1-0 hanging change in front of the track in center. Hoerner chased a low-and-away 2-2 change to strike out to end the inning. DeJong grounded an outside 1-0 fastball into the shift to Kipnis on the left side of the 2nd base bag to lead off the bottom of the 6th. Thomas flied an up-and-in 2-2 fastball to shallow center. O’Neill grounded a low-and-away 1-0 fastball to 2nd to end the inning.

Andrew Miller came out to pitch the top of the 7th. Righty Cameron Maybin pinch hit for the lefty Kipnis and grounded an 0-1 inside fastball to short. Happ grounded a low 1-2 slider to 3rd. Bote popped a center-cut 3-2 fastball to Wong on the outfield grass, who misjudged it at first, but turned around to make a circus catch and end the game.

Gomber (2 days rest) 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO; Helsley (3 days rest, top 3, 2 out, men on 1st and 2nd, ahead 3-0) 1.1 IP (pitched to 1 batter in the 5th), 1 H, 1R, 1 ER (actually allowed by Cabrera) 1 BB, 0 SO; Cabrera (2 days rest, top 5, nobody out, man on 1st, ahead 5-0) .2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, allowed 1 out of 1 inherited runners to score; Gant (2 days rest, top 5, 2 out, men on 1st and 2nd, ahead 5-1) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; A. Miller (12 days rest, top 7, ahead 5-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO.


Steven Souza, Jr., who started Game 1 of the doubleheader in left field, was DFAd by the Cubs between games of the doubleheader to make room for Tyson Miller, who pitched in relief in Game 2...The Reds beat Trevor Williams and the Pirates 6-2 as Eugenio Suarez went 3-5 with 3 homers, 5 of the club’s 6 RBIs and 3 out of the club’s 6 hits...Up until tonight, Brewers’ closer Josh Hader had pitched 11.2 innings and faced 47 batters over 12 games without giving up a hit (although he had walked 10 to only 18 strikeouts with 5 walks in one game). Tonight he took the mound in the bottom of the 9th against the Indians with the score tied 3-3 and promptly gave up a double to Oscar Mercado, threw a wild pitch to move him to 3rd and then gave up a game-winning single to Cesar Hernandez to take the loss.