The Cardinals wrapped up their regular season on Sunday with the final of three games against the Cubs. Jake Woodford got the start for the Cards and pitched a solid five innings, yielding three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. He looks much improved from his first stint with the Cardinals and it will be interesting to see if he can develop his game further in the future. Jack Flaherty and T.J. McFarland got an inning of work each and both pitched clean frames. Alec Mills started for the Cubs and got tagged for two runs, but the Cardinals fell just short in a 3-2 loss that was shortened to seven innings due to heavy rain in St. Louis.
Cubs - Rafael Ortega opened the game with a routine flyout to left field. Frank Schwindel pulled a good 1-2 curveball to the wall in left for a double. Ian Happ, with rain beginning to pour down in buckets, popped out to Dylan Carlson in right. Matt Duffy snuck a ground ball through the right side for a hit, scoring Schwindel to put the Baby Bears up 1-0. Duffy got a great jump on the first pitch to Trace Thompson and stole second. Thompson then rolled a 1-1 sinker to Edmundo Sosa at short for the last out.
Cardinals - Tommy Edman was hunting a first-pitch fastball and got a hold of one, putting it into the bleachers above the Cards’ bullpen to tie the game at 1-1.
Paul Goldschmidt worked a full count but grounded out to third. Tyler O’Neill struck out swinging over a good changeup that dove into the dirt. Nolan Arenado pulled an outside sinker on the ground to short to end the inning.
Cubs - After the grounds crew put some dry dirt on the infield, Sergio Alcantara reached on a grounder to Sosa, who lost the ball when trying to make the throw to first. Trent Giambrone grounded a sinker to Arenado, who threw to second for the force out. Erick Castillo rolled another grounder to Sosa for the fielder’s choice but beat the throw to first to prevent the double play. Alec Mills was rung up on a 1-2 slider that painted the outside corner to retire the Cubs.
Cardinals - Dylan Carlson drew a walk on a 3-2 sinker that missed below the zone. Yadier Molina dropped a sinker into right-center for a hit and Carlson went first-to-third to put runners at the corners. Sosa grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Carlson scored to put the Cardinals ahead 2-1. Harrison Bader then grounded out to first to send the game to the third.
Cubs - With the field conditions less than ideal, Matt Carpenter and Jose Rondon came in to play first and third, respectively, for the Cardinals. Ortega led off and popped out to left. Schwindel was called out on a sinker off the outside corner. Happ struck out as well, swinging under an elevated fastball.
Cardinals - Woodford topped a 1-0 sinker and tapped it back to Mills, who threw to first for the out. Edman walked but was erased on an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play hit by Carpenter.
Cubs - Duffy grounded out to Edman who made a smooth sliding stop to his left to get the out. Thompson lined a sinker to O’Neill for the second out. Alcantara smoked a fastball through the left side for a base hit but was stranded after Giambrone popped out to left.
Cardinals - O’Neill took an outside sinker the other way for a base hit into right field. Jose Rondon came up to the plate but another downpour started, causing the tarp to come out for a rain delay. Rondon then continued his at-bat with Andrew Knizner at first as the pinch runner and grounded into a fielder’s choice. Carlson jumped on a 2-0 sinker and lined it back up the middle to put two on with one out. Yadi got under a breaking ball and popped out to center field. Sosa then rolled a sinker at Duffy, who stepped on third for the last out.
Cubs - The defense got a little crazy for the Cards in the fifth. With Knizner behind the dish, Yadi moved to first, Carpenter moved to third, and Rondon moved into left field. Castillo opened the fifth with a groundout to second. Tyler Payne, pinch hitting for his big league debut, struck out swinging ahead of a 1-2 slider. Ortega grounded a changeup back up the middle for a hit. Schwindel laced a sinker down the left field line for an RBI double, tying the game at 2-2.
Happ drew a five-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. Duffy then singled, scoring Schwindel to put the Cubs up 3-2 with runners on the corners. The Cubs put on a double steal but the Cards played it perfectly, getting the 2-4-2 putout at home plate to end the Cubs’ threat.
Cardinals - Joe Biagini replaced Mills on the mound in the fifth. Bader grounded a changeup to short and beat a high throw to first for a hit. Woodford moved him over with a sac bunt. Edman skied a high 1-0 fastball to left for the second out. Carpenter hit a swinging bunt down the third baseline and beat the throw to first easily to put runners at first and third. Both were stranded, however, as Knizner struck out swinging on three pitches.
Cubs - Jack Flaherty made a relief appearance in the sixth and struck out Thompson with a nasty 3-2 slider. Alcantara then grounded out to Yadi and Giambrone struck out swinging to put the Cubs down in order.
Cardinals - The Cards went down quickly in the sixth, as Rondon lined out to second, Carlson struck out swinging, and Yadi flew out to left.
Cubs - T.J. McFarland relieved Flaherty and struck out the side in order, getting Greg Deichmann swinging at a sinker, Payne doing the same, and Ortega looking at a sinker on the outside corner.
Cardinals - Sosa led off the bottom of the frame with a two-out walk. Bader, after nearly getting hit in the head by a pitch earlier in the game, took a slow breaking ball off his left shoulder to put two on. Lars Nootbaar then pinch hit for McFarland and popped out to third. Edman was ruled out on an infield fly rule, and Carpenter, in what may be his last plate appearance as a Cardinal, flew out to right to end the seventh.
The game was called due to inclement weather at the end of the seventh to give the Cubs a 3-2 victory, as the game had no impact on the playoff picture for either team.
The Cardinals finish the regular season with a record of 90-72. They will face the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card game in Los Angeles on Wednesday at 7:10 PM CT on TBS. Adam Wainwright is confirmed to be the starter for the Cardinals and will likely face off against Max Scherzer.
Final Pitching Lines
Woodford (L, 3-4): 5 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / 0 HR
Flaherty: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
McFarland: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / 0 HR
Mills: 4 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB / 1 K / 1 HR
Biagini (W, 1-0): 3 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / 0 HR