The Cardinals, coming off a four-game sweep of the Brewers, traveled to Chicago for a doubleheader with the Cubs. J.A. Happ threw four scoreless innings for the Cardinals and managed to scatter four walks and two hits. The Cardinals put up six runs on Cubs starter Justin Steele with three two-run shots and added two more runs against the Cubs’ bullpen in the sixth. Alex Reyes struggled in the bottom of the sixth, combining with T.J. McFarland to give up five runs. With their lead cut to three, the Cards brought in Giovanny Gallegos, who converted his thirteenth save for an 8-5 win and the Cards’ 13th consecutive victory.
Tommy Edman led off again for the Cardinals and slapped an outside sinker up the middle, beating the throw to first from David Bote for an infield single. Paul Goldschmidt struck out swinging over a slider that broke low and inside. Tyler O’Neill topped an 0-1 slider at the knees, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play that ended the top of the inning.
Wilson Contreras worked a full count and popped a high fastball to Goldschmidt for the first out. Frank Schwindel saw a changeup high in the zone and drilled it into right-center for a double. Ian Happ struck out chasing an elevated fastball. Patrick Wisdom followed suit, missing a meatball of a fastball down the pipe for the last out.
Nolan Arenado chopped a curveball to third for a groundout. Dylan Carlson drew a four-pitch walk. Edmundo Sosa struck out waving at a fastball above the zone and Harrison Bader did the same, swinging at a curveball in the dirt to retire the Cardinals.
Matt Duffy got rung up looking at a sinker at the knees. Nico Hoerner got jammed on an inside fastball and popped out to first. Bote walked but was left on base by Trayce Thompson, who was thrown out on a brilliant barehanded play by Arenado.
Andrew Knizner got under an 0-2 curveball and flew out to left. J.A. Happ drew a walk on six pitches. Edman grounded an inside fastball to Duffy, who threw to second for the fielder’s choice. Goldschmidt continued his hot streak, launching a high sinker into the seats in dead center to give the Redbirds a 2-0 advantage. O’Neill tried to turn on an inside curveball but popped out to center for out number three.
Steele led off the bottom of the third and was called out on a 2-2 fastball that barely caught the inside corner. Contreras drew a walk after Happ missed outside with a 3-2 fastball. Schwindel then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Arenado lined a slider that sat middle-middle to center field for a flyout. Carlson swung at a fastball in on the hands and popped out to second. Sosa pulled a fastball on the ground to third, sitting the Cardinals down in order.
Ian Happ jumped on a first-pitch sinker and grounded out to shortstop. Wisdom worked a seven-pitch walk. Duffy poked an outside sinker to right to put two on with one out. Hoerner followed the single with a walk to load the bases. J.A. Happ escaped the jam, however, striking out both Bote and Thompson with high fastballs.
Bader tore a hanging slider off the ivy in left for a leadoff double. Knizner struck out looking, frozen by a 2-2 curveball. Jose Rondon pinch hit and pounced on a high fastball, homering to score two more and double the Cardinals’ lead to 4-0.
Edman followed the home run with a single back up the middle and then stole second. Goldschmidt skied a 2-2 curveball to right for the second out. O’Neill fell into an 0-2 hole bur golfed a curveball at the knees out of Wrigley, pushing the lead to 6-0.
Arenado singled to extend the inning to Carlson, who struck out going after a curveball in the dirt to send the game to the bottom of the fifth.
Alex Reyes relieved J.A. Happ in the bottom of the frame while Lars Nootbaar replaced Carlson in right in a double switch. Nick Martini pinch hit for Steele and flew out to left. Contreras struck out looking at a slider that was off the outside corner. Schwindel then grounded a changeup to first for the last out.
Martini stayed in the game at right field and Tommy Nance took Steele’s place on the mound. An 0-1, 95 mph sinker ran in on Sosa and caught him square on his right wrist. Sosa, obviously in a ton of pain, ran directly into the clubhouse after the pitch and was replaced at first by Paul DeJong. Bader put a belt-high sinker into center for a single. Knizner flew out to center, moving DeJong to third to put Cardinals at the corners. Nootbaar grounded a sinker to Schwindel at first, who threw home to get DeJong at the plate for out number two. Edman then lined a sinker into left, scoring Bader to make it 7-0. Goldschmidt followed with another single, scoring Nootbaar for an 8-0 edge. O’Neill topped a sinker and rolled it to second to close the top half of the frame.
Greg Deichmann hit in the pitcher’s spot and struck out chasing a back-foot slider. Wisdom did the same, swinging at a slider that broke way outside. Duffy then drew a walk to bring up pinch hitter Sergio Alcantara, who slugged a high changeup to the basket in center for a two-run shot, closing the Cubs’ deficit to 8-2.
Bote caught up to a sinker and dropped it into center for a hit. Thompson walked to put two on and triggered a pitching change, with T.J. McFarland replacing Reyes. Pinch hitter Austin Romine and Contreras then hit back-to-back doubles, scoring three more to cut the lead again to 8-5. Schwindel reached for a low changeup and lined it to right where Nootbaar caught it to end a long sixth inning.
Deichmann stayed in at right, Alcantara remained in at short, and Jason Adam came out of the bullpen in relief for Chicago. Adam struck out the side, getting Arenado with a called strike on a slider at the knees, Matt Carpenter (pinch hitting for McFarland) with a borderline fastball high and tight, and DeJong swinging over a slider at the knees.
Giovanny Gallegos came in for the save and retired Deichmann with a groundout. Wisdom then struck out swinging under a high fastball and Duffy struck out chasing a slider below the zone, giving the Cardinals the 8-5 win for their thirteenth victory in a row.
The Cardinals improve to 84-69 with the win and now have a 99.3% chance to make the playoffs. Jack Flaherty is about to start game two of the doubleheader at the time of writing this and seems like he will be limited to one inning or shorter. Dakota Hudson may also make an appearance as the Cards look to extend their winning streak to fourteen games.
Final Pitching Lines
Happ: 4 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / 0 HR
Reyes (W, 10-8): 1.2 IP / 2 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / 1 HR
McFarland: 0.1 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Gallegos (S, 13): 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Steele (L, 3-4): 5 IP / 7 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / 3 HR
Nance: 1 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Adam: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / 0 HR