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Cubs Rout Cardinals 10-4 in Series Finale

The Cardinals’ lineup managed 10 hits but fell short as the pitching staff lost control of the game.

Image Credit: Field Level Media MLB Stories

The Cardinals entered Wednesday in pursuit of a three-game sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley as Jordan Montgomery matched up against the Cubs’ lefty Justin Steele. The summary of this game is rather straightforward. The pitchers for St. Louis missed often over the plate, and the Cubs lineup shelled its way to ten runs, six of which were attributed to Montgomery, three to Drew VerHagen, and one to James Naile. The Cardinals lineup also made some noise, with contributions coming from Nolan Arenado, Willson Contreras, Lars Nootbaar, and Tommy Edman. Unfortunately, the effort fell well short in the 10-4 rout.

1st Inning

Tommy Edman led off against Steele and grounded out to short to begin the game. Paul Goldschmidt followed and pulled a fastball into left for a hit. Willson Contreras jumped on a first-pitch fastball to Ian Happ on the warning track in left for the second out. Nolan Arenado shot another fastball into the right-center gap for a triple, plating Goldy to give the Cards an early 1-0 lead. Dylan Carlson left Arenado at third, grounding out to first to end the top half of the inning.

Nick Madrigal led off again for the Cubs and quickly grounded out to Edman at second. Montgomery worked the outside corner of the plate against Dansby Swanson, who flew out to deep left on an 0-2 changeup. Happ got a very hittable curveball that sat high in the zone but got under it and popped out to Andrew Knizner behind the plate.

2nd Inning

Juan Yepez broke his bat on a fastball up and in and grounded out to second. Paul DeJong was looking for an offspeed pitch in a 1-2 count and swung way behind a fastball for the second out. Lars Nootbaar stubbornly hung in the batter’s box for seven pitches before topping a slider to Swanson, ending the front half of the frame.

Seiya Suzuki opened the second for Chicago and bounced out to short. Patrick Wisdom torched a 3-1 sinker out over the plate, but the Wrigley winds knocked it down to Carlson in center for out number two. Cody Bellinger softly bounced a curveball to Goldschmidt and beat Montgomery in a footrace to first for an infield hit. Trey Mancini followed and drew a two-out walk to put two on. Yan Gomes then followed suit, drawing his own five-pitch walk. Christopher Morel, with the bases loaded and still two away, got frozen by a beauty of a 1-2 fastball that clipped the inside corner for strike three.

3rd Inning

Knizner began the third with a single to Swanson, who made a nice sliding stop but bounced the throw to first where Mancini was unable to corral it. Edman then dropped a sac bunt, moving Knizner to second. Goldschmidt was fooled on a 3-2 fastball that missed its spot badly, but it caught the zone up and away for the third strike anyways. Contreras poked a first-pitch fastball down in the zone the other way, knocking in Knizner to double the Cards’ lead to 2-0. Arenado fell behind 1-2 in the count but worked it back to earn a seven-pitch walk. Carlson then grounded out to short for the final out.

Madrigal put a solid swing on an outside changeup but Nootbaar was positioned perfectly to make the catch. Swanson pulled a low changeup down the left field line, bouncing it into the stands for a ground-rule double. Happ hit a comebacker to Montgomery, who looked Swanson back to second before throwing to first for the second out. Suzuki traded places with Swanson, taking a sinker inside-out down the right field line for an RBI double. Montgomery then hung a 2-0 changeup high in the zone to Wisdom, who lined it into the seats in left-center to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. Bellinger followed the homer with a strikeout, chasing a curveball below the zone.

4th Inning

Yepez led off the fourth with a bloop single into left field. DeJong floated another pitch into shallow right, but Madrigal ranged back and ran it down for the first out of the frame. Nootbaar earned a gutsy eight-pitch walk to bring up Knizner, who flew out to right on the first pitch he saw. Edman, with two on and two away, got jammed by a fastball up and in and popped out to third, stranding both runners.

Mancini drew his second walk of the evening, setting Gomes up to launch a first-pitch four-seamer for a no-doubt home run that stretched the Cubs’ lead to 5-2. Morel got under a sinker, flying it to right for the first out. Madrigal then rolled out to Montgomery for out number two. Swanson swung over the top of a 1-2 curveball, ending the fourth with Montgomery sitting at 76 pitches.

5th Inning

Goldschmidt hit a routine grounder to Swanson, who handled it easily to record the first out of the fifth. Contreras, coming out swinging at the first pitch for the third straight at-bat, eventually struck out swinging under a fastball at the top of the zone. Arenado fouled off four pitches in a nine-pitch at-bat but finally popped an inside slider to Swanson, sitting the Redbirds down in order.

Drew VerHagen started warming up in the bullpen for the Cardinals as Happ began the back half of the frame with a leadoff double. Suzuki tore a bullet into left off a hanging curveball, putting Cubs at the corners with no outs. Wisdom grounded to short as the Cards surrendered a run for the double play. With the Cubs up 6-2, Bellinger then popped out to Goldschmidt, ending the inning.

6th Inning

Carlson popped out to Madrigal to open play in the sixth inning. Yepez kept his bat on his shoulder for five straight pitches, drawing a one-out walk. DeJong got worked inside but turned around on a fastball for a single into left field. Nootbaar came to bat with an aggressive mindset and drilled a 2-2 fastball back up the middle, scoring Yepez who made a perfect slide at home to close the deficit to 6-3. Knizner killed the rally, however, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the sixth.

VerHagen came in to pitch the sixth and surrendered a first-pitch single to Mancini. Gomes overextended on a sweeping curve off the outside corner but managed to drop it into shallow left for a hit. Morel ripped a cutter into the right-center gap, scoring Mancini and putting runners at second and third with no outs.

Madrigal, with the infield in, rolled over on a curveball and DeJong threw it home to get Gomes at the plate for the first out. Swanson, with runners on the corners, continued to punish the Cardinals and doubled home both of them, putting the Cubs ahead 9-3.

Happ followed the double with a popout to shallow left. Suzuki worked the count full before drawing a walk on the tenth pitch of the appearance. Wisdom popped out to Arenado, capping a three-run sixth for the Cubs.

7th Inning

Michael Fulmer entered in the game in the seventh and got Edman with a groundout to second. Goldschmidt tomahawked a high cutter, chopping it to short for the second out. Contreras chased a filthy sweeping curve that dove out of the zone, striking out to end a short top of the seventh.

James Naile replaced VerHagen in the bottom of the inning and retired Bellinger on a groundout to begin the frame. Mancini followed and drew a one-out walk. Gomes hit a grounder to DeJong, who dove to stop it but didn’t have a throw. Morel then singled up the middle, plating Mancini as the Cubs upped their lead to 10-3. Madrigal, with two on and one out, grounded a curveball to Arenado, who stepped on third and threw to first for the 5-3 double play.

8th Inning

Brad Boxberger came in to pitch the eighth and struck out Arenado to open play. Carlson followed with a groundout. Alec Burleson pinch-hit for Yepez and lined out to center, closing another quick inning for the Cardinals.

Brendan Donovan replaced Goldschmidt at first as Burleson stayed in the game in left field. Swanson led off with a groundout to DeJong. Happ followed and slapped a cutter the other way for a hit. Suzuki softly chopped a curveball to DeJong, who flipped to second to get the lead runner. Wisdom extended the inning with a two-out walk, but both runners were left on base as Bellinger tapped out to Knizner in front of the plate.

9th Inning

Keegan Thompson came in to close the game for Chicago and was welcomed with a single from DeJong. Nootbaar followed with a groundout to first that advanced DeJong. Knizner poked a cutter to first for out number two. Edman extended the game with a single, scoring DeJong from third to make it 10-4.

Donovan notched another single, putting runners at the corners for Contreras, who drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases and make the ninth at least a little interesting. Any two-out momentum was cut short, however, as Arenado got jammed by an inside cutter, popping out to second to end the game in a 10-4 loss for the Cards.

St. Louis drops to 13-25 on the season after the loss but is in commiserating company as the entire NL Cental continues to struggle. The Redbirds have a day off Thursday before starting a three-game series in Boston on Friday. Adam Wainwright is slated to face off against James Paxton in the first game, which is scheduled to begin at 6:10 PM CT.