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Cards’ winning streak reaches six games following 7-2 shellacking of Cubs

I refuse to be pulled back in by this silly baseball team.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Isn’t it funny how as soon as the Cardinals’ front office finally broke down and waved the white flag on the season, the team began playing its best baseball of the year? St. Louis entered tonight’s game against the Cubs in the middle of the longest active winning streak in the National League — five games.

Some people view this series as an inflection point — if the Cardinals win it, maybe they can make a little run at the division. But others have seen enough, and know that this team simply is not built well enough to win the number of games down the stretch needed to sneak into the playoffs, regardless of how well the Cardinals play at Wrigley this weekend.

I guess we’ll see!

Tonight’s lineups for the Cardinals and Cubs:


  1. Lars Nootbaar, CF
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
  3. Nolan Gorman, 2B
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  5. Willson Contreras, C
  6. Alec Burleson, 1B
  7. Tyler O’Neill, LF
  8. Jordan Walker, RF
  9. Paul DeJong, SS

Steven Matz - SP


  1. Nico Hoerner, SS
  2. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Cody Bellinger, CF
  5. Yan Gomes, C
  6. Christopher Morel, 2B
  7. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  8. Trey Mancini, 1B
  9. Miguel Amaya, DH

Marcus Stroman - SP

St. Louis did, in fact, extend their season-long winning streak tonight. With a convincing win over the Cubbies, the Cardinals have now won six in a row, and are nine games under .500. The last time St. Louis was that close to .500 was way back on June 7.

Jordan Walker and Paul DeJong both went deep, Tyler O’Neill reached base thrice in his return, and Steven Matz earned his first win of the year.

All in all, pretty good. Here’s how it went down:

1st Inning

St. Louis jumped ahead in the first inning for the second straight game, although (unlike Sandy Alcantara) it wasn’t really the fault of Stroman. He struck out Nootbaar to start the game, and then faced Goldschmidt. The reigning MVP hit a high chopper over the mound that would have been a tough play, but Morel wasn’t able to squeeze it in his glove, and it went for an infield single.

Nolan Gorman lined out to third for the second out of the inning, and Arenado shit what should have been an inning-ending ground ball to third base. However, it ate up Patrick Wisdom and rolled into left field, allowing Goldschmidt to advance to third. Wisdom was charged with an error.

That mistake came back to bite the Cubs, because Willson Contreras rifled Stroman’s 1-1 slider into the left field corner for an RBI double, scoring Goldschmidt and putting St. Louis up 1-0. His double jumped off the bat at 114 mph, which I’d be willing to bet is his hardest hit ball of the season.

Arenado held at third, putting two runners in scoring position for Alec Burleson. Burleson hit Stroman’s 2-1 slider to the right side, and looked destined to be a two-run single. But Morel made up for his earlier gaffe by diving out for it, before throwing out Burleson at first to save two runs.

An easy 1-2-3 inning for Matz to start the game. Hoerner flew out to left field, Suzuki flew out to center, and Happ grounded out to second base.

2nd Inning

In his first at-bat since early May, O’Neill worked a leadoff walk against Stroman. Jordan Walkr struck out on three pitches for the first out, and then Patrick Wisdom goofed up once again.

DeJong hit a routine ground ball to third base that should’ve been an inning-ending double play, but Wisdom’s throw to second base sailed well over the head of Morel at second and into right field, allowing O’Neill to round and get to third base with one out. DeJong stayed at first, reaching on Wisdom’s second error of the game.

Lars Nootbaar drew a walk to load the bases with one out, but Goldschmidt grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

After allowing a leadoff single to Bellinger, Matz struck out Gomes, Morel, and Wisdom to end the second inning.

3rd Inning

Stroman couldn’t find the zone against Gorman, walking the Cardinals’ second baseman on four pitches to start the inning. The “all leadoff walks score” adage was proven false this time around, and Arenado struck out, Contreras grounded out, and Burleson flew out to left to send this game to the bottom of the third.

Matz put up another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the frame, starting with a strikeout of Mancini — his fourth consecutive strikeout. He then got Amaya to pop out and Hoerner to ground out to end the inning.

4th Inning

O’Neill led off the fourth with a bloop double down the right field line — his first extra base hit since April 25. Stroman got ahead of Jordan Walker 0-2, but then hung a slider over the middle of the plate, and the Cardinals’ budding star pulled it just over the basket in left field and into the bleachers for a two-run homer. Walker’s 398-foot homer made it 3-0 St. Louis.

DeJong flew out to right field for the first out of the inning, but Nootbaar continued the onslaught with a 105 mph single into right field. Goldschmidt followed with a ground ball into the 5.5-hole, and despite making a diving play on the ball, Wisdom was unable to pop off and get off a throw — it was ruled a base hit for Goldschmidt.

After a 10-pitch battle with Stroman, Gorman eventually struck out swinging at a 3-2 slider at the knees. But Arenado picked him up with a two-out, two-run double off the ivy in right-center field to make it 5-0 Cardinals in the fourth.

After the double, Stroman walked Contreras on four pitches and that was it for him. David Ross went and got the All-Star righty, and brought in right-hander Michael Rucker. Burleson swung at the first pitch he saw from the reliever and flew out to center field.

Matz returned for the fourth, and Suzuki hit a high popup behind second base. Nolan Gorman lost it in the lights, and the ball harmlessly plopped down in the grass next to him in shallow right field. Suzuki hustled around the bases and turned it into a 168-foot double.

Ian Happ flew out to shallow right for the first out, Bellinger grounded out for the second out, but Yan Gomes came through with a bloop hit to right field to score Suzuki and get the Cubs on the board. Jordan Walker charged it and dove for the ball, but he missed and it rolled down into the corner for a two-out triple.

Matz walked Morel with two outs, but got Wisdom to fly out to center field to end the inning with the Cardinals up, 5-1.

Stroman’s final line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 4 BB, 4 K’s (99 pitches)

5th Inning

Rucker came back out for the fifth. O’Neill grounded out for the first out — the first time in the game he didn’t reach base to lead off an inning. Walker singled to center field with one out, and Paul DeJong followed him with a two-run homer to right field that the wind jusssst carried into the basket — his 13th of the season.

Nootbaar flew out to left field for the second out, and Goldschmidt flew out to center.

Matz needed one more inning to qualify for his first win of the year, so he came back out for the fifth and put up another scoreless frame with two strikeouts. He struck out Mancini and Amaya, and Hoerner grounded out to third to officially qualify Matz for a win.

Matz’s final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s (97 pitches)

6th Inning

Javier Assad, a right-handed native of Mexico, pitched the sixth for the Cubs. He struck out both Nolans, and then got Contreras to ground out to first base to send it to the bottom of the sixth.

Andre Pallante relieved Matz in the sixth, and threw eight pitches to get groundouts from the middle of the Cubs’ order — Suzuki, Happ, and Bellinger.

7th Inning

Burleson jumped on Assad’s first pitch curveball and yanked it down the first base line for a leadoff double. O’Neill followed and worked the count full before drawing a walk — his second walk of the game and his first game with multiple walks since April 18.

Jordan Walker grounded into a 6-4-3 double play started by Hoerner at short for two outs, and DeJong struck out to retire the side.

26-year old rookie right-hander Kyle Leahy replaced Pallante in the seventh, and it got scary quickly. Gomes saw him first and hit a deep fly ball to right field that Nootbaar assumed had gone over the ivy for a homer, but it actually bounced off the wall behind him and rolled towards right field. Nootbaar was looking into the stands thinking the ball was gone, while Walker raced across the field to get the ball back into the infield. It went as a triple for Gomes — his second of the game.

Christopher Morel’s RBI groundout to short made it 7-2. Then, Leahy’s 97 mph 1-2 fastball missed badly and hit Patrick Wisdom in the head. He was able to remain in the game and take his base after passing tests given by the Cubs’ training staff.

The Cardinals suspect defense reared its head again in the seventh, as Trey Mancini’s high popup in shallow right field fell after Nootbaar and Gorman failed to communicate. However, Nootbaar was able to pick the ball up and throw Wisdom out at second, so technically it would go as a 9-6 fielder’s choice groundout?

Leahy walked Amaya and Hoerner back-to-back to load the bases with two outs, and nearly hit each of them at some point during their at-bats. Marmol had seen enough of his pitcher and his 5.40 WHIP, and yanked him in favor of JoJo Romero. Suzuki hit a fly ball to left field that O’Neill caught, ending the inning.

8th Inning

Assad kept on trucking right into the eighth inning. He struck out Nootbaar, walked Goldschmidt, and then got Gorman to roll into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, started by Morel at short.

Romero jogged back out for the eighth as well and got Happ and Bellinger to both ground out before Gomes singled to center for his third hit of the ballgame. He then struck out Morel with a changeup at the knees to end the eighth.

9th Inning

Assad came back out for his fourth inning of work in relief, and started by getting Arenado to ground out. He walked Contreras with one out, but Burleson grounded into the Cardinals’ fourth double play of the game to end the top half of the ninth.

Giovanny Gallegos came on to finish the game in the ninth with a five-run lead. He put a little traffic on the bases by allowing a one-out double to Mancini and a walk to Hoerner, but Gio was able to retire Suzuki with an infield popup to end the game.

FINAL: Cardinals 7, Cubs 2

Up Next

The Cardinals (44-53) will run it back tomorrow afternoon at Wrigley against the Cubs (45-51). St. Louis will look to extend its winning streak to a season-high seven games. Jack Flaherty (7-5, 4.29 ERA) will throw for St. Louis, and it could be his final start as a Cardinal with the trade deadline looming. All-Star lefty Justin Steele (9-3, 2.96 ERA) will start for the Cubs.

First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m.

Around the Central

Reds 5, Giants 1

Brewers 4, Phillies 0

Today’s Immaculate Grid

Immaculate Grid #108 - 8/9
Rarity: 401