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As Mozeliak wheels and deals, Cardinals shut out Cubs 3-0 in series finale

The seventh inning of today’s game had a lot of excitement, and none of it had to do with the baseball game that was being played.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs arrived in St. Louis on Thursday sitting one game below .500 and were likely sellers at the deadline. After a big series win this weekend against the Cardinals, Chicago has changed their stance. They will not trade Cody Bellinger, and — although not officially — it’s unlikely they move Marcus Stroman, who has a player option for 2024 and then would be a free agent.

So the Cardinals will not be playing baseball in October, but it seems their laying down for the Cubs this weekend could wind up being the difference in Chicago potentially making a run and earning a postseason appearance when all is said and done.

Here are today’s lineups for the Cubs and Cardinals:


  1. Nico Hoener, 2B
  2. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  3. Cody Bellinger, CF
  4. Yan Gomes, DH
  5. Dansby Swanson, SS
  6. Christopher Morel, LF
  7. Trey Mancini, 1B
  8. Miguel Amaya, C
  9. Nick Madrigal, 3B

Kyle Hendricks, SP

And the Cardinals:

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

Steven Matz - SP

While the real story of the afternoon were the trades swirling about in the seventh inning, the Cardinals did win a baseball game, too. Steven Matz looked good, and Andrew Knizner continued a sizzling July with two hits and just barely missed another homer.

During the game, Jordan Hicks was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Sem Robberse (Toronto’s No. 7 prospect) and RHP Adam Kloffenstein.

Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton were traded to the Texas Rangers for RHP Tekoah Roby (Texas’ No. 11 prospect), infielder Thomas Saggese (Texas’ No. 14 prospect), and LHP John King.

1st Inning

Steven Matz set down all three Cubs he saw in the first — Hoerner popped out, and then both Suzuki and Bellinger grounded out to Arenado at third base.

Lars Nootbaar led off the game with a base hit to left field. Morel misplayed the bounce, and it rolled past him, allowing Nootbaar to move up to second base. It was officially ruled a double for Noot. Goldschmidt grounded out back to Hendricks and Arenado struck out swinging for the first two outs, but O’Neill picked them up with a lin drive base knock to center, scoring Nootbaar and making it 1-0 St. Louis in the first. Burleson grounded out to second base to end the inning.

2nd Inning

Yan Gomes led off the second with a base hit to left. Following a ten-pitch at bat from Swanson that ultimately led to a flyout, Morel reached with a base hit to left as well — putting two on with one out. Those runners didn’t move though, as both Mancini and Amaya flew out for the second and third outs.

Like the Cubs, the Cardinals also put their leadoff man on in the second when Walker stroked a 107 mph single into left to start the bottom of the second. Taylor Motter one-upped him with a 108 mph base hit into center field, with Walker going to third after having stolen second base moments earlier. Knizner kept the hit parade going with an RBI single to left, making it 2-0 St. Louis.

DeJong flew out to shallow le field for the first out of the inning, and Nootbaar grounded into a force out at second base. With two outs, Goldschmidt got jammed with an 0-1 sinker and broke his bat, but was strong enough to muscle it into left field for another run-scoring single, making it 3-0. Arenado grounded out to first base to end the inning.

3rd Inning

It was a 1-2-3 inning on 13 pitches for Matz in the third. Madrigal flew out to center, Hoerner grounded out to second, and Suzuki flew out to left.

After a deep flyout to the warning track by O’Neill, Burleson stepped in and drew a six-pitch walk. Walker then hit into what should’ve been a double play to end the inning, but Hoerner’s throw back to first base sailed wide right of the bag, and Mancini had to come off to grab it — Walker reached. Motter flew out to the warning track in dead center field to end the third inning.

4th Inning

Bellinger led off the fourth inning and flew out to left, right along the third base line. Yan Gomes popped out to first base. Swanson struck out swinging at a high fastball that was 96 mph.

Knizner led off the bottom of the fourth and ripped a rocket line drive off the top of the left field wall that just barely missed being his third homer of the series. Morel played it perfectly off the wall though, and was able to throw Knizner out at second base trying to turn it into a double. After that, DeJong flew out to right field and Nootbaar grounded out to second to take this game to the fifth inning.

5th Inning

Morel kicked off the fifth by striking out hacking at a changeup in the dirt. Mancini popped out to first base for the second out of the inning, but Amaya broke things up with a two-out single to right. Madrigal ended the top of the fifth by grounding out to first base.

Hendricks threw a 1-2-3 fifth. Goldschmidt launched a 380-foot fly ball deep into right-center field, but Bellinger ran it down on the warning track. Arenado flew out to left field in foul territory, with Christopher Morel making the catch and then tumbling into the first row of seats down the left field line, holding his head as he got back up. O’Neill grounded out to third base to end the inning.

6th Inning

Matz came back out for the sixth and put up another zero, not only qualifying for the win, but logging a quality start in the process. Hoerner and Suzuki each grounded out to start the inning, and then Bellinger dug down and golfed an 0-1 changeup from his ankles into center field for a two-out knock. Then, Gomes hit a ground ball down the third base line that Arenado dove out for, and then sat up and threw him out at first from his knee by two steps.

Hendricks also came back out for the sixth, but he gave up a leadoff double by Alec Burleson down into the right field corner. But the Cardinals weren’t able to score him from second despite having no outs. Walker grounded out to second to move Burleson to third. Motter grounded out to second with a pulled-in infield, meaning Burleson had to stay. Knizner accidentally made contact on a check swing, and Amaya jumped on it near home plate and threw Knizner out for a 1-3 groundout.

Matz’s final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (99 pitches)

7th Inning

Giovanny Gallegos entered the game in the top of the seventh. He struck out Swanson and Morel for the first two outs. Mike Tauchman pinch-hit for Mancini and hit a ground ball to th right side of Burleson at first. The thick first baseman dove out and stopped it, and then pivoted and threw to Gallegos covering the bag for the third out.

Hendricks was in a groove now, and was back out there in the seventh. He worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh — DeJong grounded out, Nootbaar struck out, and Goldschmidt grounded out.

Hendricks’ final line: 7 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s (93 pitches)

8th Inning

Gallegos returned to the game for his second inning or work and pitched another perfect inning — Amaya grounded out to third, and both Madrigal and Hoerner flew out to Dylan Carlson (who entered the game as a defensive replacement) in center.

After seven innings, Hendricks was done and right-hander Michael Fulmer became the first (and only) Cubs reliever on the day. Arenado grounded out for the first out, and O’Neill worked a one-out walk. Burleson grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to send this game to the ninth.

9th Inning

With Jordan Hicks having been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays mid-game, it was left-hander JoJo Romero who took the mound in the ninth protecting a 3-0 lead. He struck out Suzuki and got Bellinger to ground out, but Gomes tagged him for a two-out double. Romero struck out Swanson with a 96 mph sinker to end the game.

FINAL: Cardinals 3, Cubs 0

Up Next

After an off-day tomorrow, St. Louis (47-60) will begin a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins (54-53) at Busch Tuesday night. Pablo Lopez (5-6, 4.13 ERA) will start for the Twins. The Cardinals have not announced a starter for Tuesday’s game, due to the starting rotation likely changing after the trade deadline.

First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m.

Around the Central

Pirates 6, Phillies 4

Braves 8, Brewers 6

Reds 4, Dodgers 0 - BOT 2

Today’s Immaculate Grid

Immaculate Grid #119 - 7/9
Rarity - 324