Weaver & Co. Shutdown Baby Bears in Game-One, DeJong Drives in three, as Cardinals down the Cubs 5-2
This is the biggest weekend of the season up to this point, coming in 9 games back of the first place leading Cubs and 4.5 games back of that, wonderful, second wildcard spot. John Mozeliak made a flurry of roster shakeups before tonight’s first pitch was thrown, all taking place in the dreadful Cardinals bullpen.
Sam Tuivailala was traded to SEA for their #10 prospect, relief pitcher, Seth Elledge. When you get the time, look up his numbers, this seems like a steal for the Cardinals moving forward, another reliever that can make a quick rise through the farm, he will start his Cardinals career in AA Springfield.
Tyler Lyons and Greg Holland were DFA’d, clearing two 40-man roster spots, and Brett Cecil was placed on the DL (right foot inflammation).
To fill the four roster spots, the Cardinals would promote Dakota Hudson, and recall Poncedeleon, Webb, and tonight’s starter, Luke Weaver.
Luke Weaver was fantastic tonight, controlling the zone with his entire repertoire. Weaver would throw 41 pitches through his first 3 innings, picking up his first two strikeouts in the top of the 2nd. Weaver’s first strikeout would come on Babe Ruth, who would go down swinging at a high curveball. Weaves second strikeout ended the 2nd inning, as he got his counterpart, Mike Montgomery, looking at a low fastball.
Weaver’s only mistake came after a quick first out to start the top of the 3rd. Anthony Rizzo would tuck a solo HR around the RF foul-pole, connecting on a fastball that didn’t get in on the hands far enough to make it 1-0 Cubbies.
The Cards would try and string together some early runs, but had two rally killing efforts in the first two innings. Yadi and DeJong (my pick to click tonight) would hit back-to-back singles after Carp flew out to begin the night. Montgomery would then get Cafecíto to smoke a grounder to Zobrist, who would turn the 4-6-3 double-play.
Swags, the singles machine, and Mr. Steal Yo Girl, Tommy Pham, would reach base to start the 2nd inning. We all know Swags singled and Pham would be hit on his back foot by breaking ball with a little too much break. Dex, batting from the right-side, would line out to Happ down at the hot corner, Happ would throw the ball into RF trying to double off Swags at second, allowing Swags and Pham to move forward 90 feet. Montgomery would escape the inning without any damage, getting Muñoz to strikeout and Weaver to ground out to end the threat.
The Cardinals would take the lead after Rizzo gave the Cubs the early one run lead. With one out, Yadi (3-4) would double down the LF line to bring up Pauly D. Pauly would deliver with an RBI triple to RF, as J-Hey would get credit with the assist. Cafecíto, in his new cleanup spot, would make the most of the opportunity, connecting for an RBI single to RF, making it 2-1 Cardinals. The singles machine would keep the inning rolling, but Pham would ground into a 6-4-3 double-play, and to make it even worse on a 3-0 count.
Weaver would add two more strikeouts to his line in the 4th, getting Babe Ruth for the second time, this one on a changeup in the dirt. With two outs and runners on the corners, Montgomery would come to the dish, making me love Maddon’s decision to bat the pitcher eighth. Weaver would get Montgomery looking at a heater for the second time, ending the inning.
The Cardinals would break things open in the bottom half of the 4th, plating three runs. Dex (who’s swing from the right-side looks better than ever) and Muñoz would open up with back-to-back singles. Dex would go from first to third on Yairo’s base-hit. With Weaver at the plate, the Cardinals would try a safety squeeze but Dex would hesitate, costing him to be thrown out at home, 1-2 on the putout.
After Carp flew out to Almora for the second out, Yadi, who is always clutch, would hit his second double, this one driving in Yairo. Pauly D continued to make me look like the genius I am not by hitting a two-run single up the middle, bringing in Weaver and Yadi to extend the lead to 5-1.
Weaver worked his fastest inning in the 5th, tossing only 10 pitches to bring his game total to 64. Rizzo would rope a single down the RF line, but the ricochet went right to Dex, who would toast Rizzo at second base. Javy Báez would make it a 5-2 game with one out in the 6th, crushing a hanging curve from Weaver to LCF for a solo HR. Zobrist followed with a double to RF, but Weaver locked back in getting Babe to ground out to DeJong and Happ to strikeout on the changeup.
Weaver’s final line: (6IP, 8 hits, 2r/2er, 0 bb, 5 k’s, 81 pitches)
Both bullpens would toss three scoreless/hitless innings after their starters were relieved. Mayers, Hicks, and Norris would each toss an inning. Mayers would throw a 10-pitch 7th, picking up his third hold of the season. Hicks would toss the 8th, absolutely obliterating Almora’s bat on a sinker in on the hands for the first out. Hicks then picked up a strikeout on J-Hey getting him to fan at the blazing sinker. Hicks inning ended on his 9th pitch, getting Báez to ground out to DeJong for his 14th hold of the season.
Bud Norris would shut the door in the 9th, picking up two strikeouts on 13 pitches to end the game. Norris fanned Zobrist on the cutter to begin the inning. Ian Happ would strikeout looking on a fastball to end the night, 5-2, with Norris securing his 20th save of 2018.
The Lizard King, Miles Mikolas (10-3, 2.82), gets the ball in game-two for the Birds, as he is tasked with facing the left-handed, José Quintana (9-6, 3.87). First pitch this afternoon at 3:05 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 103 is in the books