Cardinals Strike for Six-run 1st Inning, Route the Cubbies 6-2 Behind a Swags Grand Salami
The Lizard King would take the ball to get things rolling in game-two, and for the second consecutive game, the Cardinals starting pitcher would throw 6 innings, while the bullpen would work a perfect final 3 frames. Mikolas started his afternoon with two quick groundouts before walking J-Hey to bring up Javy Báez. Báez would ground out to DeJong to end the inning on 17 pitches.
The Cardinals would make José Quintana work in his first inning of work. The lefty wouldn’t record an out until his 44th pitch, the first five Cardinals would reach base, and Quintana would run the count full to six batters in the inning. Carp, leadoff guy, bunted for a base-hit vs the shift. Yadi then singled to LF, bringing in Pauly D, who would draw a free pass. Cafecíto, batting cleanup for the second straight day, would also walk, bringing in Carp to make it 1-0 Cards.
Swags then unloaded on a 3-2 curveball from Quintana, golfing it to deep LCF for his second grand salami of the season, extending the first inning lead to 5-0, but they still weren’t finished. Quintana would strikeout Pham for his first out, but then he would immediately walk Fowler. Muñoz would drive an RBI double into the RF corner, scoring Dex to make it 6-0 Cardinals after one inning.
Mikolas would retire the Cubs in order the 2nd and 3rd innings, needing only 21 pitches to do so. Muñoz would take away a base-hit up the middle off the bat of Contreras for the first out of the 2nd. The Lizard King would pick up his first of two strikeouts next, getting Babe Ruth to swing and miss at a slider.
José Quintana, who came into the game (0-34) with a bat in his hands, recorded his first hit of 2018, blooping a base-hit into no man’s land behind first base. Mikolas wasted no time, getting the next man, Bote, to ground into a 6-4-3 double-play.
The Cardinals would try and plate some insurance runs in the bottom of the 2nd, sparking a little two out rally, if you wanna call it that.
Cafecíto would drill a two-out single up the middle, bringing in Swags Ozuna. Ozuna, also a singles machine, would single to RF, and Cafecíto for some reason decided to test the arm of J-Hey, getting cut down at third base trying to go from first to third.
Mikolas would have his only hiccup in the 4th inning, as the Baby Bears made the Lizard King throw 29 pitches. Carp would make a fantastic play opening the inning, getting Almora, trying to bunt for a single, on a nifty play for the first out.
J-Hey then hit an opposite field single, bringing in the always dangerous, Javy Báez. Báez would take a Mikolas offering to the RF corner, barely sneaking it over the wall for a 2-run HR, putting the Cubs on the board 6-2.
Contreras then grounded out to DeJong for the second out. Babe Ruth and Ian Happ kept the inning alive with back-to-back singles. With the pitcher’s spot coming up, Maddon elected to pinch-hit with two runners on, going with Tommy La Stella. La Stella would fly out to Pham to end the threat.
After fighting through the 4th inning, Mikolas would come back with a 6-pitch, 5th inning, making that 4th inning seem not so terrible after all.
Rizzo would reach on a, one-out, infield single. Mikolas then induced his second double-play of his afternoon, getting Almora to ground into a 4-6-3 twin killing.
Swags (3-4) picked up his third hit of the day with another single into RF. This was Swags first three-hit game since 06/05 vs MIA. Since Mike Shildt moved him to the 5-spot in the order, I know small sample size, he is (5-8).
Mikolas ended his afternoon retiring the side in order in the 6th, picking up his second and final strikeout of the day on Báez, getting him to offer at a slider.
Lizard King’s final line: (6IP, 6 hits, 2r/2er, 1 bb, 2 k’s, 90 pitches)
The Cardinals bats would go silent the final three innings, getting only one baserunner, Carp reaching on a walk.
The bullpen has been a beautiful thing to watch these past two games, as they would work the final three innings to perfection. Dakota Hudson would make his major league debut, and it was one to remember. Hudson started his career with back-to-back strikeouts on left-handed batters (Babe Ruth & Ian Happ), something he’s had trouble doing in Memphis this season. Hudson got both strikeouts on wonderful sliders, diving down and in on the hands of the lefties. Victor Caratini would pinch-hit for Chavez, grounding out to Carp to end the inning. Good work, Mr. Hudson.
The young gun, Jordan Hicks, would work the 8th inning, continuing to do Jordan Hicks things. After allowing a leadoff walk to Bote, Rizzo would fly out to Swags. Hicks then induced the third double-play of the day for the Cardinals, getting Almora to ground into his second double-play, 6-4-3.
Bud Norris would throw the 9th inning with a 4 run lead. Norris would strikeout J-Hey on a cutter for the first out, then get Báez to pop out to Carp in foul territory. Contreras kept the Cubs alive with a single into LF. Norris sealed the victory getting Babe Ruth to fly out to Pham for the 6-2 win. Winning back-to-back games is fun, especially against the Cubbies.
John Gant (3-3, 3.44) will look to complete the sweep of the Cubs tonight as he faces off against, Kyle Hendricks (6-9, 4.05). First pitch 7:05 c/t, yay for Sunday Night Baseball (sarcasm).
Last night, the Cardinals traded Luke Voit and international pool money to the Yankees for relief pitchers, Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 104 is in the books