Kyle Hendricks Silences Cardinals Bats, Cubs Salvage Sweep with 5-2 Win
John Gant toed the rubber seeking the second Cardinals sweep of the Cubs this year, but Gant never had his best stuff, forcing him to toss only 4.1 innings.
The Cubs would get on the board first, as Ben Zobrist would hit a solo HR after Rizzo flew out to Dex to begin the night after an hour and eighteen minute rain delay. Gant recovered, getting J-Hey and Báez to groundout to end the inning on 10 pitches.
Kyle Hendricks ran into early trouble, giving up the early Cubs lead on a Swags 2-run bomb to LF. Swags second HR in consecutive games, a beautiful sight for the eyeballs. Yadi got the ball rolling with a double into the LF corner. After DeJong flew out to Schwarber, Swags would deliver the 2-run shot.
Gant recorded his first strikeout of the night opening the 2nd inning, getting Contreras swinging at the vulcan-change. Gant lost command of the zone, walking the next two batters (Schwarber & Russell), not getting any help from home plate umpire, Vic Carapazza. Gant would get his counterpart, Hendricks, to strikeout on a foul bunt attempt, bringing in Bote. Bote would ground out to Carp to end the inning with no damage.
Yairo Muñoz would collect the final Cardinals hit until the 8th inning, with a one-out double into the LF corner in the 2nd inning. Muñoz would be stranded at third base after Carp got rung up on a questionable strike three call.
Anthony Rizzo led off the top of the 3rd with a HR to CF, hitting a Gant curveball, sneaking it over the glove of Tommy Pham, who was inches away from robbing Rizzo. Zobrist then singled to CF before Heyward would fly out to Pham.
Gant would end the inning getting Báez this ground into a 6-4-3 double-play. Gant followed his, 8-pitch, 3rd inning with another 8-pitch inning, retiring the side in order. Gant would strikeout Contreras on a two-seamer, his third strikeout of the night.
The Cubs would break things open in the 5th, scoring three runs to grab the lead at 5-2. Gant opened the inning with his fourth punch out, getting Hendricks for the second time, this time on a fastball. Bote followed that with an infield single, drawing the end of the line for Gant. Austin Gomber would come in to relieve the Cardinals starter.
Yairo Muñoz would make a dazzling play on Rizzo, robbing him of a base-hit up the middle, for the 4-6 fielder’s choice. Ben Zobrist (4-5, triple away from the cycle) kept his bat hot, drilling a double into LF to put runners in scoring position for J-Hey. After making the play of the night, Muñoz would make the worst play of the night, committing an error on a routine, slowly, hit ground ball, Rizzo scoring to make it 3-2. Javy Báez would make the error hurt, connecting for a 2-run double into LF, making it 5-2 Cubs.
John Brebbia and Tyler Webb would combine to throw the last 4 inning for the Cardinals bullpen, allowing no runs on 4 hits, while picking up 3 strikeouts. Brebbia came in throwing gas, tossing 30 pitches over the 6th and 7th innings. Brebbia would pick up two strikeouts during his outing, both coming on the four-seam fastball, which was topping out at 96 mph tonight. Tyler Webb would make his Cardinals debut this evening, tossing two scoreless innings himself. The most impressive thing Webb did tonight was not allowing a leadoff double to score. In the top of the 9th, Bote would open the inning up with a double to LF. Bote would move up to third on a Rizzo ground out to the right-side of the infield. Webb then picked up his first strikeout in a Redbirds uniform, striking out the red-hot, Ben Zobrist, on a changeup.
The Cardinals would put together one last push in the bottom of the 8th, getting a leadoff walk from Yairo Muñoz. With Cafecíto pinch-hitting, J-Hey would rob him of a base-hit to bring in Carp. Carp would swing at the first offering from Edwards Jr., knocking a single into RF, putting runners on the corners. Edwards would get Yadi to fly out to deep RF, and Muñoz wouldn’t even think about testing the arm of Heyward on the play. Edwards would pick up a strikeout of DeJong after being down 2-0 in the count. DeJong would get two fastballs to handle, and then swing at the fastball in the left-handed batters box.
Pedro Strop closed the door for his 5th save, as the Cardinals dropped the chance of their second sweep of the Cubs, 5-2.
The Cardinals (53-52) welcome the Rockies (57-47) to Busch Stadium for a four-game set starting tomorrow night. Carlos Martínez (6-6, 3.39) is set to come off the DL tomorrow (right oblique) as he will be matched up against a lefty, Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.57). First pitch 7:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 105 is in the books