Waino Out Duels Chatwood, Carpenter Drives In Three, Cards Beat Cubs 5-3
The first meeting of 2018 between the two rivals was everything we had been waiting for. With Monday’s game being postponed due to the weather, both starting pitchers would be pushed back a day.
Adam Wainwright was in wizard like form this evening, hitting corners and keeping hitters honest, mixing speeds and pitches to perfection. Waino would strikeout the side in his first inning of work, overpowering Ian Happ with a sinker up in the zone. Next he would face the dangerous, Kris Bryant. Waino would nibble around the outer-half of the plate and eventually earn a strikeout of Bryant as well. Freshly off the DL, Anthony Rizzo would get his first opportunity off Waino, getting hit in the calf on a 63mph curveball. Apparently Joe Maddon wasn’t too fond of Rizzo getting hit, cc: Cafecíto Martínez. After striking out Contreras looking to end the first, Cafecíto was greeted with chin music up and in, not 63mph chin music, either. Cafecíto would draw a leadoff walk and Molina then followed, doing the same. Chatwood would make sure they would be stranded as he struck out the next three (Garcia, DeJong, Wainwright) Cardinals batters. Chatwood would keep the walks coming, allowing back-to-back walks (Fowler & Pham) to start the 3rd. Carpenter would make the walks hurt, connecting on an RBI double, scoring Fowler to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
Carpenter would attempt a bunt earlier in the at bat before stroking the double to the ivy in RF. That wasn’t the first time we’ve seen Carp fail a bunt attempt this year and then continue to rake. “Swags” Ozuna would hit an RBI groundout to Russell, scoring Pham, making it 2-0 Cardinals after two and a half. Adam Wainwright would continue his wizardry in the bottom of the 3rd, dancing around a bases loaded threat. Waino retired the first two batters he faced and later walk (Bryant & Rizzo) the next two. Waino tried running a pitch to Contreras a little too far inside, hitting his second Cubs batter of the night, loading the bases. Uncle Charlie came out to play for the next batter, Kyle Schwarber. You remember the Carlos Beltran, Uncle Charlie? This one wasn’t *as* good, but it was still sexy, nailing Schwarber looking to strand three runners.
The Cardinals bats were silent the rest of the night until the 8th inning rolled around. The Cardinals would combine for 14 k’s and 10 BB’s. The strikeout rate is still alarmingly high, but the 10 walks is a trend that needs to continue.
Uncle Charlie had his only hiccup come in the bottom of the 4th. With one out and Addison Russell at the dish, Waino would induce Russell to ground the pitch back to the mound, barehanding the ball and throwing it past Cafecíto for a costly throwing error. Ex-Cardinal, Jason Heyward, would drive in Russell with an RBI single to RF, cutting the Cardinals lead in half, 2-1. Chatwood would sac Heyward to second on a bunt and Happ would reach via a walk. Wainwright would force Kris Bryant to hit a sharp ground ball to third base, escaping the inning with no further damage. Wainwright’s night would come to an end after 5 innings, with the win in line. (5 innings, 4 hits, 1 run/0 earned, 4 BB, 5 k’s)
The Cardinals would start the 6th inning looking to add to their slim, 2-1, lead. Molina and Garcia would grab back-to-back singles off another former Cardinal, Steve Cishek. Cishek proceeded to strikeout DeJong looking (third on the night) before walking pinch-hitter, Kolten Wong, to load the bases. Cishek then put Fowler in his back pocket, striking him out. Fowler didn’t look comfortable the entire at bat vs the side-winder. Tommy Pham would test his luck with 2 outs, lining a ground ball to second base for a force out, keeping the game at 2-1.
The Cardinals bullpen would have to complete four innings to earn the win tonight and escape Wrigley with a victory. They did that, but it wasn’t smooth sailing.
Dominic Leone and Jordan Hicks would work the 6th & 7th innings, both quick, 1-2-3 innings. I do want to take a moment and brag on Jordan Hicks for a second. Hicks would get the honor of facing Kris Bryant upon entering the game. His first pitch, an 84mph front door slider, had Bryant’s back foot dancing out of the batters box. Tommy Pham would retire Bryant later in the at bat on a diving catch in the RCF gap.
The bats would add three big insurance runs onto the board with 2 outs in the 8th. Paul DeJong (1-5), who had four strikeouts, delivered the biggest hit of the game, imagine that. DeJong would get a Strop fastball up in the zone on a 1-2 count to his liking, taking it deep to LCF for a solo HR. The next three Cardinals batters (Bader, Fowler, Pham) would all reach base to load them up for Carp.
With Carp looming, Joe Maddon would turn to LHP, Brian Duensing. The move back-fired. Carpenter (2-4) hit the lefty’s pitch into RF for a 2-RBI single, scoring Bader and Fowler.
With a four run lead, Matheny would give Greg Holland his fourth appearance of the season. Holland’s early season struggles continued. Holland would allow a leadoff walk to Schwarber, a 2 run HR to Báez, and a walk to Russell. This forced Matheny to go to lefty, Tyler Lyons, with Heyward coming up. Heyward would pop out to first base and Lyons would get his only man.
Enter Bud Norris. Task at hand? Five out save. Norris would draw the top of the Cubs order (Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras) for the 9th after getting out of the 8th inning jam. That didn’t seem to phase Norris at all. Norris made quick work of Bryant (strikeout) and Rizzo (fly out) before giving up a 2 out single to Contreras. Kyle Schwarber stepped to the plate next, representing the tying run. Bud Norris won the battle, painting a 96mph heater on the inside part of the plate, freezing Schwarber for the 5-3 Cardinal victory. Norris now has (4) saves on the season.
The Cardinals (10-7) look to keep their five-game winning streak intact tomorrow (4/19) afternoon, weather permitting.
Luke Weaver (2-0, 2.08) will go against the southpaw, Jon Lester* (1-0, 4.40). First pitch 1:20pm c/t.