5 hours and 45 minutes (59 minutes due to rain delay, twice) after first pitch, 445 pitches later, Dexter Fowler would send Cardinals fans home happy in the 14th with a 2-run walk-off bomb. But before we get to that, let’s talk about how we got to the 14th inning.
The first six innings was when, pretty much, all the action occurred leading up to extra innings.
Michael Wacha and Jon Lester would both last 5.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs (Wacha had one unearned run) a piece.
Willson Contreras, batting leadoff, would start the game off with a single to CF.
Contreras found himself advancing to third base on a Jedd Gyorko throwing error, trying to get Kyle Schwarber out.
Wacha would get his first of five strikeouts facing Bryant, bringing in the cold, Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo would make it 1-0 Cubs after half an inning on a sac-fly to CF, scoring Contreras.
Wacha would keep Schwarber stranded at third, striking out Addison Russell to end the threat.
The Cardinals would run themselves out of the bottom of the 1st inning, following a leadoff single from The Brah Bader.
Fowler would walk in the next plate appearance, before Bader would be caught stealing third base.
Lester would get out of the inning, escaping damage with a 6-4-3 double-play of Cafecíto.
Wacha wouldn’t give up a hit the next two innings, walking two, striking out one, & inducing one double-play.
Ian Happ would start the inning with a leadoff walk and quickly go back to the dugout on a dazzling double play from Kolten Wong.
Báez smoked a ball to Wong and Wong handled it with the smoothness for the 4-6-3 double play.
Jedd Gyorko made sure the Cubs didn’t have the lead long, mashing a solo HR (shocker, right?) over the LF wall, hitting the advertisements.
Gyorko got a 3-2 fastball up and in and turned his hands on it quickly, making it 1-1.
Kris Bryant got that lead right back, leading off the top of the 4th with a solo HR to the upper deck in LF.
Bryant got a fastball right in his wheelhouse and knew what to do with it, giving the Cubs the lead 2-1.
The Cardinals would squander a great chance in the bottom of the 4th, stranding the bases loaded.
Gyorko would nearly hit his second HR of the game, for a double to LF.
After a DeJong fly out, Wong would rip a single to RF, moving Gyorko up to third.
With 2 outs and the bases loaded, and Wacha on deck, Matheny would stick with his pitcher, who would fly out to Heyward.
Wacha’s Line: (5.1 IP, 6 hits, 2r/1er, 3 bb, 5 k’s)
The Cardinals would tie the game at 2 in the 6th, while also drawing the end of the line for Jon Lester.
Lester would start the inning off striking out Ozuna, for his 4th on the evening.
After giving up a free pass to Gyorko, Maddon would go to his ‘pen and use Steve Cishek.
Cishek entered and immediately struck out DeJong, who also walked three times tonight. (this is becoming a real thing)
Kolten Wong stepped in looking to do damage, keeping his bat hot, lining an RBI-triple (first triple for Cards this year) past a sliding Jason Heyward to tie the game at 2-2.
Okay so this is the point of the game that just kept dragging and dragging and dragging along. Both bullpens would be in complete shutdown mode for multiple innings.
The Cardinals ‘pen wouldn’t give up a hit until the 12th inning, when Mayers would give up a single to Heyward.
Gregerson, Lyons*, Hicks, Holland, and Tuivailala would throw 5.2 scoreless innings, 0 hits, 1 bb, 4 k’s.
The Cardinals first hit since Wong’s RBI triple came in the bottom of the 10th, a Swags infield single.
As the night progressed, both teams benches would be used to completion.
Miles Mikolas would make a pinch-hit appearance in the 14th.
Both teams would combine to throw 13 relievers.
Hicks, Holland, and Tuivailala were the best 3 appearances from the bullpen.
Hicks kept doing Hicks things, getting ground ball after ground ball, retiring the only 3 batters (Bryant, Rizzo, Russell) on 10 pitches.
Holland’s slider has looked its best the past two outings he’s had, Holland would also, work a quick 1-2-3 inning throwing only 8 pitches.
Tui’s appearance was a great thing to see, not only was his fastball around 95-97 mph, he worked multiple innings and seemed to be back to 100% health. If that’s the case, Tui will continue to be a reliable option for Matheny.
Mike Mayers, recalled for Leone (10-day DL), would toss the final 3 innings, eventually earning a win.
Mayers looked to give up the game winning HR in the 14th to Báez.
Báez would unload on the pitch to deep CF, giving the Cubs the 3-2 lead.
But then that walk-off Cardinal magic happened, again.
Lucas Farrell, who gave up the walk-off HR to Wong the day before, would again be victim of a walk-off long ball, this time to Dexter Fowler.
After striking out the first two batters of the inning, Bader would keep the game alive with his second hit of the game, an infield single.
Down to their last strike, Dexter would take a 2-2 fastball to the RF corner, sneaking over Heyward’s glove, bouncing off the top of the wall and into the stands for the walk-off winner.
A SWEEP OF THE CUBS
The Cardinals (20-12) are now (4-3) in extra inning games.
The Redbirds will host the Twins (13-17) for another short, two-game series.
First pitch 7:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Stew // @StewStilez
Game 32 is "in the books"
Gamebook by Stew // @StewStilez