Miles Mikolas would keep his stretch of amazing starts rolling along this afternoon, adding his second 9 strikeout game of the season along the way.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals bats wouldn’t muster up enough run support to qualify him for a win, which is just par for the course at this point.
Adrian Sampson would make the start opposite Mik, and the Cards would get a little two-out, 1st inning, rally cooking against him. Goldy started things off with a single into LF and Arenado would follow with a high fly, shallow, double down the LF line. Happ was playing deep and more shaded to the gap, so he didn’t stand much of a chance. With two runners in scoring position, Brendan Donovan would do Brendan Donovan things. Donovan would flare a soft single over the left-side of the infield to score both runs to make it 2-0 after the 1st.
Mik would enter cruise control mode the next three frames, setting down 10 Cubs in a row after the Contreras double in the 1st, tossing three straight, 1-2-3 innings. Mik had all his stuff working today, specifically the heater and curve, as both pitches accounted for all 9 k’s.
The Cubs would cut the deficit in half in the 5th inning, getting things started with back-to-back singles from Wisdom and Hoerner. After a Gomes fly out to Bader, Rivas would connect with a sac-fly to Bader to score Wisdom to make it a 2-1 game. Velázquez kept the inning alive with an opposite field single to bring up the top of the order in Morel. Mik would blow him away with 94mph heat, the third time he fanned Morel on the afternoon.
Dylan Carlson would add a big insurance run in the 6th, doubling into RF to score Arenado (3/4, 2B) to open the lead back up to two runs, 3-1. But the Cardinals would once again fail to add on with two runners in scoring position and no outs, the second time doing so in two games. Effross would come in for the final two outs, striking out Bader on a high sinker and striking out the pinch-hitter, Nootbaar (hitting for Kiz) on a fastball up. The second time in consecutive games where Noot just looks overmatched in pinch-hit situations, and it almost came back to bite them.
The Cubs would tie the game in the 8th, as Gio was asked to go multiple innings for the second appearance in a row. Gio started the inning with a strikeout of Velázquez on the disappearing slider. Morel then avoided the golden sombrero, singling to CF to bring up Ortega the taco man.
During the at-bat, Gio would balk, putting Morel into scoring position. The entire at bat, Ortega was ON EVERYTHING. You could see it happening a mile away, and sure enough it happened, as Ortega crushed a game tying HR to RF.
This forced Marmol to go with Helsley for another multiple inning outing, too. With Herrera freshly in the game after Noot PH for Kiz the inning before, things got dicey. Helsley would walk Contreras, then with Happ batting would throw a 100+mph fastball past Herrera for a wild pitch. Happ would groundout to Gorman, and Wisdom would come up next and also draw a walk to put runners on the corners with two away. Hoerner, who’s been the Cubs hottest hitter of late, would step to the plate and Helsley would win the battle, striking him out on a slider.
Juan Yepez opened the bottom of the 8th with a one-out double off of Leiter to LF, and Sosa would come in to pinch-run, representing the go-ahead run. Leiter would spike a pitch with Bader batting, and Sosa would advance 90 feet to 3B. Bader was eventually HBP to put runners on the corners for Iván Herrera. What a big moment for the kid, who drove a DEEEP sac-fly to LF for his 1st career rbi, but more importantly the eventual game-winning rbi. Bader would advance to 2B on the play, setting himself up for an insurance run with Edman at the dish.
Edman would deliver, sending an rbi single back up the middle to score Harry to make it a 5-3 game.
Helsley would end it in the 9th, adding his second strikeout with 100mph gas to get Rivas looking on three pitches. After a Velázquez two-out single, Morel would ground into a 5-4 fielder’s choice to end the game, 5-3.
Jack Flaherty (0-0, 7.50) gets the ball in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon, matching up with Alec Mills (0-1, 8.59). First pitch is scheduled for 1:15pm c/t.
Photo taken from todays game courtesy of @mcginnisbc