Everything was set up perfectly for the Chicago Cubs (73-43) to blowout the St. Louis Cardinals (62-56) once again. The Cubs were leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, they had the bases loaded with no outs and Hector Rondon was warming up with Aroldis Chapman not far behind. What could possibly go wrong?
The Cubs wouldn’t score even one run that inning. Hector Rondon would come on in the bottom of the eighth – after not pitching since August 2 due to a sore tricep – and things did not go well. Rondon gave up two singles and two home runs before he got pulled from the game but the damage was done and the Cardinals were up 5-3.
The Cubs would get one run back in the bottom of the eighth inning off an Anthony Rizzo home run but that was all they could muster. They end up dropping the finale to the Cardinals by the score of 6-4 (Box Score).
Stats that mattered
- John Lackey pitched a great game and was cruising – 6.2IP, 2R, 4H, 1BB, 5Ks
- Kris Bryant is the engine of this team – 2-for-4, 2R, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo did some damage too – 3-for-4, 1R, 3RBI, HR
- Rondon got lit up – 0.1IP, 4R, 4H, 2HR
This game was so close to the Cubs running away with that it makes it much more difficult to swallow. It didn’t help that John Lackey left the game in the seventh inning with what’s being described as shoulder stiffness. Possibly attributing to his shoulder soreness was the fact that he warmed up in the bullpen towards the end of the Cubs extra inning win on Thursday night.
The upside here is that the Cubs didn’t loss any ground to the second place Cardinals. The downside is that the Cardinals got a little momentum from winning the last two games of this series, something that seemed unlikely after Friday’s 13-2 lashing by the Cubs.
The Cubs will enjoy a day off on Monday and they’ll need it too. They play a day/night doubleheader due to a rain-out from back in April. Nothing like taking an April game and throwing it in the mix in mid-August.
The Cubs will add Trevor Cahill (1-3, 3.07 ERA) to the roster – they get a 26th man due to the doubleheader – who’s been on rehab assignment since July 18 getting stretched for at least one spot start. First game is scheduled at 12:20 PM CT, with the second one kicking off at 7:05 PM. Jason Hammel (12-5, 2.90 ERA) is scheduled to pitch in the second game.