It appeared that it was going to be another rough game for the Cubs Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. Then Chicago did something they had not done since Jimmy Carter was President, stunning the Cardinals with a six-run 9th inning rally.
Dylan Carlson got to Cubs starter Trevor Williams in the 3rd inning with an RBI single. St. Louis took the game over in the 4th when Nolan Arenado homered to open the frame. The Cardinals also got run-scoring hits from Harrison Bader and the pitcher Oviedo.
Tommy Edman and Jose Rondon hit back to back home runs off of Rex Brothers in the 6th to expand the lead to 6-1. That looked like it would be plenty for a Cardinals victory, but then things got interesting.
Luis Garcia took the mound for St. Louis in the top of the 9th inning and struck out Patrick Wisdom, but the ball got away from Yadier Molina allowing Wisdom reached base. An infield hit and a walk loaded the bases and closer Alex Reyes came on to try and nail down the win.
Sergio Alcantara and Anthony Rizzo each drew walks to force in runs and cut the lead to 6-3. Javy Báez followed with a single up the middle to score two more runs and suddenly the advantage was only one.
Ian Happ, in for an injured Kris Bryant, was the unlikeliest of heroes with a two-run double to give the Cubs the lead 7-6. Craig Kimbrel continued to increase his trade value with a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to close out the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
They did not quit even when down by five in the final inning. Hat tip to the Cardinals’ bullpen for the major meltdown.
Nico beat out an infield hit after Wisdom reached on a dropped strike three. That was a big moment to turn what might have been a mere tease rally into the game-winning outburst we saw.
Stats That Matter
- Trevor Williams had a typical lackluster start on Tuesday: 5 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 3 K, and 1 BB.
- Bryant left the game with hamstring fatigue, which obviously could be a big development right before the trade deadline.
- It was nice to see Happ come through in a big situation and hopefully it’s the start of improved results at the plate for him.
The last time the Cubs came back from more than five runs down in the 9th inning was in April 1979. That alone makes this quite a game, even if it won’t have much impact on the standings.
Game three of the series is Wednesday night at 7:15pm CT. Adam Wainwright takes on Kyle Hendricks in a game airing on ESPN, Marquee, and 670 The Score. You can check out a free trial of fuboTV to get Marquee without a cumbersome cable package.