All good things must come to an end and that was the case for the Cubs’ eight-game winning streak Sunday. Chicago saw their bats go quiet and got shut out by the rival Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis jumped ahead in the bottom of the 1st inning when Lars Nootbaar “doubled” on a ball Christopher Morel misplayed in left, allowing an extra base. Boot base scored when Tyler O’Neill singled off of Kyle Hendricks with two outs.
The Cardinals singled four times against Hendricks in the bottom of the 2nd inning to increase their advantage. Andrew Knizner and Paul Goldschmidt had RBI knocks as the home team went up 3-0. Steven Matz picked up where he left off last week against the Cubs, completely shutting them down.
Hendricks was awesome his last five innings to keep St. Louis off the scoreboard, but he got absolutely no support from his offense. Matz went six strong frames and the normally unreliable Cards bullpen was great despite literally trading two of its better pitchers during the game.
Chicago only got two runners into scoring position the entire game and saw their winning streak snapped. (Box score)
Really not a lot happened in this game, so the two-out hit to give the Cardinals the lead in the 1st inning was all they would need.
Why the Cubs Lost
After being on an absolute tear the last week, the lineup finally went cold and a quality start from their pitcher went for naught.
Stats That Matter
- The Professor bounced back nicely after a shaky first two innings: 7 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 2 K, and 1 BB.
- Yan Gomes was the only Cub to reach base twice and had their only extra-base hit on Sunday.
- Matz has only two victories this season, both against Chicago.
The Cubs have not swept a four-game series in St. Louis since 1911, that’s 112 years to be exact, so this is not an unexpected outcome. The important thing is they got the 5-1 road trip they needed to get back in the race and they are a factor now. They should get a trade reinforcement or two before Tuesday and they will have a big opportunity at Wrigley Field against the team leading their division. They have earned a chance and that is all you could ask for.
The big four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley begins Monday at 7:05pm CT. Marcus Stroman takes the mound against rookie left-hander Andrew Abbott in a game airing on Marquee and 670 The Score.