CI Recap (7/19/18) – Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: To Err Is Cardinal

The Cubs kicked off the second half by facing their bitter rivals from St. Louis at Wrigley on Thursday. The Cardinals jumped ahead early, but defensive miscues helped Chicago pull out their fourth straight win.

Kyle Hendricks again struggled in the 1st inning, this time allowing three singles, including a Marcell Ozuna flare that gave the Cards a 1-0 advantage. Tommy Pham followed up in the 2nd inning with a solo shot to left field to make it 2-0. The Cubs got one back in the 3rd when Jason Heyward singled to left in an inning extended by a Jedd Gyorko error.

The Professor continued to have issues, loading the bases in the 5th on two hits and a walk. Hendricks got the hook after allowing an RBI single to Kolten Wong. Brian Duensing retired Dexter Fowler to limit the damage.

That would prove to be big, as the Cubs exploded for five runs in the bottom of the 5th inning. Anthony Rizzo doubled home Victor Caratini to make it 3-2. Heyward singled home the tying run and a Ben Zobrist sacrifice fly made it 4-3, home team. Ian Happ put the cherry on top of the outburst with a two-run bomb to right making it 6-3.

Matt Carpenter hit a solo dinger to left off of Anthony Bass to make it a 6-4 game in the 6th. Zobrist singled home Heyward in the 7th inning to make it a three-run lead. Steve Cishek got in a jam in the 8th, putting two on with one out. Justin Wilson and Carl Edwards Jr. each recorded an out while the Cardinals managed to push a run across to make it 7-5.

The Cubs got two valuable insurance runs in the 8th on singles by Caratini and Kris Bryant to make it 9-5. Edwards allowed a run to score in the 9th before Pedro Strop entered to save the 9-6 win. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

The Cubs went 8-for-21 with runners in scoring position on Thursday and took advantage of three costly Cardinals errors.

Key Moment

If Fowler had gotten a hit with the bases loaded and two out in the 5th, the game likely would’ve had a different outcome. Duensing got a huge out to keep the game at 3-1 and allow a comeback the next half-inning.

Stats That Matter

  • It was another high-pitch/high-traffic start for Hendricks: 4.2 IP, 3 R, 9 H, 4 K, and 1 BB. He had over 100 pitches by the 5th inning and hasn’t been able to put runners away this season, which leads to short starts.
  • Heyward stayed hot, with three more singles and two RBI. His at-bat in the 3rd was especially good, fouling off pitch after pitch before slapping a single to left.
  • Victor Caratini can flat out hit and he was perfect on Thursday with three hits and a walk. The Victory Carrot is making a case for more run down the stretch.
  • Rizzo may have to become full-time leadoff hitter at this rate. With two more doubles Thursday, he is nearing a .250 batting average again.

Bottom Line

The Cubs are never out of the game this season, and now have a 27-24 record in games in which the opponent scores first. It feels especially good against a desperate Cardinals team that can’t afford to lose.

On Deck

Game two of the series sees Jon Lester face off against Jack Flaherty at 1:20pm CT Friday. MLB Network (out of market) and NBC Sports Chicago air the game.

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