A Stephen Piscotty double and a Matt Holliday RBI single put the Cardinals up by one run in the first inning. The stellar pitching of starter John Lackey (two hits in 7 1/3 innings) kept the Cubs off the board until the Cardinals pulled away in the eighth inning.
With the score still hovering at 1-0 in the eighth, pinch hitter Tommy Pham blasted a solo home run to left field. After Matt Carpenter followed with a walk, Piscotty took a page from fellow rookie Pham’s book and hit a two-run shot to left to put the score at 4-0.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal came in to pitch the ninth, and in typical Rosenthal fashion, created some drama by walking Jorge Soler and giving up a single to Kyle Schwarber. With Adam Wainwright warming up in the pen, Rosenthal struck out Kris Bryant to end the inning and handing the Game 1 victory to the Cardinals.
With the specter of potential Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta looming as Game 3 starter for the Cubs, the Cardinals entered this game hoping to take a 2-0 series lead into Chicago. It didn’t happen, and hopes were dashed in a sea of mental miscues and defensive mistakes.
Starter Jaime Garcia got through the first inning unscathed. A solo home run by Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the first put the Cardinals in the lead, and hopes were high. In the second inning, however, it all came crashing down as the Cardinals came unglued.
A leadoff single by Starlin Castro turned into a botched double play attempt on Austin Jackson’s ground ball to short, when Kolten Wong committed a throwing error to first base. With Jackson advancing to second base on the error, then stealing third on an inobservant Garcia, a sac bunt by the Cubs pitcher sent Garcia into a tailspin of error.
Not taking the easy out at home plate, Garcia threw wildly toward first, allowing a run to score and advancing runners to second and third. A second sac bunt scored run number two and a Dexter Fowler single scored number three. If things weren’t bad enough, they got worse, as Garcia gave up a two-run home run to Jorge Soler to put the Cubs in the lead 5-1.
Garcia, who it was later revealed was suffering from a stomach virus, was replaced for the third inning by potential Game 4 starter Lance Lynn. Lynn pitched one inning and gave up another run to the Cubs. Long man Carlos Villanueva took over in the fourth, followed by Seth Maness, Adam Wainwright and Jonathan Broxton.
The Cardinals attempted a comeback in the fifth inning, with back-to-back solo home runs by Wong and pinch hitter Randal Grichuk. It wasn’t enough. The Cardinals managed only two hits after the fifth, both singles.
Game 3 begins on Monday, Oct. 12 with Michael Wacha going against 22 game winner Jake Arrieta.
The series is tied 1-1.
Hot/Cold players of the week
Hot: Tommy Pham, 1-for-1 1 HR; Stephen Piscotty, 3-for-8 1 HR; Randal Grichuk, 1-for-1 1 HR; Kolten Wong 2-for-6 1 HR; John Lackey, 1-0, 7.1IP 2H 0R 0ER 1BB 5K
The only transactions by the Cardinals this week were paperwork recalls and reassignments of 40-man personnel not placed on the postseason active roster. All regular season active roster players who were not placed on the postseason active roster were temporarily reassigned to the minor leagues.
The Cardinals went with 11 pitchers and 14 position players in the Division Series. Among the veterans left off are Matt Adams, Pete Kozma, Peter Bourjos, Matt Belisle, Steve Cishek and Randy Choate. Full details can be found here.
Yadier Molina (partial tear of left thumb ligament) was placed on the active roster and has started the first two games of the League Division Series.
Adam Wainwright (torn Achilles tendon) was activated from the 60 day DL on Sept. 30. He was placed on the roster and pitched in relief in Game 2 of the LDS.
Jon Jay (wrist tendinitis), Randal Grichuk (right elbow strain), and Matt Holliday (right quad strain) were all placed on the active roster, and have either started or pinch hit in the LDS.
Matt Adams (torn right quad) was not placed on the LDS active roster.
Stephen Piscotty (head contusion) was placed on the active roster and has started both games of the LDS.
The Cardinals are tied with the Cubs 1-1 in the League Division Series. The Cardinals will play Games 3 and 4 in Chicago on Monday, Oct. 12 and Tuesday, Oct. 13. Michael Wacha is scheduled to pitch against Jake Arrieta in Game 3. Lance Lynn is penciled in to pitch Game 4, but other options could be used depending on the outcome of Game 3. The probable pitcher for the Cubs in Game 4 is yet to be announced. Game 5 of the best-of-five series, if necessary, will be played on Thursday, Oct. 15 in St. Louis.
The full National League post-season schedule, with game times and television plans, can be viewed here.
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