With Michael Wacha on the mound for the visitors, the first inning was scoreless on both sides. In the second, however, Wacha gave up a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber. The Cardinals answered back in the fourth inning. Cubs’ starter Jake Arrieta walked Stephen Piscotty and Matt Holliday to begin the inning. A double to left by Jhonny Peralta scored Piscotty to tie the game. A ground out by Tommy Pham brought in Holliday to put the Cardinals up 2-1.
Wacha’s command had been shaky from the start, and it showed in the fifth inning as he gave up a single to Jorge Soler, followed by a two-run home run by Kris Bryant that put the Cubs ahead, 4-2. Wacha was replaced by Kevin Siegrist, who yielded another home run to his first batter faced, Anthony Rizzo.
The Cardinals came back in the sixth and pulled within one run at 5-4. Matt Holliday singled against Arrieta, and Jason Heyward followed with a two-run blast to left center field.
Unfortunately, the Cubs widened their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Seth Maness began by allowing a single to Chris Coghlan. After Dexter Fowler moved Coghlan to second with a sac bunt, Maness was replaced by Adam Wainwright in a double switch that included Randal Grichuk in center field. With one on and one out, Wainwright served up a home run ball to Soler to make the score 7-4 Cubs. Chicago added its final tally in the eighth inning on a Dexter Fowler solo home run off reliever Jonathan Broxton.
The Cardinals attempted a comeback in the ninth. Grichuk had an infield single to short before Piscotty hit a two-run shot to right field to bring the score to 8-6. The rally fizzled when Holliday grounded out to short to end the inning and the game.
In a win or go home situation for the Cardinals, John Lackey made the start on three day’s rest.
The game started well enough, as a Matt Carpenter leadoff single in the first followed by a Stephen Piscotty home run to center put the Cardinals in the lead 2-0. Lackey followed on the mound in the bottom frame of the first with three quick outs.
The unraveling began in the second inning. Lackey gave up a leadoff single to Anthony Rizzo, then Rizzo was erased in a force out at second on a ground ball by Starlin Castro. Kyle Schwarber singled, followed by an RBI single by pitcher Jason Hammel to score Castro. Javier Baez then hit a three run home run to right field to put the Cubs in the lead 4-2.
Lackey was removed in the bottom of the fourth inning and replaced by Adam Wainwright. Wainwright pitched two scoreless innings. In the top of the sixth, the Cardinals added two runs to tie the game. Jason Heyward singled to center off Cubs pitcher Trevor Cahill to lead off the inning. Jhonny Peralta followed with another single. After Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong each struck out, Tony Cruz, starting for the injured Yadier Molina, doubled to right field, scoring Heyward. Brandon Moss, pinch hitting for Wainwright, singled to right to score Peralta, with Cruz thrown out at home plate attempting to score.
The Cubs came right back in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Rizzo off Kevin Siegrist. In the seventh, with Siegrist still on the mound, a solo home run by Schwarber increased the Cubs’ lead to 6-4.
The Cardinals were unable to rally in the remaining two innings, thus ending their season in a third consecutive loss to the Cubs.
The Cubs took the series 3-1, moving on to the NLCS against the New York Mets and ending the Cardinals’ season.
Hot/Cold players in the NLDS
Hot: Stephen Piscotty, 6-for-16 with three HRs, six RBI; Jason Heyward, 5-for-14, one HR, two RBI; Adam Wainwright, 5.1 IP 3H 1R 1ER 0BB 6K, ERA 1.69
Cold: Matt Holliday, 2-for-16; Kolten Wong, 2-for-14; Jhonny Peralta, 2-for-14; Michael Wacha, 4.1 IP 6H 4R/ER 3BB 5K ERA 8.31
Yadier Molina (partial tear of left thumb ligament) had surgery on Thursday, Oct. 15. Molina is expected to rehab for 8-12 weeks.
Carlos Martinez (right shoulder tightness) will relocate to Jupiter, Florida for the offseason to rehab his injured shoulder. No surgery is planned.
Matt Belisle is scheduled for surgery to remove bone chips from his right (throwing) elbow.
The Cardinals reactivated all 40-man roster personnel who were temporarily reassigned to the minor leagues for the postseason.
Free agents to be
Six Cardinals will become free agents following the completion of the World Series: relievers Matt Belisle, Randy Choate and Carlos Villanueva, starting pitcher John Lackey, first baseman Mark Reynolds and outfielder Jason Heyward.
Matt Slater, Cardinals director of player personnel, interviewed for the open general manager job with the Philadelphia Phillies last week, according to MLB.com. The replacement for fired Ruben Amaro Jr. will report to new team president Andy MacPhail.
In a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 15, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced the following:
All coaches will be offered contracts for 2016.
Mozeliak will meet with the agent for Heyward next week to determine what the outfielder is looking for from free agency and begin a dialogue that will lead to future negotiations.
No decision has been made on Jaime Garcia’s option for 2016.
The Cardinals have interest in bringing back arbitration-eligible first baseman-outfielder Brandon Moss.
There doesn’t appear to be a role for reserve outfielder Peter Bourjos in 2016.
The Cardinals will look externally for a backup middle infielder for 2016.
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