The Cubs came into Sunday attempting to pull off a surprising series win against the Cardinals. After a not very promising beginning Chicago was able to fight back and take a late win.
St. Louis jumped on spot starter Alec Mills immediately with single runs in the 1st and 2nd innings. The bespectacled Cubs hurler had his day ended the following frame when Brendan Donovan, Paul Goldschmidt, and Juan Yepez hit solo homers to put the home team up 5-0.
The Cardinals had their own misfortune when starter Jack Flaherty had to leave with a shoulder injury after just two innings. Chicago staged a furious rally in the top of the 4th to get back into the game. Nick Wittgren allowed four consecutive singles including a run-scoring knock by Alfonso Rivas.
Johan Oviedo took over and gave up a two-run double to Rafael Ortega. Then Willson Contreras, who has struggled with runners in scoring position this year, singled home a pair to tie the score at five.
Both bullpens settled down nicely and the contest stayed deadlocked into extra innings. Contreras drove in the ghost runner in the 10th but a bases-loaded double play prevented any insurance runs. Luckily, it did not come back to haunt the Cubs as David Robertson closed out the one-run victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The bullpen was outstanding after the short start by Mills, keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard the rest of the game.
Eye on the Future
Nico Hoerner had two more hits and even his outs were hit very hard. Rivas also looked very good at the plate and has been impressive since being recalled from AAA.
Stats That Matter
- Matt Swarmer had 2.1 scoreless innings out of the ‘pen and was pretty comfortable in relief striking out 4 hitters.
- David Bote singled and walked twice for a productive day in his second start.
- If Contreras can start consistently hitting with runners in scoring position he could really have a huge year.
This was a rare comeback win for the Cubs and also a rare one-run triumph. While Chicago is undoubtedly a bad team they have had a fair amount of bad luck as well. So they may be due a few more wins like Sunday. The other good news is the Cardinals dropped an embarrassing series to a bad team.
After a day off on Monday the Cubs return to Wrigley for three games with the Cincinnati Reds starting Tuesday at 7:05pm CT. Keegan Thompson (7-2, 3.10 ERA) takes the hill against Luis Castillo (2-4, 3.71 ERA) with the broadcast available on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.