In front of 39,095 paid fans at Wrigley Field, the Cubs dispatched the Cardinals in fine fashion for a second straight day. The home team fell behind early before winning Saturday night’s tilt 7-2.
Cardinals starter John Gant had worked out of trouble all year despite walking a ton of guys and owning peripherals that say he should be much worse than he has been. That sorta caught up to him tonight, as he got behind Cubs’ hitters and then either walked them or gave up tanks.
Willson Contreras got that party started in the 2nd as he walked in front of Ian Happ, who then delivered a center-cut fastball to the bleachers for a 2-1 lead. Gant couldn’t find the zone at all after that, walking Jason Heyward, Sergio Alcántara, and Kyle Hendricks before Kris Bryant walked in a run. Gant was removed from the game and Javier Báez welcomed Jake Woodford with a single to center to score Alcántara. Anthony Rizzo would then finish off the scoring in the inning as he forced in a run after getting hit by a pitch.
Hendricks had all he needed on the mound, giving up only one more run — he gave up a solo home run to Nolan Arenado in the top of the 2nd — on a Paul DeJong solo shot over the next four innings en route to yet another quality start and strong performance.
Alcántara and Joc Pederson added solo shots of their own in the 3rd and 4th innings, respectively, but the Cubs didn’t even need them as Craig Kimbrel quickly shut the door on the Cards after Trevor Megill had walked the bases loaded to make things hairy for a hot second. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
Hendricks was solid yet again, the bats provided several loud noises, and Kimbrel shut things down for his 17th save after a little drama in the 9th.
After Joe Buck had just finished saying, “Gant just doesn’t give up home runs,” Happ launched his eighth bomb of the year to center to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. That sparked a huge five run 2nd inning and a lead the Cubs would not relinquish.
Stats That Matter
- The bullpen threw three more scoreless innings and lowered an already minuscule 2.65 ERA on the year.
- Hendricks is now 7-1 in his last eight starts and has a 3.12 ERA over that span. It was his sixth straight quality start.
- Despite putting up seven runs, the Cubs only had five hits. They also had eight walks and everyone in the lineup got on in some fashion tonight. Three taters help as well.
- Alcántara and Patrick Wisdom both had hits again and both still possess batting averages over .300 and OPS over 1.000. Not bad for guys no one had even heard of before May.
The Cubs stay hot behind the biggest crowd at Wrigley in two years and continue to play well in all phases of the game despite injuries that would have ravaged lesser teams. They go for what would be an oh so sweet sweep tomorrow night.
Zach Davies takes the ball against Carlos Martinez in a Sunday night game at Wrigley Field. Game time is 6:08pm CT and can be seen on ESPN. Just seen. So, you know, Pat and Ron can be heard on 670 The Score.