The Cubs had a chance to take a 2-1 series lead today in this rare five-game series against the Cardinals. They jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd inning. After loading the bases with no outs, Christopher Morel hit a ground ball to Nolan Arenado who quickly tagged third base for the force out and then proceeded to airmail the throw to first. That allowed a run to score before the Cardinals could get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, the Cubs would score again off a mammoth solo home run by Frank Schwindel, his 8th of the year. Nico Hoerner then singled, stole second, and scored on a double by Rafael Ortega. The Cubs would add three more runs, two in the 6th and one in the 8th. They finished with 13 hits, including 10 singles.
Matt Swarmer was cruising along through the first five innings, allowing just one hit, a double to Juan Yepez. Tommy Edman then homered in the top of the 6th inning to break the seal for the Cardinals, scoring their lone run.
The Cubs’ bullpen was stellar again as they cruised to the easy win. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs
Swarmer was very good, once again, and the bullpen was also on point. The Cubs bats have come to life lately, and today was no exception. Solid pitching with lots of hits is always a winning combination.
The Cardinals had the tying run on third base with two out in the top of the 5th. Andrew Knizner hit a line drive over Schwindel, who made an acrobatic overhead catch to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Schwindel hammered a solo home run that would turn out to be the winning run for the Cubs.
Stats that Matter
- Swarmer had an excellent day: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K
- The bullpen combination of Brandon Hughes, Scott Effross, and Rowan Wick was extremely effective: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
- Morel had the first three-hit game of his young career: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2B
- Schwindel is playing well as the weather warms up: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, HR
The Cubs win the first game of the doubleheader. With a win tonight they could not only sweep the double-dip but would also be assured of a series win.
The Cubs and Cardinals play game two of the doubleheader at 6:15pm CT. Caleb Kilian will make his much anticipated MLB debut against a to-be-named Cardinals pitcher. The game will be broadcast on FOX and 670 The Score.