Game 43 Recap: Cubs 3, Cardinals 4
A(nother) tough loss.
W - Rosenthal (2-1), late-inning drama, Cubbery, Cardinals pinch-hitting
L - Warren (3-1), wasting great starts, confidence
Things to Take from This Game
1. Lackey makes it look easy, until...
Lackey worked briskly, threw strikes, and had a good fastball and swing-and-miss slider--he K'd five consecutivey, early in the game. This was the sort of bulldog or workhorse mentality, take your pick, that we were promised with his off-season signing. For the first 6.3 innings it looked like RBI singles by Montero and Rizzo, and an RBI fielder's choice by Russell would hold up. Lackey finished with 4 hits and 1 walk allowed, and 9 strikeouts.
2. ... Adams continues Cards pinch-hit heroics
Take a look at the game graph, which nicely illustrates the late-inning drama. See that jagged move upward? Adams's pinch-hit game-tying home run moved the Cards' Win Expectency from 15.8% to 52%. It was really quite stunning, in the context of how effortlessly Lackey had been cruising along.
3. Grichuk saddles Warren with the loss.
Continuing the theme set by Lackey, Warren looked dominant for his first five batters, only to jar us out of whatever remaining sense of confidence we might have had. He rolled a slider, and the badly slumping Grichuk hit out to right for the game-winning home run.
1. Can we please get back to winning series, now?
2. Which slumping Cubs will step up and help Zobrist (three more hits, tonight) carry the offense?
3. How much longer can your own fragile Cubs-fan Psyche stave off the doubts and worries?
FanGraphs gives the Cubs a 48.7% chance of winning this game. Kelly Crull tells us that Lackey didn't take an early flight to St. Louis, and instead stayed with the team's charter flight. It arrived around 3am this morning. Len tells us that most of the players slept in quite a bit. Heyward exchanges the lineup card, and we're told he might not play this series. Which is far better than the might not play the rest of this year, that I once feared.
Top of 1st
- Wainwright throws a fastball over the middle of the plate to begin the game. Fowler's OBP is the lowest it has been all year. .435.
- Fowler flies into shallow left-center, Grichuk gets it.
- Bryant rolls one to Wong for the second out.
- Zobrist hits one against the shift, bouncing it just to the right of Carpenter at third.
- Rizzo rolls into the shift, Wong picking it up a bit in and toward first from normal second baseman positioning.
Bottom of 1st
- And we're off. Lackey starts Carpenter with a fastball over the middle.
- 1-1 count, Carpenter hits a hard bouncer to Zobrist for the 4-3.
- Diaz k's looking at a sort-of sidearm fastball from Lackey, 94mph. Lot of giddyup on the fastball, early on.
- Lackey is working quickly and throwing strikes. Mostly fastballs so far. Going to what looks like a slider he gets Holliday on a check swing. A very nice start to the game from Lackey; he's getting out of the gate quickly.
Top of 2nd
- Soler grounds out to Wong.
- We're told Heyward wanted to play, today, but that Maddon plans on being careful, especially with Thursday being an off-day. Friday may be the return-date.
- Montero takes an 0-2 curveball that catches too much of the plate and slaps in against the shift, right of the third-baseman, for a single.
- Baez flies to Holliday.
- Russell bounces to Carpenter.
Bottom of 2nd
- Piscotty, much like Holliday, K's on a check-swing against a slider out of the zone.
- Moss K's swinging, Len tells us he's thrown 17 of 23 pitches for strikes.
- And Molina K's swinging at a moving fastball down in the zone. Five K's in a row. Lackey has unbridled the A-stuff, tonight.
Top of 3rd
- Wainwright K's Lackey swinging over a slider.
- Fowler rolls one up the first base line to Moss.
- JD tells us that if this was a horse race, Lackey would have "Early Speed." Hay, quit stealing our routine, J.D.
- Bryant lines one with lots of topspin out to Holliday.
Bottom of 3rd
- Another strike-one fastball to Grichuk.
- Grichuk lines a shot up the middle. Zobrist is shifted over toward short, but still isn't quite able to corrale it.
- Lackey then hits Wong on the knee with the next pitch. Runners on 1 and 2, and Wainwright bunts. Replay indicates Lackey probably had a play at third. But did he take it? Nay.
- With a base open, Lackey nibbles, and eventually walks Carpenter.
- Diaz flies to Soler in medium-depth left. Soler has plenty of time to prepared to put his momentum behind his throw, but JD points out that he sort of kept driving toward center with the fly ball, and thus didn't get much behind the throw. Cut off by Baez. 1-0 Cards
- Lackey recovers to K Holliday swinging at another slider off the plate.
Top of 4th
- Zobrist lines a single between first and second for a single.
- Hit and Run, Zobrist hits against the shift, a bit, making Diaz field it just to the third base side of second base. Out at first, Zobrist at second.
- Soler gets hit, just about the front knee. Very similar to Wong's plunking.
- Montero takes a little breaking piece and hits it the other way, intot he left-center gap. Zobrist scores, and Soler goes to third on the single. 1-1 game.
- Baez with a surprise bunt. It's an awkward play as it bounces right up in front of home plate, with Baez sort of standing in front of home plate in fair territory looking at it. It doesn't hit him, and Molina grabs it but Moss isn't covering first, and everyone is safe. Bases loaded on an odd little play.
- Russell pulls one into the hole, and Diaz can only get the force at second, as a run scores. 2-1 Cubs, runners at 1 and 3 with 2 outs.
- Lackey hits a two-hopper to Wong, and casually trots halfway down the line as the inning ends.
Bottom of 4th
- A breaking ball gets away from Lackey and gently hits Piscotty. Three hit-batters in the game, all told, now. That's a lot of horse-hide betting branded on to the batters.
- Moss lines right to Rizzo, who steps on the bag for the double-play.
- Molina breaks his bat on a roller to Russell, and slowly jogs down the line. Russell then throws an off-line sinker that Rizzo stretches for, but can't keep in contact with the bag. Molina picks up the pace (it's hard to tell, with Molina) and makes it on the error. Would have been a five-pitch inning.
- Lackey's slider has a lot of bite tonight. It gets Grichuk swinging.
Top of 5th
- Fowler lines one with topspin out to right, and Piscotty makes a nice diving catch coming in on it.
- Bryant walks.
- After a good battle, Zobrist also works a walk.
- Rizzo breaks his bat hitting a soft liner into right. Bryant comes around to score. 3-1 Cubs.
- Soler gets antsy and misses by a few feet at something darting low and away on the first pitch of the at-bat. And now a pitch that looks to be low and outside gets called a strike. The pitch-tracking replay puts it exactly on the corner. A curve gets Soler swinging. Ugly at bat.
- Montero flails at a curveball in the dirt, ending the inning.
Bottom of 5th
- Wong breaks his bat rolling out to Rizzo for a 3-1 putout. Seems like a lot of broken bats, tonight.
- Baez makes a very nice backhand on a chopper off of Wainwright's bat.
- Lackey is galloping right along with another 8-pitch inning as Carpenter bounces to Rizzo, 3-1 again.
Top of 6th
- Baez, jammed, pops to Wong behind second base.
- Russell takes an outside fastball the other way for a single. Nice stroke.
- Lackey strikes out, bunting foul. Not pretty work. He's improving, offensively, but is no threat to win any Triple Crown.
- Russell runs, and the throw looks to have Russell out, but Diaz loses the ball as he is tagging Russell's shoulder. It doesn't look like much at all, but Diaz is shaken up by it. Trainers come out. Diaz stays in the game.
- Fowler walks, and out comes Matheny. Wainwright talks the manager into letting him face Bryant with runners on 1st and 2nd.
- Bryant taps one up the first-base line. Wainwright fields it and takes it to the bag, to get out of the inning.
Bottom of 6th
- Diaz hits a soft liner into center, Fowler comes in on it and makes the play.
- Holliday inside-outs a little bloop into right for a hit. Lackey has only thrown 64 pitches and it could be less with a few plays made behind him.
- Speaking of Piscotty promptly pops up to Zobrist. Lackey's really plowing through this lineup.
- Moss flies to Soler. Lackey is making this look easy. 71 pitches through six.
Top of 7th
- Seung Hwan Oh in to pitch. Zobrist pops to Carpenter, and sort of swats away his bat in disgust as he jogs to first.
- Rizzo chops one in the dirt in front of home plate, which Carpenter, shifted to the right side of second base, fields for the put-out.
- Soler takes a pitcher perhaps inside off the plate for strike three. He chats with the umpire a bit about it.
Bottom of 7th
- Szczur in for Soler in left. Molina grounds one just to Zobrist's left, into right field for the hit.
- Grichuk pops to Zobrist. More first-pitch swinging.
- Wong swings over a slider down and in, for the strikeout
- Adams pinch-hits for Oh.
- As Len and JD talk about how great Cardinal pinch-hitting has been, Lackey rolls a curveball and Adams hits it out to dead-center. Very suddenly and unexpectedly we have a time game. Pitch was hung like a horse. 3-3 tie.
- Carpenter swings over another good slider to end the inning.
- The Adams at-bat changed the Cardinals' Win Expectency, per fan-graphs, from 15.8 % to 52%
Top of 8thSiegrist in to pitch. Montero walks, and Travis Wood pinch-runs for him.
- The home-plate umpire is pretty rattled by a foul-tip to the face mask. Len and JD discuss Matheny apparently not remembering the last year and a half of his career, due to concussions.
- A pitch gets away from Molina a bit, who scampers after it, and sort of tumbles over his feet, but rolls over on his butt to pop back up, and the crowd cheers his graceful clumsiness.
- Baez then lines to Holliday.
- Russell hits a check-swing roller to second, and is hustling down the line trying to avoid the double-play. Just does beat the throw, perhaps tying it. A real photo-finish, but Russell is confirmed safe.
- LaStella pinch-hits, and flies to Grichuk.
Bottom of 8th
- Warren in to pitch. 3-2 count to Diaz, who reaches out for one and flies out to Fowler.
- Holliday reaches down and lines to Bryant in right.
- I just now realize Ross came in for Montero on the double-switch, when Wood pinch-ran for him.
- Piscotty looks at a called strike. three.
Top of 9th
- Rosenthal in to pitch.
- Fowler lines a 3-2 fastball down the center of the plate back up the middle for a single.
- Bryant looks at a 1-2 fastball off the corner, and a 2-2 fastball on the corner. Not happy about it.
- Molina tries to throw behind Fowler at first and short-hops Moss, who makes a nice pick to keep the ball from skipping down the line into right.
- Zobrist with a seeing-eye single just past a diving Diaz, behind second base. Fowler to third.
- 98 mph fastball inside to Rizzo, ball one. 1-1 pitch, Rizzo fists one inside out, a dying little bloop that Carpenter catches diving head-first toward the third-base bag. Fowler committed to going, and Carpenter just needs to reach over to tag the base for the double play. Tough end to a promising rally. Can't really fault Fowler on the play; he was taking a good lead down the line, was trying to score on a grounder, and it was a really tough read.
Bottom of 9th
- Warren throws a nice diving changeup at the bottom of the zone and Moss swings over it for the strikeout.
- Molina hits a one-hopper to Russell, a couple feet back on the outfield grass - the luxury of defending someone as slow as Molina. Gets him at first.
- Grichuk takes a 2-2 slider out over the plate and drives it deep to right, and I rapidly get a sinking feeling as I realize how well hit it is. Bryant makes a valiant but vain leap for it, as the ball lands in the Cardinals' bullpen. Warren had looked really sharp, right up to that pitch. 4-3 Cards.
- The dumpster fire that is the Reds bullpen.
- Gilbert Gottfried.
- Paddling Bears
- Zobrist's bat-wiggle
- Rizzo's slow-jam grinding in his batting stance
- The Matusz trade
- Other injury updates.
- Vogelsong's scary beaning.
- I am very squeamish. This delights all the jerks in Parachat.
- RobG comforts me with the most adorable picture ever put on the internet.
- And Whipple has good product recommendations.
- More horse puns.
- More discussion of horrible beanings.
- An unending barrage of horse jokes. Unending. Good work, everyone.
- Knee surguries to procure drugs.
- Marcel Ozuna, on-base king.
- analyzing Soler's throw home.
- An unending stream of horse puns. Winner, is Crunch's "Little horse."
- 90s Visors
- In reference to this incident, CTSteve tells us that real love means not getting cancer. He demands that I put this on the record. Lackey isn't great at husbandry, as Ryno later explains.
- From horse puns to wong puns.
- Respect the 90.
- We get Carlos caught up to speed on what's been a rollicking parachat.
- The horse puns are unending. I can't even try to get them all into parachat, but will keep sneaking some into the game recap. Way to bring the A-game, everyone.
- Jacos tells sucn an elaborate Lone Ranger and Silver joke that we all wish the cancer jokes would return.
- Ballplayers with neck tattoos.
- Cardinal players we actively hate.
- Pulled pork.
- Proper BBQing technique.
- The Cub Reporter Cookbook.
- Jacos with a second extended joke, ten times worse than the first.
- Redemption with a North Carolina Tooth-brush joke.
- Even more horse puns. There's just an endless stream of them. The parachatters are a real whiz at this.
- The decision to leave in Wainwright.
- The sixth inning, and finally, some of the puns are a bit forced. You're just going to stirrup trouble if you force a pun.
- What do we do for the encore to this parachat?
- We try to convince JAG she can handle more horse jokes. We're trying to keep the situation stable.
- Root Beer and Orange Crush-flavored pop tarts.
- Horror at a tie game.
- We conclude that at this point, with the puns, we're just beating a dead horse.
- Ordering pet toys from China.
- Gigantic tennis balls.
- Are dogs intelligent enough to get complexes? (Yes.)
- Concussions and Matheny's memory
- Prince is dead?!?!?!
- Tacky t-shirts.
- We aren't quite done with the horse puns.
- RALLY CAPS
- Managing the game from parachat
- Greater disappointment.
Cubs drop to 2-2 in games recapped in 2016