Just hours after a disappointing loss in an exceedingly winnable game, the Cardinals set out to even the series against the formidable Cubbies.  The Cardinals have a new lineup, offensively and defensively, for the second game of today’s double header. Dexter Fowler is out, Harrison Bader is in at right field. Greg Garcia is out at third, and although I thought we’d see Jedd Gyorko out there against the lefty Mike Montgomery, instead it’s Yairo Munoz in the hot corner. Garcia surprisingly gets his second start of the day at second base. Matt Carpenter is out of the game completely, which puzzles me, especially considering Shildt took him out of the game last night when he had a chance to make history. Francisco Pena is in for Yadier Molina. Oh yeah, and John Gant is on the hill.  I…think that’s all the changes. Whew!

The game starts on a promising note when the Cardinals score first in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Paul Dejong. Gant works around a leadoff single by Anthony Rizzo, as well, to preserve the lead.  1-0 Cardinals after 1.

With one out in the second inning, Munoz draws a walk and Pena follows with a single. Unfortunately, Gant looks like a person who has never held a bat in his LIFE, and his attempt to bunt the runners over can only be described as pitiful. With two outs, Munoz and Pena pull off the most unlikely double steal ever with Bader at the plate. He promptly smokes a ball to deep center field that…is…caught. Bummer.

Dejong gets a hit in the top of the third, but is stranded. The same thing happens to Rizzo in the bottom of the inning. We move on.

Albert Almora, Jr., who got the centerfield start for game 2, makes an awesome diving catch in the fourth inning to rob Pena of his second hit and end the top of the fourth. Bader follows up with his own nifty play in the bottom of the inning. It feels like the teams are trading jabs, but no one is able to land a real punch yet.

Scary moment in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kyle Schwarber hit a ball to right center field that both Pham and Bader called for. I watched them inch closer and closer, both clearly yelling for the ball, and of course, neither yields and they end up running into each other. Luckily the ball was caught, and because it was such a lazy fly ball, the fielders were not running hard and it doesn’t look like anyone got hurt. But I swear, you guys. I feel like I’ve seen that happen a half dozen times this season. Extreme Will Smith voice – we got to work on our communication.

Fast forward to the bottom of the fifth. Cubs have runners on first and second base with two outs. Javier Baez up to bat. This is a big spot. Baez checks his swing with two strikes and the home plate umpire says he went around. Baez loses his shit, gets tossed, Maddon comes out to defend his player, he gets tossed.

[I’m getting drunker as the day goes on.]

Bottom 6. Greg Holland. Dejong makes an error and eventually we end up with bases loaded, one out. If there is anyone who can get out of this, it’s Greg Holland. HAHAHAHA. HAHA. HAhahaha… ha…ahhh…  Wait, what? Oh yeah, Greg. He walked in a run on four pitches. Are you not surprised?  1-1, tie game. So, about that. Jordan Hicks comes in, gives up ANOTHER hit to Rizzo, then a ground out scores another run, and before I know it, it’s 3-1 Cubs. Damnit!!!

Um… I lost interest. We got another run, somehow. 3-2 Cubs.

So, eighth inning. A home run would tie the game. I mentally send this to Ozuna. He weakly fouls off a ball. And another. Fly ball to left, 2 out. Tommy Pham base hit! Yadier Molina in to pinch hit! Things are happening, maybe!

YOU GUYS. Munoz got a single and scored Pham. 3-3 tie game.

It’s raining a lot now.

Okay top 9, folks. Matt Carpenter draws a walk. (He double switched in at some point – who knows when?) Harrison Bader draw a full count. And he walks! Two on, no out, HERE WE GO. Kolten Wong. Bunts. WHY. Guess what, it sucked and the runner was out at third. That was a terrible stupid decision.

Paul DeJong is up. Will he save us all? CAN he save us all? The answer is YES! Base hit to left! Scores…someone. 4-3 Cardinals. MORE GOOD THINGS! Pham base hit. Scores more people! 6-3 Cardinals!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bud Norris pitches the 9th. He does good things. We win!

Notes

  1. Seriously, where is Jedd Gyorko? Is he hurt? Is he in Shildt’s dog house? This one seems like a no-brainer. If you’re not gonna start him in the second game of a double header against a left-handed pitcher, when are you ever going to start him? HE DID NOT EVEN PINCH HIT WHAT IS HAPPENING.
  2. Turns out that second run was Matt Carpenter hitting a home run. His 6th consecutive game with a home run. WHAT. HOW. THIS MAN CANNOT BE STOPPED. Probably should have started the game. I think he like tied or maybe broke a record.
  3. We must win tomorrow. It is imperative. Mikolas v. Quintana. 1:20 CT.

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