Cubs Strike First, Drop Second Straight to Cardinals

The Chicago Cubs (47-22) had their chances in both of the first two games in this series. On Tuesday night, they struck in the first inning when Anthony Rizzo drove in Chris Coghlan on a sacrifice fly. That lead didn’t last long.

A Stephen Piscotty lead-off double in the second inning led to the first run for the Cardinals. Then, in the third inning, home runs by Matt Carpenter and Matt Holiday made the score 4-1. The Cubs would get two more runs but that would be all. Cubs lose 4-3 (Box Score).

Stats that mattered

  • Jason Hammel (7-3, 2.55 ERA) had a tough 3rd inning but settled in after – 5.2IP, 4R, 6H, 1BB, 3Ks, 2HR
  • Chris Coughlan had a nice game – 1-for-2, 2R, 2BB
  • Addison Russell played well but the team couldn’t hit around him – 3-for-4

Bottom line

The Cubs still have a 10.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, but if you’re Mike Matheny you’re probably focusing on the fact that you’ve just chipped away two games with a lot more baseball to play.

The furthest back the Cubs were last year was 11.5 games. That was right after the Cubs were swept in July, and no-hit, by the Philadelphia Phillies. They then propelled into the wild card spot by going 46-19 the rest of the way.

The Cubs record today is 47-22. So, they are basically on the same pace to begin this year as they were at the end of last year, when they made up 8 full games on these same Cardinals. I highly doubt that’s a story that Matheny is telling his team, but realistically speaking, the tables would have to turn in an incredibly dramatic way for the Cardinals to have any chance of catching the Cubs this year. That’s the simple truth.

That’s all my way of saying ‘nothing at all to worry about.’ Yes, it sucks bad losing to the Cardinals but no, this doesn’t mean anything more than just dropping a couple games to any team in the season.

Next up

The Cubs close out the series against the Cardinals on Wednesday at 1:20 PM CDT. Jake Arrieta will try to salvage the final game in the series and avoid the sweep. And yes, I hated writing that…

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