Tuesday’s Game Report: Cubs 6, Cardinals 3

Tuesday’s Game Report: Cubs 6, Cardinals 3

By Rob Rains

Maybe the best thing about Tuesday night’s game for the Cardinals is that they won’t have to think about it for very long.

A game that lasted four hours and nine minutes finally ended just 14 hours before the Cardinals and Cubs are set to begin their second doubleheader in three days on Wednesday afternoon.

Five Cardinals pitchers combined to throw 207 pitches in eight innings, issuing eight walks while recording 14 strikeouts. Only three times in the last 20 years have the Cardinals thrown more pitches in a nine-inning game and this was their most in just eight innings in the more than 30 years that pitch data has been recorded by Baseball Reference..

It was a 2-1 game until Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer off Seth Elledge in the fifth inning to expand the lead to 4-1.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Paul Goldschmidt had three hits and drove in one of the Cardinals runs. He also walked and scored in the eighth when the Cardinals scored twice and actually got the potential tying run to the plate … Matt Carpenter had a double and an RBI single … Dylan Carlson came to bat twice with the bases loaded and hit into a fielder’s choice and a double play. In his first six games, he has come to bat four times with the bases loaded. In their 11 games this season, the Cardinals have a team total of 11 bases loaded at-bats, and nobody else on the team has been in that situation more than twice. Carlson is 0-of-4 in those at-bats.

On the mound: Daniel Ponce de Leon could not get through the fourth inning again as his pitch count climbed because of three walks and seven strikeouts. He gave up two runs on a home run to Ian Happ and a triple to Jason Heyward, after he did not get the call on what would have been strike three … Two more pitchers made their debuts with the Cardinals, Ryan Meisinger (who previously pitched for the Orioles) and Jesus Cruz, who made his major-league debut by striking out Schwarber with the bases loaded in the sixth.

Key stat: The appearances of Meisinger and Cruz brought the total number of pitchers the Cardinals have used in their first 11 games of the season to 24. In the 2019 season they used a total of 23 pitchers, including infielder Jedd Gyorko.

Worth noting: Several more of the players who tested positive for COVID-19 have been cleared by MLB to resume working out, including Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong. The number of players who have been cleared is expected to increase in the next few days. Among those players, Molina is likely to be the first one to rejoin the active roster, perhaps as early as this weekend … Tyler O’Neill was a late scratch from Tuesday night’s lineup because of an issue with a ring finger. The team hopes he will be able to play on Wednesday … In their first 11 games, the Cardinals have a total of one stolen base, by Harrison Bader in game two. They have attempted only one steal in the last nine games.

Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make his first start since opening day, July 24, in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The Cardinals have not named a starter for game two, but it could be Austin Gomber, expected to come off the injured list in time for the game.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.