Sunday’s Game Report: Cubs 2, Cardinals 1 (10 innings)
By Rob Rains
For nine innings on Sunday night, mostly due to Adam Wainwright, the Cubs did not have a runner reach second base. The fact they got a ghost runner there to start the 10th, ahead of Javier Baez’s game-winning home run, was due to the fact the Cardinals could not get a hit when they did have a runner on second, or third, for that matter.
The Cardinals wasted a brilliant performance from Wainwright in the frustrating loss, which saw them go hitless in 10 at-bats with a runner in scoring position. No inning was more frustrating than the seventh when they loaded the bases with nobody out and had the top of the lineup coming up but couldn’t score.
“Got the guys up we wanted,” said manager Mike Shildt. “I’d take that group 10 out of 10 times. It doesn’t work out. Had our chance for sure, big part of the game, just weren’t able to cash in.”
Tommy Edman got the first crack, but he grounded into a force out at the plate. Paul Goldschmidt popped up and Nolan Arenado struck out to end the inning.
Wainwright became only the fourth pitcher in franchise history to work at least eight scoreless innings, allowing one hit, and not get a win. The only others to do it were Lance Lynn against the Giants in 2017, Alan Benes in 1997 (nine innings) against the Braves and Jose DeLeon (11 innings) in 1989 against the Reds.
“He pitched his absolute tail off tonight,” Shildt said. “He throws his heart out there for this team to bring home a win. I know it hurts him and everybody in the clubhouse. Hard-fought game that didn’t go our way.”
Wainwright’s game came after what likely was his worst start of the season last weekend in San Diego, when he allowed six runs in four innings, an outing he described again on Sunday night as “terrible.”
He was the opposite of that against the Cubs.
“There’s no secrets to my game,” Wainwright said. “When I’m pitching well there’s a couple of things I’m doing well. When I’m not pitching well there’s a couple of things I’m not doing well … I’m glad I was able to make a few adjustments tonight and go out there and pitch a quality game.”
It was the first game between the Cardinals and Cubs to go to the 10th inning scoreless since May 2, 2004, when Scott Rolen got a walkoff single in the 10th off Kyle Farnsworth.
Here is how Sunday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals first four hits were all doubles, but they couldn’t even score when they got two doubles in one inning, the fourth, when Harrison Bader was doubled off second on a short pop up to right that he thought was going to drop … They loaded the bases in the seventh on an infield hit by Edmundo Sosa, a walk to Lane Thomas and a bunt by Wainwright, which led to a throwing error on Cubs pitcher Ryan Tepera trying to force the runner at third … In the 10th, the Cardinals got a sacrifice fly from Arenado which scored their run and Molina drew a walk, but Bader and Justin Williams struck out to end the game.
On the mound: The only hit off Wainwright was a clean single to left by Kris Bryant in the first. The only other baserunner he allowed was a one-out walk to Willson Contreras in the fourth as he retired 24 of the 26 hitters he faced. He struck out seven and recorded 14 ground ball outs, getting 31 called strikes among his 101 pitches … Giovanny Gallegos allowed a single to Bryant in the ninth before Alex Reyes took over in the 10th. He retired the first hitter he faced, Anthony Rizzo, before Baez hit an 0-1 pitch into the grass beyond the center field wall, the first homer allowed by Reyes this year and only the second run he has surrendered. Baez also was the last Cub to hit an extra-inning homer against the Cardinals, off Mike Mayers, in the 14th inning on May 6, 2018.
Key stat: It’s been well documented that the Cardinals lead the major leagues by walking 12 batters with the bases loaded this year. After their three chances in the seventh inning, their batters have now had 34 plate appearances with the bases loaded this season without drawing a walk. The only other teams without drawing at least one bases loaded walk are the Tigers, Marlins and Pirates.
Worth noting: Miles Mikolas went back on the injured list on Sunday, one day after leaving Saturday night’s game with tightness in his right forearm. Shildt said imaging did not reveal any structural damage to Mikolas’s arm, which was encouraging, but more evalations will follow. “We’ve got to determine the next steps,” Shildt said. After missing all of last season following surgery on his right forearm, Mikolas made only 59 pitches in his first game since the 2019 playoffs … Junior Fernandez was recalled from Memphis to take Mikolas’s roster spot … Dylan Carlson was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game because of stiffness in his back … The Cardinals’ top pitching prospect, Matthew Liberatore, was named to the training camp roster for USA Baseball on Sunday, the squad that will try to qualify for a spot in the Olympics. The U.S. is one of 11 countries competing for two open spots in the Olympics, including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Canada and Venezuela. Qualifying games will begin May 31. Also on the training camp roster are former Cardinals Matt Wieters, Jon Jay and Marc Rzepczynski.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will be in Chicago on Monday to open a three-game series against the White Sox that is full of intriguing matchus. It will be Tony La Russa’s first time to ever manage a game against the Cardinals, and Monday night’s starter for the White Sox is former Cardinal Lance Lynn, against Kwang Hyun Kim. Lynn has made one career start against his former team, taking the loss on May 16, 2018 when he was with the Twins. Tuesday night’s pitching matchup will be Jack Flaherty against Lucas Giolito, his former high school teammate. Assuming his back is OK, Carlson also will get to play against his high school teammate, Nick Madrigal.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains