Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Cubs 2 (10 innings)
By Rob Rains
In desperate need for a pick-me-up, the Cardinals got it in the 10th inning Wednesday night from Yadier Molina.
Molina’s RBI single off Craig Kimbrel drove in Paul Goldschmidt from second base to give the Cardinals the win after they failed to protect a ninth-inning lead for the second night in a row, the first two times that has happened this season.
“You were just sitting there going, ‘We can’t lose this game too,’” said Adam Wainwright. “I know there’s a lot of games to be played but losing two games in a row where you had them right on the ropes would have been really painful, so I’m glad we got that win.
“The clubhouse is rocking right now. That’s where we need it to be.”
After pulling off the comeback from a 6-1 ninth-inning deficit on Tuesday night, the Cubs trailed 2-1 going to the ninth on Wednesday night before tying the game on Eric Sogard’s pinch-hit double after Giovanny Gallegos hit Nico Hoerner with a two-out, two-strike pitch.
That was the first of three hit batters in the inning, the other two by John Gant before he was able to get out of the inning with the game still tied. The Cardinals hit a total of five batters in the game, the most in franchise history.
The Cardinals were able to overcome those mistakes, something they were not able to do 24 hours earlier.
Manager Mike Shildt wasn’t able to watch the ninth inning from the dugout, or the 10th for that matter, having been ejected after the fifth inning for arguing Jeff Nelson’s called third strike against Dylan Carlson, who balked at the call, which prevented the Cardinals from loading the bases for Goldschmidt, trailing 1-0.
Shildt did more than that after he was told what video of the call showed between innings, coming back to go after Nelson, leading to his third ejection of the season.
Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: In the 10th, Goldschmidt was the runner at second base to start the inning. Nolan Arenado walked and Tyler O’Neill struck out, before Molina came through with the game-winning hit … The rally in the seventh came after the Cardinals had been shut out on six hits through the first six innings by Kyle Hendricks, who won had his three previous starts against the Cardinals this season … Paul DeJong led off the seventh with a swinging bunt for a hit and advanced to second on catcher Willson Contreras’ wild throw, allowing him to score the tying run on Harrison Bader’s double … After pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter flew out, Carlson’s two-out double drove in Bader with the go-ahead run … Bader had a season-high three hits … Goldschmidt’s first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest current streak in the majors.
On the mound: Wainwright allowed six hits over seven innings, giving up a run in the second. Hoerner, the eighth-place hitter, led off the inning with a single and scored on a triple by Rafael Ortega, moved up to the leadoff spot. Wainwright struck out five, hit one batter and did not issue a walk. In the first six games of this homestand, Cardinals starters combined have issued only three unintentional walks in a combined 34 innings, none in the last three games … The Cubs got two baserunners in the eighth on a walk and a hit batter before Gallegos got out of the inning. With Alex Reyes unavailable, Gallegos went back to the mound to try to complete the four-out save, but that didn’t happen.
Key stat: Since coming off the injured list on July 1, Bader has gone 19-of-54, a .352 average, and has six multiple hit games over those 15 games. Perhaps more impressive he has struck out only nine times.
Worth noting: Matthew Liberatore, the Cardinals’ top pitching prospect, had his best start of the season for Triple A Memphis on Wednesday night. Pitching at Louisville, Liberatore did not allow a run over six innings. He gave up four hits, did not walk a batter and recorded nine strikeouts, throwing 93 pitches … The Memphis staff will get a couple of reinforcements in the next few days, with Daniel Ponce de Leon scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the Redbirds on Thursday and Miles Mikolas set to make his first of three rehab starts on Saturday, also on the road in Louisville … Memphis lost a pitcher on Wednesday when reliever Roel Ramirez was claimed on waivers by the Mets, giving the Cardinals one open spot on their 40-man roster … Jordan Walker, the Cardinals top pick in last year’s draft, returned to the Peoria lineup on Wednesday night after being out since July 13 with an undisclosed injury. He had two hits and drove in a run.
Looking ahead: Kwang Hyun Kim, who has not allowed a run in his last three starts, covering a combined 19 innings, will get the start on Thursday night in the final game of the series and the homestand. Overall Kim has a streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains