Saturday’s Game Report: Cubs 9, Cardinals 1

Saturday’s Game Report: Cubs 9, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains

Adam Wainwright’s memories of his first trip to London likely will include some of the pre-game festivities that the Cardinals enjoyed before taking on the Cubs on Saturday in the opener of the two-game series.

His memories of that start, however, are something he probably wanted to erase immediately.

Wainwright allowed more hits, 11, than he recorded outs, nine, and was charged with seven runs as the Cubs went on to rout the Cardinals at London Stadium.

Two of those hits were home runs by Ian Happ, who now has six homers in his career against Wainwright, the most Wainwright has allowed to any hitter he has faced.

It was the third time in their careers that Happ has hit two homers in a game off Wainwright, the others coming in 2020 and 2019.

Wainwright allowed two runs in the second, three in the third and two more in the fourth, including a runner he left on base after failing to retire the first two batters in the inning.

It was his shortest start of the season.

Here is how Saturday’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals only had one baserunner, a walk to Dylan Carlson, before Jordan Walker singled leading off the fifth – extending his current streak to 14 games … Their only run came in the sixth when Tommy Edman hit a leadoff double and scored on a single by Paul Goldschmidt … They finished with six hits, but were just 1-of-6 with runners in scoring position.

On the mound: Wainwright retired the Cubs in order in the first, then gave up four hits in the second and after retiring the first two batters in the third allowed five consecutive hits. He gave up back-to-back doubles in the fourth before leaving the game … It was only the second time Wainwright has started a game and failed to record a strikeout since 2017 … Steven Matz allowed the inherited runner to score but then kept the  Cubs scoreless after that into the seventh … The last two Chicago runs came on a home run by Dansby Swanson off Drew VerHagen in the ninth.

Key stat: Wainwright had not allowed a home run to the Cubs over his last 40 innings. Of the last eight home runs he has allowed to the Cubs dating back to 2019, Happ has hit six of them.

Worth noting: Joey Votto’s five homers had been the most Wainwright had allowed to any hitter in his career before Saturday … The Cardinals were without Nolan Gorman and Jordan Hicks, both of whom were battling colds. It wasn’t known if either will be able to play on Sunday … Jack Flaherty was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday because of discomfort in his right hip, but the Cardinals do not believe it is serious enough to require an injured list appearance.

Looking ahead: With Flaherty scratched, Matthew Liberatore will get the start in Sunday’s game, which will begin at 9:10 a.m. St. Louis time and be televised by ESPN. Marcus Stroman is the scheduled starter for the Cubs.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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