Friday’s Game Report: Cubs 4, Cardinals 3
By Rob Rains
Trailing the Cubs by a run in the eighth inning on Friday, the Cardinals liked their chances of scoring at least the tying run when they loaded the bases with one out and pinch-hitter Alec Burleson was coming to the plate.
On consecutive pitches, they thought they had done just that – but umpire Ron Kulpa called both the 3-0 and 3-1 pitches balls, both pitches that Burleson and the Cardinals thought were outside the strike zone.
On the 3-2 pitch, Burleson hit into an inning-ending double play and then vented his anger at Kulpa after he was thrown out at first, getting kicked out of the game.
The Cardinals got two runners on base in the ninth as well before the Cubs were able to get the game’s final out and end the Cardinals’ six-game winning streak.
Here is how Friday’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals cut a 4-1 deficit to 4-3 in the seventh on an infield single from Jose Fermin, the first hit of his major-league career, a walk and a two-run single from Nolan Arenado … Tyler O’Neill and Jordan Walker led off the eighth with walks, then pulled off a double steal, before pinch-hitter Brendan Donovan walked with one out to load the bases and bring Burleson to the plate … A two-out error and hit batter put the runners on base in the ninth before O’Neill flied out to end the game … The Cardinals’ first run had scored in the second on three one-out singles that loaded the bases before Andrew Knizner delivered the RBI on a groundout … All seven of the Cardinals’ hits were singles. Their last game at Wrigley Field without an extra-base hit came in 2020.
On the mound: The Cubs scored all of their runs off Jack Flaherty in the third, getting a pair of home runs, including a two-run blast from Cody Bellinger. Flaherty allowed eight hits over his six innings of work, four of which came in that third inning. He walked one and recorded six strikeouts … Andre Pallante and Chris Stratton each turned in one inning of scoreless relief.
Key stat: Over his last five games, Arenado has driven in 12 runs, going 8-of-21 with two doubles and a home run. He now has 22 RBIs in 17 games so far in July.
Worth noting: The Cardinals traded reliever Genesis Cabrera to the Blue Jays on Friday after he had been designated for assignment earlier this week. In exchange the Cardinals obtained 19-year-old catcher Sammy Hernandez, who will be assigned to the rookie Florida Complex League roster. He was the 14th round pick by Toronto in the 2022 draft … Chase Davis, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in this month’s draft, made his pro debut on Friday with the Class A Palm Beach Cardinals. He was 0-of-2 with a walk in three plate appearances, including a fly out to the warning track.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas will get the start in the 1:20 p.m. game on Saturday, the third game of the four-game series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains