The Cubs kicked off a three-game set against the NL Central rival Cardinals this afternoon looking for revenge after getting swept in St. Louis last weekend. Veteran lefty Cole Hamels took the mound against Miles Mikolas, who has had the Cubs’ number.
Javy Báez broke the scoring open in the bottom of the 1st with an opposite-field two-run home run. Victor Caratini added to the lead in the 4th with a double to score Jason Heyward and put the Cubs up 3-0.
That was all the offense Hamels needed as he dominated for eight scoreless innings, striking out 10 hitters on the afternoon. Pedro Strop allowed a solo home run to Paul DeJong before screwing the cap on to close out the game. (Box score)
Why the Cubs
Hamels shut down the Cardinal hitters this afternoon, allowing only four baserunners and cruising through eight stress-free innings.
Javy’s home run allowed the Cubs to settle in. Facing a hot Cardinals team and a pitcher against whom they’ve been able to get precious little going in the past, strong was a must.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs scored all three of their runs with two outs.
- While the sample size is small due to his injury, Caratini has continued his hot start to the season. After today’s game, he raised his batting average to .350.
- The Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All Time, Anthony Rizzo, set the tone at the top of the order by getting on base three times, including two walks.
Any win is sweet. A win against the Cardinals tastes that much sweeter. A great performance all around to kick off the weekend the right way.
The Cubs-Cards series continues tomorrow with some Saturday evening baseball. The Cubs and Jon Lester will battle 23-year-old Jack Flaherty for the Cardinals. Catch that game on FOX at 6:15pm CT or listen in at 670 The Score.