The Cubs looked to win their first road series in over two months in St. Louis Thursday, but to say they came up a bit short is a massive understatement. The Cardinals completely shut down the road team’s offense and coasted to an easy win.
Starter Jack Flaherty was dominant, allowing just one hit in seven shutout innings. The Cardinals jumped out to a lead in the 1st inning when Tommy Edman hit a ground-rule double and scored on a José Martínez single. A Kolten Wong single in the 4th inning increased the lead to 2-0.
Jon Lester ran out of steam in the 6th inning, allowing Yairo Muñoz to single in a run after Paul Goldschmidt singled and Paul DeJong doubled. Derek Holland took over and immediately gave up a three-run bomb to Matt Wieters, who was able to turn around to bat right-handed, to make it 6-0.
The Cards added two more runs, but it was academic at that point because the Cubs only got the one hit in the 8-0 whitewash. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Chicago scored a grand total of three runs the entire series and had only three runners on base the entire game. According the rule book, a team that fails to score cannot win a baseball game.
If there was a key moment in the game it was probably Wieters’ homer. It put the Cubs in a hole their offense couldn’t dream of climbing out of in it’s current state.
Stats That Matter
- Lester wasn’t his sharpest, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he was great Thursday: 5 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 6 K, and 0 BB.
- Nicholas Castellanos, making his Chicago debut, had the Cubs’ only hit and one of their two walks. He had the best plate appearances of the day by a mile.
- If nothing else, Jason Heyward made an unbelievable catch in the 4th to keep the damage from being worse.
The Cubs’ big road trip was an absolute flop at 3-6. They had a chance to build a divisional lead and instead lay sandwiched between the Cardinals and Brewers. The NL Central is still up for grabs, but the question of whether or not the Cubs can seize it is more open than ever.
Chicago limps back home to open up a three-game series with the aforementioned Brewers Friday at 1:20pm CT as José Quintana is opposed by Zach Davies in rematch of last Sunday’s Cubs win. The game can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out of market) while 670 the Score has the radio.