The Cubs continued to see their playoff chances ebb as they dropped another close game to the rival Cardinals. The nine runners that Chicago stranded on base turned out to be killers in an afternoon game they needed to win.
The Cubs took the lead off of starter Michael Wacha in the bottom of the 2nd when Kyle Schwarber doubled and moved to third on a Willson Contreras groundout. David Bote then reached on an error by second baseman Tommy Edmond that scored Schwarber.
Spot-starter Alec Mills was terrific in 4.2 scoreless innings of work, after which David Phelps took over in the 6th walking Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna with none out. That brought on Steve Cishek, who following Phelps’ lead and walked Matt Carpenter to load the bases.
Yadier Molina then did what he does best, slapping a single up the middle to score two and put the Cardinals ahead. St. Louis wouldn’t score for the rest of the afternoon despite some great chances.
Chicago had great chances of their own, loading the bases in the 3rd and 7th innings, but came up empty both times. The Cardinals turned four double plays en route to their one-run victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They had just one hit with runners in scoring position in nine chances and a gimpy Anthony Rizzo couldn’t score from second on that one.
Schwarber came up to bat in the 3rd inning with the bases loaded and one out. Wacha coaxed a ground ball to second base that became a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Stats That Matter
- Mills gave his team a chance to win a big game: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 6 K, and 2 BB.
- Rizzo reached twice more and again was pulled after five innings.
- Nicholas Castellanos reached base three more times as he continued to be the only real bright spot in the Cubs offense.
Chicago’s chances in the division are almost down to nothing. With the Brewers incredibly soft schedule even the wild card is starting to look dicey. The Cubs are facing the real possibility of missing the playoffs entirely.
The North Siders need to run the table starting Saturday at 1:20pm CT. José Quintana takes on Dakota Hudson in game available on MLB Network (out of market) and WGN (final home broadcast ever) with radio on 670 The Score.