The Cubs continued to embrace their role as spoilers Saturday in St. Louis. An early power surge against Adam Wainwright was just enough to give Chicago a series win.
Kyle Schwarber gave the Cubs a lead with a solo homer in the top of the 1st. Ian Happ extended the lead with a two-run tank to right in the 3rd inning. Cole Hamels was sharp in what might be his final start for the Northsiders.
Harrison Bader homered off of Kyle Ryan in the bottom half to cut the edge to 6-1. Ryan walked two and was relieved by David Phelps who surrendered a two-run triple to uber-annoying Tommy Edman. Tony Kemp made a great catch to rob Marcell Ozuna and keep the game at 6-3.
Brad Wieck loaded the bases with a hit by pitch and two walks in the 7th. Steve Cishek entered for the big lefty and Edman singled off him to score a run. Paul Goldschmidt hit into a double play that scored a run, but it also killed the rally.
Kemp hit a run-scoring single against Andrew Miller in the 8th. Nico Hoerner added a sacrifice fly to build the lead to 8-5. Pedro Strop allowed a solo bomb to Paul DeJong in the bottom of the frame. Brandon Kintzler took the 9th and recorded the save. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The offense jumped out to a big lead and the bullpen did just enough to hang on to that lead.
The Cardinals had the bases loaded with no outs in the 7th. Goldschmidt’s double play snuffed that threat out and kept the Cubs ahead.
Stats That Matter
- Hamels only went four innings after missing his last start, but he was good: 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 8 K, and 0 BB.
- Happ’s huge game has him up to a .905 OPS on the season.
- Schwarber needs two homers Sunday to get to 40.
The Cubs are going to need to upgrade their bullpen in 2020. The lead never felt comfortable with the current unit on the mound. However, Chicago is giving the Cardinals a headache at the end of the season and that’s always a good thing.
The final game of the year is 2:15pm CT on Sunday. Derek Holland gets the start for the Cubs and he’ll go up against Jack Flaherty. The game airs on NBC Sports Chicago with radio coverage on 670 The Score.