There is rain forecasted for the Chicago area today, through the night. Save a postponement, Adam Wainwright will start Game Two this afternoon.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
With taking the series against the Reds, the Cardinals take a happy flight to Chicago. That was Wednesday night. They are being hosted by the Chicago Cubs, first place team in the NL Central by 12 games over the Cardinals, holding second place. That "Happy Flight" trip became a disappointing loss in more ways than one in their first game at Wrigley Field last night.
The game went into extra innings, and the Cardinals did have their chances to shutdown the Cubs. However, was not meant to be. And, in the tenth inning, Cubs MikeMontgomery's fastball inside to Matt Holliday, HBP, sustained a fractured right thumb. The Cubs went on to win in the eleventh, Cardinals Zach Duke loaded the bases with a walk. He issued another to give the Cubs a "Walk-off, Walk-in-Run", 4-3, win. This was the Cubs tenth straight win in this second half. Not only Holliday's HBP that has placed him on the 15-Day DL, the showboating by 3B Javier Baez in the ninth has not helped temperaments in Cardinals Nation, in my opinion. Yes, Aroldis Chapman, with his three pitches, three outs made in the ninth was more than impressive. Baez catch, kneeling in the infield, pausing in his pose, was a bit over the top.
Am I still salty, Mr. Maddon? Oh, you bet. However, there is more ball to played in these next three games; and, I truly hope all are safe at the plate.
GAME TWO, SCHEDULED FIRST PITCH AT 1:20 CST.
There is rain in the Chicago forecast "all day - into the night" today. So it will be a wait and see if today's game is played; or, a double-header tomorrow. Not only is the weather to improve with cooler temps, in the mid-to upper 70's on Saturday; but, maybe by tomorrow temperaments may be improved, also. Just sayin'.
Cardinals Adam Wainwright (9-6/4.34 ERA) will face Cubs Jake Arrieta (13-5/2.59 ERA). Arrieta had not seen his best performances in July with a 4.88 ERA. However, in his first outing in August against the Oakland Athletics, he put-up eight scoreless innings with one walk and four strikeouts. At home, he holds a 1.71 this season. Wainwright has had a rougher August with pitching 11 innings, giving up one home run and eight earned runs. He has issued five walks with nine strikeouts. Facing the Cubs, he holds a 4.26 ERA; however, in July he was on his game with a 1.77 average. So dependent on which of these pitchers show up - this could be a great match-up. Coming into last night's game, the Cardinals did hold an edge over the Cubs this season in their three series thus far, 5-4, with St. Louis sweeping the Chicago northenders, June 19-21, at Wrigley Field. Now they share 5 each. Just a footnote: Both pitchers have issued HBP ~ four each. Totally unintentional. And, per Cubs Mike Montgomery, his "wasn't on purpose", either. But that is another subject matter already addressed.
THE RETURN OF RANDAL GRICHUK
It was announced by the Cardinals camp late yesterday that 1B Matt Adams was placed on the 15-Day DL with right shoulder soreness. A situation he had been dealing with for approximately a week, but on Tuesday awoke and his shoulder was "not just right". Opening yet another spot on the roster, CF Randal Grichuk was recalled from Memphis Triple-A as he arrived with the team on an incoming flight at 7:00 a.m. yesterday. He had traveled the night before with the Redbirds, by bus, from their game in New Orleans.
He came into the seventh inning, pinch hitting for Carlos Martinez. With his "fresh bat", he unloads a bomb over the left wall to tie the score.
YADIER MOLINA ADDS ANOTHER MILESTONE
In the first, facing Cubs Jon Lester, Yadier Molina punched out a RBI single to put the Cardinals on the board early. That was his 24th game with a hit to reach base safely. He was 3-5 against the Cubs in Game One. Brandon Moss also had a solo home run in the sixth to give the Cardinals their second run, while Martinez was holding the Cubs scoreless through his fifth. That was Moss' 19 home run this season. With limited play for Grichuk this season, that was his 13th.
Hopefully, whether or not Game Two will be played today, tonight or tomorrow; Wainwright, and Arrieta, keep emotions in check with NO HBP issued. But, you know, as I'm sure Mr. Maddon professed in his interview last night, unintentional and pitches get away from a pitcher. For Mr. Maddon, his tune changes when it's his team that issues the 'first' such pitch. Yes, Mr. Maddon, I am still very salty.
HOLLIDAY TO THE DL ~ "NEXT MAN UP"?
With the absence of Holliday, Cardinals do have OF Tommy Pham and Jeremy Hazelbaker to replace him already on the bench. Placed on the DL, along with Diaz, was LHP Tyler Lyons. Per Jenifer Langosch, Twitter:
Cardinals reliever Dean Kiekhefer has been yo-yo'd in and out of the bullpen this season. Will he be brought back to have 13 in the bullpen? I'm sure there will be an announcement later this morning. But for today's game ~ Here is the line-up for the Cardinals. Stephen Piscotty has been moved back to rightfield. Moss, who played left field in last night's game will replace Holliday. The very experienced Randal Grichuk will take care of the center.