The New Normal–Cardinals 3 Cubs 1
Monday at 6:41 pm
Well the 2020 Cubs have been consistent. Their games have felt very similar in the first couple of weeks with the team rolling out to their best start since 1907. But like everything else in 2020, their new normal positively sucks. The Cubs have found the absolute quickest way to wash away the positive vibes to start the season, and it is losing four straight close games to the Brewers and now the Cardinals.
The plan David Ross had for game 1 of the marathon 5 games in 3 day series was simple. That was to have Kyle Hendricks pitch the whole way through and early on it looked like that plan might work. The professor surrendered precisely one hit through 6 innings. Unfortunately that one hit was a Dexter Fowler solo shot in the third inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 edge.
The Cubs put pressure on Cardinals starter Kwang-hyun Kim early but once again were unable to break through early. Anthony Rizzo walked with one out in the first and reached third on a Javy Baez double. Willson Contreras was put on intentionally. Ian Happ looked awful punching out and a David Bote ground out spelled the end of that frame. The Cubs put another runner into scoring position with no outs in the third inning. Kris Bryant singled and Anthony Rizzo walked to create the threat but a Baez double play ball killed the rally. Willson Contreras then lined out to Goldschmidt to end the inning.
Ian Happ led off the fourth inning with a bomb to redeem himself somewhat and tie the game again. Unfortunately that was the last base hit the Cubs baserunner of the game. It seemed like the Cubs offense might get more cracks at the Cardinals staff with the way Kyle Hendricks was pitching, but he ran out gas a little bit in the seventh and final inning.
Paul Goldschmidt led off with a double. Tyler O’Neill walked and then Matt Carpenter hit a floater into right to load the bases. Dylan Carson hit a grounder to Baez who fired to the plate to get Goldschmidt before he scored. Rowan Wick was summoned to keep the game level, but Brad Miller put a charge into one just over the outstretched glove of Albert Almora Jr. The Cubs best defensive centerfielder wasn’t able to pull off his second amazing catch of the afternoon, and two runners scored on the play. Dylan Carson was thrown out trying to score but the damage had been done with the Cards now leading 3-1.
The Cubs bats were silent against the Cardinals bullpen of Jon Gant, Giovanny Gallegos and Andrew Miller. Nico Hoerner and Albert Almora Jr. hit the ball sharply but right at infielders as the Cubs went quietly in the seventh.
There isn’t much else to say about this game beyond this.