NLDS Recap: Cubs offense silent as John Lackey, Cardinals take Game 1


9. 4. 33. Final. 0

Double-play ball, Lackey shut down Cubs in Game 1

It was a close game until the St. Louis Cardinals lashed out in the eighth inning by tagging Jon Lester and Pedro Strop for three earned runs as the Chicago Cubs dropped Game 1 by the final score of 4-0.

Veteran right-hander John Lackey was working on a perfect game until giving up a walk in the fourth, but still had himself a no-hitter intact until giving up a single to shortstop, Addison Russell to lead-off the sixth.

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Lackey (1-0, 0.00 ERA) had everything working in his favor, including a strike zone that appeared to have expanded out by several inches. It just shows how great of a catcher Yadier Molina actually is, even though he didn’t do much in the batter’s box, still nursing a thumb injury.

The Cardinals (1-0) got to Lester in the first inning when outfielder Matt Holliday drove in first baseman, Stephen Piscotty from second on an RBI single up the middle.

Piscotty followed up Matt Carpenter‘s fly out to left field with a ground-rule double down the right field line with rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber running after it.

Schwarber had himself an infield hit late in the game when he laid down a bunt and was responsible for breaking up the perfect game by drawing Lackey’s only walk.

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Lester (0-1, 3.68 ERA) turned in a strong performance in his Cubs (0-1) postseason debut, holding the Cardinals to three earned runs on five hits while issuing one walk and striking out nine batter’s.

Dexter Fowler nearly gave his club the lead with Russell standing on second in the sixth inning by launching a towering fly ball to right field, but Randel Grichuk had just enough room to retire the side. Lackey let out a sigh of relief, thinking he had just given up the lead.

After Schwarber worked that fourth inning walk, third baseman Kris Bryant had the opportunity to put something together with one on and only one out.

Lackey, the reliable pitcher that he is, got the league’s upcoming N.L. Rookie of the Year to ground out into a crucial inning-ending double-play to keep the shutout alive.

Both Tommy Pham and Piscotty broke things open with a pair of home run’s – Pham hitting a solo bomb to left field and Piscotty taking Strop deep for a two-run homer to same part of the ballpark.

Chicago attempted to put together a ninth inning rally, ending up with runners on the corners and two outs until Trevor Rosenthal ended the game by getting Bryant to strike out looking.

Game 2 will have Kyle Hendricks taking on Jaime Garcia, a game the Cubs will need to win with Jake Arrieta waiting to take the mound on Monday when the series heads to Wrigley Field.

Next: Rivalry with Cardinals takes next step