The Chicago Cubs offense failed to generate anything against Carlos Martinez as they dropped the second game of the series in St. Louis. Ian Happ collected his first MLB hit, a two-run home run.
The Chicago Cubs‘ Jon Lester threw 112 pitches on Saturday, but it wasn’t near enough as the offense couldn’t muster much against the St. Louis Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez in the 5-3 loss. Lester struck out nine–but it should have been more–as he didn’t get the outside corner all day. Ian Happ did make a memorable debut for the Cubs, however.
Lester (1-2, 3.27) pitched well and even helped his cause with a RBI double in the second inning to put the Cubs (18-18) up 1-0. But there was little beyond that through the early innings as the Cubs struggled to find any answers at the plate.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
- Cubs might start to limit Justin Steele’s workload soon
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
The Cardinals (20-15) finally got to Lester in the fourth inning. A Jed Gyorko solo home run, later followed by a RBI single by Tommy Pham put the Cards up with a 3-1 lead. Pedro Strop had another tough outing as Pham added another off of Strop (charged to Lester), and then Magneuris Sierra added a RBI single to score Pham.
Martinez (3-3, 3.88) did his damage at the plate with a RBI bunt single and a double. He was cruising along into the seventh before Happ collected his first MLB hit–a two-run home run–to cut it to a 5-3 Cardinals lead. The Cubs needed a clutch hit, and the rookie Happ provided it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Cubs failed to muster anything after the Happ home run.
The Cubs put together a small rally in the ninth as Ben Zobrist hit a pinch-hit single to bring up Kyle Schwarber with a chance to tie. He took one to the warning track, but Dexter Fowler settled under it to end the game.
Rules being enforced–sort of
One of the biggest calls of the game came on a potential double play in the fifth inning. Anthony Rizzo hit a ground ball to Martinez, who fired to Aledmys Diaz for the out at second. Happ broke up the double play but was ruled out on a slide interference. Joe Maddon would challenge the play, but it was upheld. It cost the Cubs a run as Schwarber would have scored on the fielder’s choice. It was a similar play to one in the opening series which Fowler overslid the bag but wasn’t ruled out.
The Cubs and Cardinals will close out the series tomorrow in a 1:15 p.m. CT matinee. Jake Arrieta (4-2, 5.35) will take the mound for the Cubs against Adam Wainwright (2-3, 6.37), two former aces who have lost their way a bit.