Chicago Cubs Recap: Wacky game leads to an 8-2 Cubs win

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15: John Lackey /

The Chicago Cubs opened a three-game series with the division rival Cardinals. As always, there was no shortage of drama as the Cubs took game one.

WOW! What a way to start a Cubs-Cardinals series in September with the division on the line.  A wild game that saw the Chicago Cubs battery get ejected, then the wheels come of for the Cardinals in the sixth. Let’s take a look at what happened.

John Lackey served up a solo home run to Tommy Pham in the first inning, his league leading 34th homer.  Things didn’t look good for the Cubs at the outset as Carlos Martinez was cruising. He hadn’t allowed a hit through the first three innings, but Kris Bryant then changed that in the fourth. His 26th home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth, tied the game at one.

Lackey-Contreras Ejected

Things took a very interesting turn then in the fifth. With two outs and two on, Lackey appeared to throw strike three to pitcher Martinez to end the inning. However, home plate umpire Jordan Baker called it a ball. Lackey was, of course, livid and voiced his opinion. On the next pitch, Martinez hit an RBI single to give the Cardinals the lead. Then all hell broke loose.

Lackey charges toward home plate to back up the play and lets Baker have it. Rightfully, Lackey quickly gets tossed. Willson Contreras also exchanged some words with Baker before getting tossed as well. He proceeds to then scream at Baker and toss his catcher’s mask. No one is quiet sure what Contreras said to get tossed, as he seemed relatively calm when he got tossed.

A look at the pitch in question above shows that Contreras did not do a good job of pitch framing but the pitch track shows the pitch clearly being a strike. In looks a lot closer, but it wasn’t. It was a bad call that could have had HUGE implications had the Cubs not woke up.

Offense backs up Lackey

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The Cubs took care of business in the sixth though. After Bryant singled and and Anthony Rizzo walked, Alex Avila singled in the tying run. Jon Jay followed with a go-ahead RBI single to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Then the wheels came off after that for the Cardinals.

With the bases loaded, Baez hit a bouncer back to the pitcher. Martinez made a bad through that Yadier Molina dropped and another run scored. Happ then broke the game open with a two-run single. Bryant and Zobrist also drove in runs as the Cubs sent 11 men to plate and built up a 8-2 lead.

That was that. The bullpen did the job the rest of the way, and Davis got the final four outs as the Cubs won their fourth straight and dropped their magic number to 13. If the Brewers lose tonight, it will drop to 12. The Cardinals fall to four back of the Cubs now.

Cubs making history

The attendance of 38,464 sent the Cubs over the three million mark for the second consecutive season and tenth time overall in franchise history.

The Cubs have now scored eight runs or more in four straight games at Wrigley since 1929. The did it in six straight that year.

Next: Cubs' fans reminded about the humbling nature of baseball

The Cubs also now improve to 9-4 at the Cardinals this season and 6-1 at Wrigley.

What’s Next?

Tomorrow, the Cubs send Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 3.35 ERA) to the mound. He will be opposed by Michael Wacha (12-7, 3.99 ERA). First pitch is set for 3:05 on CSN Chicago Plus and 670 The Score.