Chicago Cubs: Cubs finish off sweep of St. Louis
By Erik Mauro
The Chicago Cubs may have put the final nail in the coffin of the St. Louis Cardinals as far as their chances of winning the division.
It was a scoreless game through two innings, and then the Chicago Cubs struck first in the bottom of the third inning. Jason Heyward led off with a single, the returning Addison Russell walked. Quintana would then drop down a sacrifice to advance the runners, and Ben Zobrist with a RBI groundout gave the Cubs the first run of the day. The Cubs would add on two runs in the fourth inning. Kyle Schwarber led off the inning with an opposite-field home run, later on, Zobrist would add a RBI single, making it 3-0 Cubs.
Quintana was cruising along all day, mowing the Cardinals hitters down with relative ease, until the sixth inning. Matt Carpenter led off with a double, and Paul DeJong walked. Q was able to strike out Jose Martinez, bringing up Dexter Fowler with two outs. Fowler then proceeded to launch a baseball somewhere up near the area of Wisconsin, tying the game at 3. Quintana would then allow the next two hitters to reach, before being lifted for Carl Edwards, Jr. Edwards did his thing, disposing of Randal Grichuk.
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The score would stay the same until the bottom of the seventh inning. Anthony Rizzo would get hit on the sleeve, Javier Baez followed with a pinch-hit single. Kyle Schwarber popped out, and Ian Happ was able to hustle out a ground ball, preventing a double play. Then, the much-maligned Heyward would come through, roping an opposite-field single to give the Cubs the lead, at 4-3.
The eighth inning would take some clutch pitching by the Cubs. After a double play, the Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs. Brian Duensing was able to put out the fire and strike out Matt Carpenter, preserving the lead. The Machine, Wade Davis, entered the game for a third straight day, trying to lock this one down. Tommy Pham led off with a single, Paul DeJong popped out, and Jose Martinez then lined out. Fowler stepped in again, and flew out to the warning track, sealing the sweep, Cubs win 4-3.
Next: Offense helping to preserve bullpen
The Cardinals are now six games out of the division lead, with 13 games to play, and four more against the Cubs. The Cubbies are off tomorrow, before embarking on the final road trip of the year, a 10-gamer to Tampa, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, before finishing the season at home against the Reds.