Wainwright’s gem was spoiled
The game was the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week with Matt Vasgersian on the play-by-play and Alex Rodriguez on the color, with Buster Olney contributing. Wainwright took the hill for the Cards. Joc Pederson led the game off by golfing a 1-1 low-and-in curve for a fly to right. Kris Bryant sharply grounded a low 1-1 cutter through the hole to left for a base hit. Willson Contreras couldn’t check his swing on a low-and-away 2-2 curve and struck out. Anthony Rizzo grounded a down-the-middle sinker on the 8th pitch of the plate appearance to 2nd base to end the inning. Righty Zach Davies took the mound for the Cubs. Tommy Edman hit a 1-0 low-and-in curve for a frozen rope that bounced off of the base of the wall right by the right field line for a double to lead off the Cards’ half. Paul Goldschmidt grounded a low 1-2 sinker to short and Edman had to stay put. Nolan Arenado popped a 1-0 low-and-away change to shallow center, and Nico Hoerner made a nice catch over his shoulder running back. After Yadier Molina walked on 4 straight pitches, Harrison Bader flied a low 0-2 change to shallow center to strand the runners.
Javier Baez struck out looking at a 3-2 sinker that was painted on the corner low-and-away to lead off the top of the 2nd. Ian Happ chased a 1-2 low-and-away backdoor cutter and tapped it back to the mound. David Bote grounded a first-pitch up-and-in sinker to short to end the inning. To lead off the bottom half, Justin Williams grounded an 0-2 low-and-away change into the shift on the outfield grass for Hoerner. Edmundo Sosa struck out swinging at an 0-2 low-and-away change. Lane Thomas softly lined a 1-2 middle-in sinker to right to end the inning.
Nico Hoerner chased a 1-2 low curve that was almost in the dirt and grounded out to short to lead off the top of the 3rd. Davies grounded an outside 2-1 sinker to short. Pederson lined a low-and-in 2-2 sinker to left-center for Bader to end the inning. To lead off the bottom half, Wainwright torched a 3-1 low-and-away sinker deep to left-center, but Pederson ran back and made a jumping catch at the track. Edman flied an outside 2-1 change to shallow center. After Goldschmidt drew a 3-2 walk with 2 out, Arenado lined a low 0-1 sinker to the left-center field gap. Pederson was able to cut the ball off and stop it from rolling to the wall, but Arenado still had a double and Goldschmidt still advanced to 3rd. Molina drove a low-and-in 1-2 sinker deep to left-center, but Happ ran it down at the track to end the inning.
When the home plate umpire called Wainwright’s 0-1 low-and-away fastball to Bryant a strike in the top of the 4th, Ross started chirping. The strike zone box indicated that the pitch was out of the strike zone and a bit low. You could hear the umpire yell “That’s enough, David!” and then “Get out!” Ross was arguing balls and strikes the last half inning when Goldschmidt walked, and the umpire has been a tad inconsistent so far. On the next pitch, Bryant chased an elevated sinker and struck out. After Contreras drew a 3-2 walk, Rizzo struck out chasing a high-and-outside 3-2 fastball. Contreras acted like he was going to steal 2nd, but thought better of it and raced back. Baez grounded a low-and-away 1-0 curve slowly to 2nd, and Goldschmidt picked Edman’s throw out of the dirt to end the inning. Bader got jammed on an 0-1 inside sinker and grounded it softly towards the 3rd base line. Bote was playing in towards the grass, but not all the way. He ran towards the ball, but looked like he didn’t have his eye on it, and the ball went over the base, under Bote’s glove, and down the line and off the sidewall for double. Williams lined a first-pitch low-and-away change softly towards shallow right. Hoerner raced back to make the catch. Bader got too careless on the bases by going farther than half-way, and Horner fired a strong bounced throw to 2nd to double Bader off.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 24, 2021
With 2 out, Sosa sliced a high 1-2 fastball just inside the right field line and off that sidewall for a double. Thomas walked on 5 pitches to bring up Wainwright, who swung at 3 pitches outside of the zone and struck out chasing a 1-2 low-and-away curve to end the inning.
Happ struck out looking at a 3-2 low-and-in sinker to lead off the top of the 5th, and the pitched looked like it was off the plate a bit. Bote grounded an outside 0-1 curve to Sosa at short deep in the hole. Hoerner flied a middle-in 2-2 fastball deep to right, but Thomas ran back and caught it at the track to end the inning. Edman struck out looking at an inside 1-2 sinker to start the bottom half that was off the plate a bit. Goldschmidt lined a hanging 1-0 change right to Pederson in left. Arenado flied a high-and-outside 2-1 sinker to shallow center to end the inning.
Nick Martini pinch hit for Davies to lead off the top of the 6th and slowly grounded a low 1-1 curve to 2nd. The play was close and the Cubs challenged the call, but the replay showed Martini was out by a hair and the call was upheld. Pederson grounded a low 2-2 curve down the 1st base line, where Goldschmidt picked it up just inside the line and made an unassisted play. Bryant slowly rolled an outside 2-0 curve towards 3rd. Arenado charged, barehanded the ball and made a strong throw to 1st for the out to end the inning. The night for Davies was done after 76 pitches, and righty Tommy Nance came out to pitch the bottom of the 6th, and retired the Cards in order on 10 pitches. To lead off the bottom half, Molina hit a high 1-2 fastball slowly down the 3rd base line, where Bote charged and threw to 1st for the out. Bader flared a middle-in 1-1 fastball to Rizzo at 1st. Williams smoked an up-and-in 1-1 fastball towards the middle, but the shortstop Baez was there in the shift and caught it just above the ground to end the inning.
Contreras grounded a first-pitch down-the-middle sinker to short to lead off the top of the 7th. Sosa’s throw was wide of the bag, but Goldschmidt was able to catch it and tag Contreras out. Rizzo grounded a low-and-away 1-1 change to 1st for an unassisted play. Baez struck out looking at a 1-2 high-and-outside sinker that clipped the edge of the corner to end the inning. To lead off the bottom of the 7th, Sosa squibbed an 0-2 low-and-away slider down the 3rd base line. Bote charged and threw, but Sosa beat it out for an infield hit. Thomas worked a 3-2 walk on 9 pitches. The Cubs brought in righty Ryan Tepera in to pitch. Despite Wainwright being at 92 pitches, Shildt left him in to sacrifice. Waino got the 1-1 pitch down for a bunt in front of the mound. Tepera raced in and fired quickly, but wide, to 3rd base. The umpire ruled that Tepera’s throw pulled Bote off the bag to his right. The replay at home showed not only Bote’s foot on the bag with the ball, but that Bote made a swipe tag behind his back on Sosa’s right foot before Sosa slid into the base. So he was out twice, but the Cubs lost their only challenge on Nick Martini’s groundout in the top of the 6th. Because this was not a home run boundary call and it was a play before the 8th inning, the crew chief did not have the power to initiate a replay review on his own and the Cubs were stuck with the bad call. The play was ruled a fielder’s choice and a throwing error on Tepera.
With the bases loaded and nobody out and the infield in, Edman grounded an outside 2-1 change to 2nd base. Bote fired to home plate for the 4-2 force. Contreras caught the ball just before Sosa slid in safely. Goldschmidt popped a 1-0 inside fastball foul to the catcher. Arenado struck out chasing an outside 2-2 cutter to strand the bases loaded, and Tepera got out of a huge mess.
Wainwright came back out for the top of the 8th at 92 pitches, and retired the Cubs in order on 8 pitches. Happ grounded an inside 0-1 cutter to the right side into the shift for Sosa. Bote struck out looking at a nasty 1-2 inside backdoor curve. Hoerner grounded a high hanging 0-1 curve to 3rd to end the inning. Righty Dan Winkler came out to pitch for the Cubs in the bottom of the 8th. Molina chased a high-and-outside 1-1 cutter and grounded out to 3rd. Bader popped a high-and-outside 2-1 cutter foul to Baez behind the 3rd base bag. Williams broke his bat on a 1-0 inside cutter and softly lined a base hit over Hoerner’s head into center for a base hit. Sosa chased a 2-2 cutter that was about a foot outside and struck out to end the inning.
Giovanny Gallegos came out for the top of the 9th. Eric Sogard pinch hit for Winkler and popped a first-pitch high fastball to 3rd. Pederson flied a first-pitch low slider to shallow center. Bryant lined a low-and-away 3-1 slider to left for a base hit, but he was stranded when Contreras struck out swinging at a 1-2 low-and-away slider. Lefty Andrew Chafin came out to pitch the bottom of the 9th. Thomas grounded a down-the-middle 3-1 sinker to short. Matt Carpenter pinch hit for Gallegos and worked a 3-2 walk. Edman grounded a first-pitch low sinker to 3rd for a 5-4 force. Edman beat out the return throw from Hoerner to 1st. Righty Craig Kimbrel came out to pitch to Goldschmidt, who first swung at two low-and-away curves in the dirt. Edman was running on the 0-2 pitch, but Goldschmidt flied a 98 mph fastball to Bryant in right on the track to take the game to extra innings.
Because Contreras made the last out, he was placed at 2nd base to start the top of the 10th. That is the first runner the Cubs have had on second base all night. Alex Reyes came out to pitch for the Cards. Rizzo grounded a hanging 1-2 curve to Goldschmidt down the line for an unassisted play to move Contreras to 3rd. Baez drove a low-and-away 0-1 slider over the center field wall for a 2-run HR to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 24, 2021
After Happ walked on 4 straight pitches, Bote drew a 3-2 walk. Hoerner worked an 8-pitch plate appearance, but struck out chasing a 1-2 slider in the dirt. The Cubs had both Matt Duffy and backup catcher P.J. Higgins available on the bench, but sent Kimbrel back out there to hit for himself, and he struck out looking at a 2-2 low-and-in fastball to end the inning. Goldschmidt was placed at 2nd base for the Cards in the bottom of the 10th. Kimbrel and Contreras must have been crossed up, because Kimbrel’s 2-1 pitch to Arenado was a low-and-away fastball which Contreras was not prepared for and it bounced off of his wrist and went to the backstop. It was ruled a passed ball and Arenado advanced to 3rd base. Contreras went down in pain, and play was stalled for him to get up and receive a warmup throw. The next pitch was a high-and-outside fastball, which Arenado chased and flied deep enough to center to score Goldschmidt on a Sac Fly to cut the Cubs’ lead to 2-1. Molina chased an outside 3-0 fastball that would have been ball four, but walked on the next pitch anyway, and Knizner ran for him. Bader struck out looking at a 2-2 low-and-in 86 mph backdoor curve. Williams chased a 2-2 low curve and struck out to end the game.
Wainwright (7 days rest) 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO; Gallegos (no rest, top 9, tied 0-0) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Reyes (no rest, top 10, tied 0-0) 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR.
ODDS AND ENDS
According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, Adam Wainwright is the oldest Cardinal pitcher since at least 1901 to pitch 8 or more innings and allow 1 hit or fewer in a game…Buster Olney of ESPN reported that Wainwright received 31 called strikes from the home plate umpire in this game, which is the highest total of any pitcher in any game this season…After the game, Mike Shildt told the media that Dylan Carlson was only available tonight if there was an emergency. He hopes Carlson will be available to start tomorrow…Shildt also mentioned that Mikolas’s MRI showed no structural damage. The club will evaluate after the series with the White Sox whether to just go with a 5-man rotation or continue with 6 starters. It looks like Gant will stay in the rotation with Mikolas out, and Oviedo will get a 6th start if there is one…Neither Freddy Peralta nor Luis Castillo pitched particularly well, but the 5 runs the Brewers scored off of Castillo in the first 3 innings were enough to beat the Reds 9-4. Pirates starter JT Brubaker gave up 3 homers to the Braves (2 to Austin Riley) in a 7-1 loss.