#Cubs complete DH sweep of Cards

The Cubs made a statement on Tuesday by sweeping the Cardinals at Wrigley Field, winning the first game, 7-4, and taking the nightcap, 5-3. It’s Chicago’s first DH sweep over St. Louis since June 8, 1992, and first DH sweep overall since Aug. 13, 2008, against  the Braves.

“It’s good when you’re able to take two games from a team like that, especially the way we hung in there in the first game
and came back in the second game,” said Jason Motte, who finished both games, and picked up a save in the second. “It’s definitely a confidence booster.”

Jake Arrieta got the win in the first game, giving up two runs over 6 2/3 innings, while Travis Wood was the winning pitcher in the second game in relief of starter Dallas Beeler, who was promoted from Triple-A Iowa for the start. Beeler did well, giving up two runs over five-plus innings, and also hit a double.

“I’ve been saving that swing for 2 1/2 months,” Beeler said.

The Cubs rallied in the seventh. With one out, pinch-hitter Miguel Montero walked and advanced on Jonathan Herrera’s pinch-hit single. Addison Russell then lined a ball down the first base line that umpire Pat Hoberg ruled fair. Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness disagreed, and was ejected. Montero scored on the hit to tie the game at 2.

“It was a fair ball,” manager Joe Maddon said. “The thing I loved was how [Russell] battled through that moment. He did not cave, he did not quit.”

Dexter Fowler then hit a comebacker to pitcher Kevin Siegrist, but he threw it away into center for an error, allowing
Herrera to score. Anthony Rizzo followed with a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.

“It’s really rewarding to watch our guys battle through the whole thing,” Maddon said.

If you were watching, you might have noticed Herrera had some helmet issues in the seventh. The problem was he couldn’t find his, so he borrowed Mike Baxter’s. But it was too small.

Said Maddon: “It looked like the give away helmet that you put the ice cream in.”

Herrera then took Chris Coghlan’s helmet, and that fit, and came through with his single. Where was Herrera’s helmet? Apparently it was in its cubby hole but way back, and the infielder just couldn’t find it.

With the win, the Cubs now are nine games over .500, which matches their high point for the year.

“The season’s not over today,” Motte said. “We still have a couple months to go. We have to go out there and keep playing and keep playing hard. We have to be the team we know we can be.”

— Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

Today was special. We took both ends of a doubleheader from the Redbirds for the first time in well over 20 years. Doesn`t it seem as if we`ve heard the name Jonathon Herrera mentioned often of late in these postgame summaries? He seems to be in the mix of late in some of our wins. I mention that because there is one poster on here who has commented more than once that Herrera is `terrible.` Joe Maddon commented in spring training that he was impressed with Jonathon Herrera, and that is, no doubt, the principal reason the journeyman role player has been part of the major league roster all season. Beeler gave us a more than decent effort, as did Richard the other day. These are the kinds of efforts that are required of a `winning` team. Most of the roster has to contribute to the final winning result, and today`s double win was an example of that. Many contributed. But if we do no win tomorrow as well, it will not mean a heckuva lot. We can`t afford to play .500 ball vs. the Redbirds, given the enormous lead in the Central Division they enjoy at the moment. And don`t sleep on the Pirates. They are also ahead of us in the standings and looking mighty imposing of late. Don`t you love being part of a pennant race? I don`t think y`all need to be reminded we`ve waited a long while for this.

we don’t need to be worried about the Cards lead in the Central… we need to worry about winning our games. We are currently in the playoffs by 3 games. All we need to do is keep winning. I think the All Star break is coming at a great time. Hopefully these young guys take the time to relax and get away and come back fresh and revived. There are numerous struggling hitters right now. You get Castro, Russell, Rizzo, and Fowler back hitting and this lineup is real good. Better than the Cards and Pirates when its clicking…

Aloha jhosk- yes, they need to play above .500 ball. Even if they do not catch the Cardinals, each “game” is its own series. Teams in the other leagues could get hot and overtake a team today that looks good for a WC berth. I felt the second game of the DH, displayed more “small-ball” which is so important for the young team. I am not so worried about “power” as it will come but to be able to disrupt another teams timing, manufacture runs off of singles-doubles-walks-stolen bases just adds to their arsenal. I know Fonzie said it below and I will reiterate that at-bat by Rizzo was tremendous. For a power-hitter to shorten up after two strikes were on him, knowing that there is a runner on third and we need to get him in, he placed the ball and got a sac fly to score the run. It also shows the young guys and folks going through a difficult period that there are more ways than one to score runs. There are still 4 games left before break and each one is important. Mahalo.

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Terrific day for the Cubs. Having Soler back is big. I really like the lineup Maddon used and I hope he stays with it. I think a set lineup is important as it allows guys to settle into a better rhythm offensively which helps them play more relaxed. They’ll push less and I think we’ll see more consistent run production with more players contributing as jhosk stated. It’s great being right in the thick of things. Go Cubs Go!!!

That sac fly by Rizzo just about nails what I was referring to about a “Mark Grace” type of hitter, not that I think Grace is in the same ballpark as Rizzo considering Rizzo’s power and RBI prowess yet the sac fly itself is reminiscent of what Grace was good at throughout his career. Something Montero failed to do the other night with runners on first and third and no outs….just a sac fly, an elevated ball…gets a run in. Rizzo is the smart hitter in this line up and obviously changes his approach at the plate depending on what the circumstance dictates. Good to see. This team is certainly capable of a wild card challenge but considering Fowler, Russell, Castro and Montero being just a little offensively challenged at the same time gets me thinking about Theo adding a more consistently potent bat for LF or CF. Or quite possibly an internal change such as seeing more of Denorfia in LF? He seems to be hitting consistently well, more so than Coghlan. Will we see Schwarber getting more playing time in LF at AAA, getting him ready for a call up? Still some maneuvering to do with Schwarber being groomed as a catcher with Montero signed for two more years. I love these “problems” the Cubs have right now, Theo has really done a remarkable job acquiring talented players first and figuring out where to play them later.

I’d be surprised if coghlan and denorfia were on the Cubs for the second half…. I feel one of them will be dealt…. Really the same production from either

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