Final #Cubs 5, Cardinals 4

Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant hit back to back homers in the fifth to spark the Cubs to a 5-4 victory Saturday over the Cardinals, and put some pressure on the Pirates in the NL Wild Card race. The Cubs have won 19 of their last 23 home games, and are 36-15 in the last 51 games overall.

Chicago began the season 2-8 in the first 10 meetings against St. Louis; the Cubs now are 6-2 in the last eight with one more game Sunday at Wrigley Field. However, it could be tense. On Friday, a Cardinals pitcher and manager Mike Matheny were tossed after Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. On Saturday, Hector Rondon and manager Joe Maddon were ejected after Rondon hit pinch-hitter Greg Garcia in the ninth.

“In that situation, you want to finish the game,” Rondon said. “The umpire came to me and said to me, ‘I know it’s not on purpose but you have to go out and take it.'”

*Bryant’s homer gave him 25 for the season, and he now has tied Hall of Famer Billy Williams for the Cubs’ rookie record. Williams hit 25 in 1961.

“Since he came out on the other side from the mid-season when he had a little bit of a struggle, he’s been outstanding,” Maddon said of Bryant. “Great defense, wonderful hitting, one of the best base runners in the National League already. His effort level can’t be any better than it is. He is the rookie of the year.”

*Addison Russell made the play of the game in the ninth when he stopped Stephen Piscotty’s liner, and flipped in time to Javier Baez at second for the force.

“That was a base hit the moment it left the bat,” Maddon said. “He just willed his glove on that ball at the end of it. That would be anticipation, being in the moment, just totally being in focus, not worrying about an at-bat or anything else that happened in the last 24 hours. He was just in that moment and that’s what permitted him to make that play.”

The crowd of 40,994 was loud from start to finish.

“That was the best I’ve ever seen in a baseball game personally,” Bryant said. “They had a little run in the last inning but Addison, I think that’s probably the best play I’ve seen given the circumstances and where we’re at in the season. To sit on the bench for eight innings and then come in and make a play like that, you just can’t make these things up.”

— Carrie Muskat

25 Comments

Aloha Folks- I sure hope tomorrow’s game can be “clean” no hit batsmen and no ill-will between these two great organizations. I heard one of the Giants announcers say today how he is so impressed that at this moment the 3 teams in the NL Central have the best records in all of baseball, that the Cubs could go to any one of the other 5 divisions and be in first place. That if things end the way they are today and the Pirates and Cubs play in that 1-game series, that the Giants announcers felt how hard it would be for either team to have to have their season end. I think the Cardinals and Pirates have great organizations and I though I like rivals I also like to have allies so I hope all this “play” that has taken place between these 3 teams can be put behind, know that all 3 teams are in the heat of battle trying to get into the playoffs and because they are playing well, they represent at this moment the 3 best records in all of baseball. That is cool! Take care now. Mahalo!

Agree and a very good post K. g.

Aloha k,g. Don’t you think the Pirates and Cubs are “arriving” at about the same time? Those two teams seem to be on the same path and along with the Cardinals should hang around the top of the NLC for years to come. In fact, depending on which team aggressively adds to their pitching the Cubs or the Pirates may be considered the team to beat next year replacing the Cardinals, a nice change in scenery at the top would be most welcome and a long time coming.

Aloha Jasper & fonzie- I tell myself, remember what you said at the beginning of the year “.500 or better,” well it is more than better so I am enjoying this no matter what happens. Having said that, pitching is crucial and it is very important late in the season. It is miraculous where this team is given its bp issues and some starting ones too. I was thinking the other day, just a what if…What if the FO only went after 1 quality starting pitcher like a Price then spent some money to build a strong bp with at least 3 consistent folks like the Giants had from 2009-2014 (Affeldt-Lopez-Romo). I would assume that Arrieta & Lester will have a very good 2016, then add in a person like Price and you still have folks to choose from like Hammel-Wada-Hendricks-Wood-Richard-Turner-Edwards and so forth to fill out your other 2 spots. I have also thought about spacing the main-Top 3 pitchers in the rotation in slots 1-3-5, spreading them out as the say. So, in almost every series the opposing team would have to face an Arrieta, a Lester or a Price. Then when you have to go to the pen you are confident you can hold the lead because you now have your “Affeldt-Lopez-Romo” to go to. I think this could work well for the team come 2016 and notice I did not even bring up a main closer, which would be good too. Well, I need to stop thinking for a moment and enjoy the game! Hope they can come back and present (in a classy way) a broom to the Redbirds. Mahalo!

Joey, Pirates arrived last year. Cubs this year.

Aloha again k.g., that is not a bad scenario for next season but I am starting to have my doubts about one added stud being enough to attempt a domination of both the Cards and the Pirates. With Lester no longer THE quality ACE he once was (still a very good pitcher and a most welcome addition) I would feel a lot better if the Cubs invested in two studs (Price one them…PLEASE!) and addressed the bullpen as the season goes on, maybe through a cunning trade by Epstein of course! But with 4 quality, front line starting pitchers the dependency on the BP will be greatly reduced and thusly the current BP may very well be able to step up and show some improvement, especially with this current great season under their belts for some added experience. I suppose what I’m saying is I like the chances of the current BP being able to improve for next season more than I am of the current starting pitchers. We can expect another great year from Arietta, and is it safe to expect a MUCH better year from Lester? Even with that…Hammel, Hendricks and PTBN in the 5 hole do not offer much reason for believing in a dramatic improvement. Two more starting pitchers for me please. Have a good night k.g.

A whole year apart, that just don’t seem about the same time Joey.
That’s like saying Hendricks/Kendricks came up about the same time as Bryant.

No ASSper BAGgs, I’ll correct you yet again. It is “ABOUT” the same time, not AT the same time. Because you don’t seem to think so just verifies your small, perturbed sense of time let alone courtesy to others. Here, try this, maybe your underdeveloped mind can handle something similar to your snide Hendricks/Kendricks comment…In 1960 Ron Santo joined the Cubs, soon after in 1961 Billy Williams joined the Cubs. So, about the same time in the very early 1960’s two of the most productive players in Cubs’ history made their Cubs debut. But really, I don’t care what you comprehend. Just keep zeroing in on my comments, reply as you have with your inane, self satisfying zingers to feed your need to call me “Joey” for whatever fetish reason that is…and I’ll keep fending your bully self off as long as you keep it up. This way we can both not talk baseball which, despite what you claim must be your ultimate goal other wise you would just leave me and my questions TO OTHER POSTERS the hell alone…Do you not get even THAT ASSper BAGgs???

I would agree that Russell & Bryant arrived about the same time.
But clearly Santo and Williams arriving a year apart, is not about the same time.

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This is `beyond annoying` between you two. I was once a middle school teacher, and observed this kind of thing from those immature adolescents, but you are adults. I`m more than surprised those who operate this blog have not admonished y`all long ago.

Really jhosk? I was just thinking how I much I enjoy fending off the bully….and HIS relentless comments without my provocation. Just the opposite in fact. As long as he insists on disrespecting me with improper name addressing and rude comments, I will stand my ground until Carrie denies me the opportunity and obligation to stand up for myself. But thank you for the input. I would very much like to see the instigator admonished to the point he ceases calling me Joey and addresses me by my name Fonzie5430 and we can resume a pleasant baseball dialogue. Take care, Fonzie5430.

If people cannot refrain from personal attacks and name calling, I will simply end the blog.

I, for one understand Carrie, thank you. Sincerely FONZIE5430

Aloha Folks- I just thought I would chime in and speak to another issue with yesterday’s game…fonzie said that my “thoughts” about how to go about the off-season were not bad but that for example with Lester, he is good but no longer “the quality ace he once was…” I have to say, out of all the games against the Cardinals, the one I was looking forward to was yesterday’s because of how he recently had pitched against them in St. Louis and the bp let him and the team down. Well, yesterday was not a “quality-start” and you know I do not like that stat very much because it gives too much lee-way I feel towards mediocrity. Be that as it may, Lester gives up the long ball and when he gets rattled at times, he also loses control (walks). I wonder if they (Maddon and FO) will have to re-think how they use him, for example, in the playoffs? What I mean by this is, Wrigley is not a “big” park and it seems like Lester does not do well at “home,” so maybe he is better on the road in big parks where the ball stays in if you know what I mean. They really needed that game yesterday. I know he has not gotten the run support and that can wear on a person. Well, I hope he can come back this week against the Pirates because that will be a huge series and it is at home! You all take care and hope Hammel brings it tonight! Mahalo!

Aloha k.g. yesterday’s 4-3 loss was unfortunate of course but I think that loss gets tagged on the team (offense, coaching decisions etc.) and not just Lester. I believe you are of the same thought because you mentioned the lack of run support, correct? Good day k.g.

I`m disappointed y`all did not react to my comment about Molina`s dirty hit on Addison. Is it because y`all disagree? Joe did not say it, but I`m very confident he believes it was dirty too. I also love that he said there is never a reason to apologize for anything that happens on a baseball field. You won`t hear other managers say such a thing. Is why Joe`s unique. I `tongue- in-cheek` suggested recently Maddon and Matheny have a physical confrontation. That would be a `mismatch` in the Cardinals` favor probably. But were the two to have a verbal exchange, that would be even more of a `mismatch.` Joe would `crush` Mike. {And I need to make a correction. It was after Friday`s game that the manager made the Soprano reference, not Saturday`s.}

Jhosk I would gladly comment, however I did not get to see yesterday’s game

Actually, both Russell and Maddon said it was a clean play

Aloha Carrie, thank you for that info. Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk, I did not see yesterday’s game but will go back and look at it. I have become saddened recently by Y.Molina, who I hold up as one of the best backstops of all time. I really liked his older brother, Benji who the Giants had to get after Matheny’s career ened in May 2006 in SF. I do not understand Yadiar’s reason for acting like this, maybe he gas taken one too many hits? Mahalo.

Aloha fonzie, correct I was not saying it was all on Lester. Rather, it was not a good outing for him and in Parks like Wrigley he gives up the long ball, my concern is later this week, they host the Pirates at home, Lester needs to be prepared for that crucial game and the offense needs to show up too. Mahalo.

k.g. correct, not a good outing but certainly an acceptable outing that could have produced a victory if other aspects of the game showed up. But this is typical in all of baseball and our Cubs are no exception. I have confidence that this loss will light an additional fire in the belly of Lester and he will come through vs. Pittsburgh, you think k.g.???

I must make something clear. I viewed today`s (Monday`s) episode of the MLB Network`s `Quick Pitch.` The program is one of the best at what it does. If you are a serious baseball fan, it`s `must see tv. It each day summarizes and shows highlights of each major league game played the day prior. The very first game covered today (Monday) was yesterday`s (Sunday`s) Cubs/ Cardinals game. As part of that package, footage of Joe Maddon making comments about that incident at second base involving Addison Russell and Yadier Molina, in which Molina plowed into Russell in a late fashion, was shown. There is no mistaking Maddon`s take on that play. Joe said it was an egregious play on Yadier`s part. He was not okay with it, and did not think much of Molina`s apologetic stance toward Addison immediately after the catcher delivered the `unnecessary ` hit. That was when Maddon commented that there is “never any need to apologize for anything which happens on a baseball field.” I did not see Russell`s comments. He may very well have seen it as a `clean` play, but I assure you the manager did not.

If you had read the stories on Cubs.com, you would’ve seen Russell’s comments. Molina got up and told him, “I’m sorry, my bad.” And Russell said: “I think that’s a clean play anyways. I didn’t get hurt, he didn’t get hurt. No hard feelings.”

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