Cubs Ride Five-run 5th to Win - Cubs 9, Cardinals 6

The Cubs started their second half, and their first of five straight games against the Cardinals in winning fashion! The 9-6 win came courtesy of a five-run 5th inning, in which Jason Heyward got his second of three hits, and Ian Happ launched a two-run bomb. The Cubs had to play catch up, which seems like the case every game. With today's win, they got their 31st come-from-behind victory, and that's good for the best in the majors. The Cubs had 45 of those victories last season, so we're ahead of our own game!

The Cardinals went up 2-0 after scoring a run in each of the first two innings. In the 1st, it was an RBI single by Marcell Ozuna, and in the 2nd, it was a solo shot by Tommy Pham, his 14th of the year.

In the 3rd inning, that lead was cut in half when Jason Heyward came through with a two-out hit to give the Cubs a run. The inning led off with a walk to Victor Caratini, who then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Hendricks. Kris Bryant reached on an error, landing Caratini at third. Then came Jason Heyward who hit a solid single to left, bringing home Caratini, and cutting the lead to 2-1.

The Cardinals tacked on another run in the top of the 5th inning. Yadier Molina singled, advanced to second on a single by Marcell Ozuna, moved to third on a walk to Jedd Gyorko, and eventually scored on a single by Kolton Wong. After 4.5 innings, the Cardinals were up 3-1.

Then the Cubs got it rolling in the 5th inning where they gave the Cardinals a beating in the form of five runs. Victor Caratini led off the inning with a single, and ended up at second on an error by Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong. Tommy La Stella grounded out and Caratini went to third. The Cubs had a man on third with nobody out for the Captain, Anthony Rizzo. He doubled to bring home Caratini and it was a one run ball game. Next up was Kris Bryant who singled, moving Rizzo to third. Jason Heyward checked in and continued making an impact with a single, scoring Rizzo and taking Bryant from first to third. Bryant would score on a sacrifice fly by Ben Zobrist, and the Cubs now had a man on second with two outs for Ian Happ. He made everyone HAPP-y with his 12th bomb of the year, and that put the Cubs up 6-3.


Source: FanGraphs

The Cardinals got one of those runs right back in the sixth on solo shot by Matt Carpenter. Now the Cubs lead was 6-4. Jason Heyward and his boys weren't done yet, as he led off the inning with a single, and stole second base. Ben Zobrist came up and singled to bring Heyward home, and the Cubs were once again up by three - 7-4 at the end of seven.

The see-saw scoring continued as the Cardinals scored a run in the top of the 8th on an RBI groundout by Matt Carpenter. The Cubs came roaring back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Caratini and Bryant. At the end of eight innings, the Cubs led 9-5.

But the Cardinals continued to pester the Cubs by putting up one final fight in the top of the ninth inning. Paul DeJong led off with a double, and scored on a single by Kolton Wong. That would be the end of it as Pedro Strop recorded the last out and notched his third save.

We are playing FIVE STRAIGHT GAMES against the Cardinals, y'all, including a doubleheader on Saturday. I'm going to be greedy and ask that win every game, so we're off to a good start! The Cubs haven't exactly had the best luck against the Cardinals - winning just four of nine so far this season. However, the Cubs are hot, hot, hot right now -winning 13 of their last 16 and stand atop the National League Central some 3.5 games ahead of the Brewers.

Tomorrow, the Cubs will send Jon Lester to the mound to oppose Jack Flaherty at 1:20 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago. Lester brings his National League leading 12 wins, and the NL's 4th best ERA (2.58) into the second half. He'll also look to continue his impressive performance at Wrigley where he is 5-1 with an ERA just under two in nine starts. Let's put some hot sauce on these Cardinals once again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    That was a good win and showed that our ability to come back is still there. We have so many offensive weapons that even if several or even more are having a bad night two or three can come through. The only thing I didn't like was Addy's throw to no one at first. I know he was trying to make a play, but even if Wilson was there I don't think it would have been in time. He's (Addy) is so good but every once in a while he has a brain cramp.
    We see what happens when teams give us additional outs--Milw and StL have done that often and we take advantage of it, that's why we have to play good defense and not give away those outs.
    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Exactly right. Our depth is incredible. Our back up catcher goes 3 for 3 and is hitting .299.

    It's now clear that Hayward isn't simply on a hot streak but has really found himself. Given that Rizzo and KB have had down years (so far) Heywards turn around has been one of the key factors to our success. He, Javy and Almora have largely carried the team. But everyone has contributed. Everyone. And that's the (sometimes maddening) genius of Joe Maddon.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Their "switch-hitting back up catcher." I love the sound of that.

    I haven't gotten to see Caratini much this year. How has his receiving, throwing, game management, framing kinds of things?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    His receiving does need some work. Hendricks didnt get a couple of close pitches last night. His offense looks pretty good tho.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I saw that last night as well. He pushed down on a low ball that hit the bottom of the zone. But I also think the ump missed a lot of low zone calls for both sides. Some edges too. But again, for both teams.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I've said many times Joel and I'm gonna get myself blasted again for ever posting a criticism of a player on this roster but he's flat out not a very good defensive catcher right now. I get attacked whenever I bring up caratini's catching but I was a high school catcher so I guess I see some aspects that I don't like about his defense that may not be as noticeable for most fans. His athleticism, throwing arm, receiving to a lesser degree than throwing, and game calling/management are all below average/barely passable and in general I don't think it's an accident that you're not seeing many quality pitching outings with him behind the plate. I counted multiple occasions just in his last 3 starts where I felt his pitch calling was directly responsible for the runs scored. He made bad pitch calls on the 2-2 pitch on Matt Carpenter's home run last night and he made a bad call on Eric Hosmer's 2 run home run his last start against the padres. Cub fans seem to love him but I personally think his outstanding offense for a backup catcher is clouding a balanced and unbiased judgment on his defense. Also for reference his catcher's ERA sits at about 4.71 heading into last nights start while Contreras team ERA sits at 3.39. Now when he hits like he did last night or since his call up then it doesn't really matter if he makes a pitch calling mistake that leads to extra runs here and there but it's hard to go 3 for 3 every game. Overall, though I hope he proves me wrong and shows improvement with his game management because I think we all love him as a hitter. Good to see him win his last 2 starts also even though both games were high scoring that that don't lower my concern about his defense and game management.

    Now while I criticize his defense as it is right now that's in no way me saying that I don't really like Caratini as a prospect I feel like he's going to be a solid ML catcher I just think he may need 2-3 years of experience at the ML level before he can get there I think he's a poor game manager now but that's something that can likely be improved with games played and reps behind the plate. And with his bat frankly he only needs to become a competent defensive catcher to be a legit starter I think he's a better overall prospect than Wellington Castillo for example. I just question if he's a good fit as a backup catcher in the short term (next 1.5 years) because I think he's a barely passable catcher right now and I don't know if we have the luxury of giving him the necessary starts to develop into a passable catcher I think he'll get there with a couple of years of experience but I think the cubs roster isn't an ideal spot for his development and I'm interested to see how this situation handles itself.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Put it this way I think if Contreras got hurt and Caratini took over the everyday starter job then our pitching staff would be in big trouble. Frankly I don't even think Caratini is qualified to catch Jon Lester with his throwing arm

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I am certainly not going to blast you for questioning his defense. I asked, specifically, for impressions of him on defense. That is what you did. Thanks for the input.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You bring up good points and from your perspective they really make more sense but I’m leaning now to the stance that this team is more than deep enough to absorb a few players not firing on all cylinders at any given time. I never felt that way before but do now.
    What would it take for the wheels to fall off completely for them not to recover? Losing 4 or 5 key players all at once is just not going to happen especially losing them for the rest of the year. Even now the FO is completely engaged in re-inforcing the roster to guard against this.
    We are in great shape and I really believe positioned better than any other team roster wise in baseball and don’t only have their minor league systems they have to fall back on.
    If Contreras went down, we have no one better anywhere stashed other than Caratini. It would not be shocking either to see Schwarber mobilized......options......exist.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    That's true overall and don't get me wrong Caratini's hitting since his recent call up has me really excited I just worry because I'm paranoid about the catching position in general being a former catcher. It's the one and only baseball position where I think handling the position defensively comes far before your offense and I generally think game management and handling the nuances of catching is very underrated in today's game. Caratini is below average defensively right now but I think he'll become competent with a couple of years of experience and really he looks like he has a place in the bigs on his hitting alone. My concern is that I don't like being one injury away from potentially having our season ended and even though we have a deep offense, my concern with Caratini is on the run prevention side of things which is obviously a bigger concern for this group than hitting which is a team strength. I don't think Caratini is advanced enough defensively to be the teams playoff starter this season if something were to happen to Willson and while I like him as an overall long term prospect, I just wonder if he maybe more valuable to another team as a trade chip that can give him the necessary reps that he needs to become an average catcher because he is a nice long term prospect in his own right. The fact is he's not getting the development time that he deserves given Contreras presence and his short term impact is mitigated by his inexperience and struggles with game management at catcher. My main gripe is I like him more as a long term asset than a short term asset at catcher so I'm interested to see what the organization does at backup catcher and it they use him as a trade chip and acquire another Avila/Rene Rivera type. I'm rooting for him though I don't have some agenda against him and I'll be the 1st to praise him if I see some of the improvements defensively that I want to see from him. The 1st thing I'd like to see more lower scoring games with him behind the plate for one that would be a nice start to him establishing himself as a core piece

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think Caratini's defense is fine. Not saying it's gold glove defense. I think if his defense was as bad as you say it is the coaching staff and front office would of done something about that by now. Also how do you measure game management. You bring this up a lot. I don't believe there is a stat that measures this. If his pitch calling is as bad as you say it is being a former high school catcher. Then Maddon could have him look into the dugout to get the pitch to call. I agree if Contreras gets hurt the Cubs would be in trouble. But that is why Caratini is i back up catcher.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I see what you're saying about why this is a difficult process for me to explain and go into great detail with this topic but the front office hasn't necessarily shown confidence in Caratini. They essentially benched him in favor of Avila/Rivera last year and even gave Giminez an opportunity despite the fact he hits like a pitcher. It's only july 20 there's a very good chance we see changes at backup catcher due to Caratini being one of our more valuable trade chips. If they keep him past the deadline then I agree that's a big vote of confidence for him and it would alleviate my concerns to a degree knowing that Theo and co. think he's on the right track defensively.

    It's hard for me to describe the context by messaging of why I dislike Caratini's game calling unless we're sitting down, discussing the context of the AB we're watching while we're watching tape. It would also take me all day to break the context of the situation down by message but the thing I'm noticing in short is that a number of runs are crossing the plate on pitches where the pitcher is executing their pitches yet they are still getting hit. This happened against SF, it happened on Eric Hosmer's home run in SD, and it happened vs. Matt Carpenter last night on his home run. Yes these are big league hitters and sometimes they hit an executed pitch but it seems to happen too often right now for Caratini. I strongly disagreed with the choice of pitch in the moment that those runs scored and right now Caratini's game management is an issue and it doesn't help that he doesn't really control the running game at an adequate level as well. Now I maybe just a little impatient with him he's a young catcher learning a new pitching staff and I think he can handle the position physically and long term even though he doesn't have a very strong arm. He's only gonna improve on his game management by gaining experience and learning from his mistakes I'm just not sure that we have the necessary AB's for him at catcher as we do in contrast for a guy like Ian Happ who can move around. That said I hope you're right like I said before he doesn't need to be a good catcher with his bat and I do believe that game management is an aspect of catching that can be improved. I'm sure Mike Borzello is constantly working with him on this facet of the game too and I'll be the 1st to praise him if he shows the strides that I'm looking for. Managing the team to more lower scoring games would definitely be a good start though

  • Jason Heyward aint so bad anymore . Right folks?

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Looks like he’s finally having fun out there now. That contract and the expectations had to be wearing on him and now it seems he has integrated into the puzzle and it’s even wearing off on the others. This is a great unit. They lost Edwards and Bryant and didn’t skip a beat.....
    You see the national media now saying the Dodgers are the team to beat...all they did was get a replacement for a Seagar when Seagar is hot....and they didn’t win when he was and still have 3 other teams in their division who can hurt them....not so with the Cubs, especially when one more of the Central teams can start making tee times after this weekend.

  • Alex and Jess raved about the Cubs contact, especially a beautiful hit-and-run, as it seemed like we consistently had runners on first and third. And by the time the crowd got to "...to be the best in the National League," Theo gave Joe another arm to ride. Probably one more coming in the next ten days. If Morrow is healthy, Britton is a luxury; Familia or Soria would be nice. Duensing used to be able to finish the 5th and 6th but is LOOGY at best now and Iowa shuttle is tricky with DL substituting for out-of-options moves. Need to cover potentially four innings per next 40 games until September call-ups since starters not consistently going six. That's way too much for eight guys as equates to 80 inning season. Don't be surprised if TLS gets a hangnail and Joe goes with a 9-man pen for a couple weeks.

  • Haven’t seen a corresponding move with Chavez yet. Probably Norwood gets demoted. He makes #40 on that roster so no need to DFA anyone. But 2 guys are on the 60 day DL & 1 of them is already back on a rehab stint.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Actually Chazez makes 39, and can play with 26 on Saturday. Lester today with Rosario and Norwood rested and three guys that only faced one batter each last night, so Chavez may not report until Saturday and Norwood goes down on Sunday. Decision on Butler will be required in August; Smiley can stay on 60 day remainder of season or be activated in September if healthy enough to be useful.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    I saw the decision to delay adding him to Saturday for the DH after I posted this.

    Chavez actually makes 40. I counted 3 times. 42 including the 2 on 60 day DL. Like I said, corresponding move will happen, probably Norwood on Sunday.

  • Has anyone seen Jesse Chavez pitch recently? I know he's got a lot of fans in the metrics crowd but I was surprised about the acquisition. I wonder if it signals that Montgomery is getting traded

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Either him or Chatwood or both... or the “mysterious” injury... They also have Butler rehabbing in minors now.

    Apparently Chavez throws strikes. His Ks/Ws ratio is decent, but he serves up the long ball as well. Supposedly eats innings. We will see what he is for the Cubs here in due time. Probably the day they add him to the 25 man.

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