Yu Darvish had 12 strikeouts and almost pitched a complete game for the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately the St. Louis Cardinals staged a late rally to knock him out of the game and win by a score of 3-2.
Darvish started off strong for the Cubs, striking out Dexter Fowler and Tommy Edman. The third out was recorded on a groundout to short from Paul Goldschmidt.
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas had a longer inning. Anthony Rizzo lined out to first, but Nick Castellanos singled, Kris Bryant was hit by a pitch, and Kyle Schwarber singled to load the bases. Castellanos scored on a passed ball by catcher Yadier Molina and the Cubs were now ahead 1-0. Ben Zobrist struck out and Victor Caratini popped out to third to end the inning.
Paul DeJong led off the third with a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1.
Bryant exited the game with an ankle injury in the bottom of the third. He slipped on first base and was helped off of the filed. Subsequent x-rays were negative and he was diagnosed with an ankle sprain. Ian Happ replaced Bryant at third base after the injury delay. Edman grounded out to short, Goldschmidt singled, but Marcell Ozuna grounded into a double play for the second and third outs.
Castellanos put the Cubs in the lead at 2-1 with a leadoff homer in the top of the sixth.
Darvish remained in the game to pitch the eighth and got a leadoff groundout from Molina. Matt Carpenter hit a single and was replaced by pinch runner Yairo Muñoz. DeJong struck out a foul tip, and pinch hitter Matt Wieters grounded out to third to end the inning.
Muñoz remained in the game at third for the Cardinals and Randy Arozarena replaced Wieters and played center field for the bottom of the eighth. With Mikolas still on the mound, Darvish grounded out softly to second. Rizzo singled and was replaced by pinch runner Javier Báez. After a two-out single from Happ, Tyler Webb entered the game in relief of Mikolas. Schwarber hit a hard liner right to Fowler in right field to end the threat.
Defensive switches for the Cubs in the ninth included David Bote entering the game at third base, Castellanos moving from right to left field, Happ moving from third to first base, Heyward moving from center to right field, and Albert Almora Jr entering the game in center field.
Pinch hitter José Martinez led off the bottom of the ninth with a triple and was replaced by pinch runner Tyler O’Neill. Fowler was out on a sacrifice fly to center, with O’Neill scoring to tie it at 2-2. Edman singled and stole second with Goldschmidt up to bat. After Goldschmidt doubled to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, Darvish was replaced by Pedro Strop. Darvish went 8.1 innings with seven hits, three runs (all earned), no walks, and 12 strikeouts.
The first batter Strop faced was Ozuna, who walked, but he got swinging strikeouts from Molina and Muñoz to end the inning and keep the lead at only one run.
Andrew Miller pitched for the Cardinals for the bottom of the ninth. Zobrist popped out to first, followed by pinch hitter Willson Contreras with a swinging strikeout. Heyward kept it alive with a two-out bloop single to center. Nico Hoerner put up a valiant battle during his six pitch at-bat (with five foul balls), but ultimately flew out to center to end the game.