NLDS Game 2: Cubs @ Cardinals

Jenifer Langosch/

Regular season records: Cardinals (100-62), Cubs (97-65)

Series: Cardinals 1, Cubs 0

First pitch: 4:37 pm CT

TV/Radio: TBS, KMOX, ESPN Radio

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (3B), Stephen Piscotty (RF), Matt Holliday (LF), Jason Heyward (CF), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Brandon Moss (1B), Yadier Molina (C), Kolten Wong (2B), Jaime Garcia (LHP)

Cubs lineup: Dexter Fowler (CF), Jorge Soler (RF), Kris Bryant (3B), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Starlin Castro (2B), Austin Jackson (LF), Miguel Montero (C), Kyle Hendricks (RHP), Addison Russell (SS)

Reading material:

  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 4-0 Game 1 win over the Cubs on Friday (link)
  • Fitting that in the year of the rookie, two keyed the Cardinals offense in Game 1 (link)
  • On John Lackey’s growing postseason resume and the intensity that helps him thrive on the October stage (link)
  • Manager Mike Matheny makes all the right moves late to help his team to a Game 1 win (link)
  • Columnist Phil Rogers, on the Cards reminding the Cubs of who has division supremacy (link)
  • Stephen Piscotty held his own at an unfamiliar position before Matheny’s timely move pushed him to the outfield (link)
  • 10 cool facts from Game 1 of the NLDS (link)
  • Pitching in the postseason for the first time since 2012, Jaime Garcia is ready to continue his comeback story (link)
  • Though he wasn’t needed, Lance Lynn was available in relief on Friday night (link)
  • Tale of the Tape: Kyle Hendricks vs. Jaime Garcia (link)
  • Reggie Sanders returned to St. Louis to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Friday (link)

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So Moss gets the start while Grichuk sits. It will be inviting to see if the choice of Moss over Adams pays off.

I don’t suspect MM felt he necessarily chose Moss OVER Adams. I think it would’ve been Adams if he’d been playing in the regular season longer, and….had proven he had his timing back.
I’d bet that MM simply chose the one leftie he was sure is 100% healthy.

Guess Grichuk’s elbow/arm is still a tad sore and Piscotty really didn’t feel comfortable at 1B considering the high stakes?
Moss will probably get an at-bat, maybe 2…before Reynolds replaces him. Or, if Moss gets on base, especially if he gets a double, HR or on base twice? MM may let him stay in.
Poor Jay doesn’t fit in, since he only plays the outfield….and we’re good there.
Did you see the one link above, about Lynn standing ready to sub for Lackey last nite, if the need arose? Interesting. Makes me think that in Lynn may ultimately be put in the bullpen during the remaining 2 years of his contract. Martinez should be back for 2016, plus prospect Alex Reyes, may be brought up next season, too. I think the Cards feel he might be another Martinez???

Pre-game interview with the Cubs beat-writer: Hendricks has a great 88mph sinker. His meat & potatoes pitch. If you see him throw 92-93mph? It means he’s too amped up…and it’ll mess up the sink on his pitches.

Well we seemed determined to hand them this game with this poor defense. Is Greg Garcia any worse than Wong in the field? Wong isn’t hitting either so its not like you lose there if you switch them. They should have been out of the inning well before that home run. 5 UNEARNED RUNS! If this unsettle Jaime’s confidence we will be in a tough situation going forward. Crowd almost seems pro Cubs too.

Then great defense on the other side and a Moss whiff. Shut down inning.

Why take Garcia out? Little was his fault. If Arrieta sails Tuesday who starts game 4 with the series on the line?

Jaime’s out ’cause he’s not pitching well, aside from all the errors. Even if you wanna’ say he was doing decent? He’s probably really rattled which isn’t good. He was really pissed at himself for not throwing to home.
As I suggested before? Lackey might just HAVE to start game 4 on 4 days rest. Heck, Arrieta will be pitching on 4 days rest come Monday.

I don’t think anything’s off the table, Bob. MM could pull Wong and put Greg Garcia in. As I’ve said 100 time before? They’re the “Cardiac Cardinals”. What cha’ gonna’ do. Ugh.
I just can’t believe that Jaime fielded that bunt and threw to 1B. Geez, Louise…their player was running to home-plate.
We could still get on a roll. But that’s definitely not something to count on….

The Moss experiment is not panning out so well so far. They didn’t manage much off him until Wong’s blast. Doesn’t make up for his error and on his birthday too. But Grichuk chimed in too. Keep him in and pull Holliday or move Piscotty to first to jump-start the offense!

Heck, I say Reynolds at 1B. He can bring it off & on.

My point was to lift Holliday who is not where he needs to be yet as his flyouts show. He doesn’t seem to have home run distance anymore and fielding and running are limited.

Holliday’s always claimed he’s a line-drive hitter, more than anything. Sure he hits HR’s…but that’s not his forte.

Wong is having a tough day. Hope Wainwright can be effective. The crowd is pumped to see him in there.

Waino’s the only thing that might save us….

Yeah, Wong’s still young. He’s a terrific player most of the time. However? He gets miffed when he makes an error, which consequently, can be followed up by another one or two. So it goes…

Well the power is back. Too bad there wasn’t a few runners on base.

What was that in the 8th inning? How does Carpenter take that pitch? And Piscotty flustered by that terrible call. It feels like going down 2 games to 1 with Arrieta next.

Aw, I dunno’. Seems like Carp will more times than not, take pitches. He swears being down in the count, makes him comfortable. Helps him figure out what last pitch to swing at.
However, there are lotsa’ pitchers like Lackey, who typically throw strikes most of the time.
It’s gotta’ be real frustrating to have a ball called a strike. That’s all I can say about that & Piscotty.
But hey…it’ll only be 1-1 after tonite. Who knows. Maybe we have some guys who can actually hit off of Arrieta. It’s a wait & see thing…

Aw, poor baby. Jaime told everybody he didn’t feel well (stomach virus, he claims)…and THAT’S why he got pulled from the game. Yeah right, Mr Delicate.
As for Lynn still starting game 4? Post-game, MM said tonite’s appearance didn’t affect or alter that. BUT…Lyons would be available too. Whatever THAT means. Nothing more about that was said.
But if you think about it….why not start Lackey again in game 4? Assuming we drop the Arrieta game…there’s really nothing left to lose.
OK, that’s all I have. G’nite guys…

The guy was out at 3rd, in that Carpenter play, BY the way. : )

We gotta’ win just the one of 2 in Chi-town. That’s all there is to it. So, OK…maybe Arrieta will blank us. Fine.
But there’d be game 4…the all or nuttin’ game. Guess if we HAD to lose to somebody? The Cubbies would be it…irrespective of their totally goofy manager. Hehehe.
Nobody can win every time…

Too bad that after relying on such great pitching especially from starters, they have only one reliable starter at this point. Maybe Wacha will regain some of his pre-September form tomorrow but will it be enough against Arrieta? Game 4 might become some combination of Lynn, Lyons and Wainwright. Unless they use Lackey on short rest which he hasn’t done in a decade. Some interesting decisions ahead.

You sure Lackey’s never pitched on 4 days rest…at least while with the Cardinals? If so…I suppose that might be a good point.
HOWEVER…considering Lackey’s kick-butt, competitive attitude? I do believe he may try to urge MM to use him in game 4, assuming Arrieta beats the Cards in game 3. I know I would. What’s to lose???

This morning Jaime was beating himself up in an interview, saying he should’ve thrown the bunt to home-plate…not to 1B like he did. But then, that was only one of several miscues by the Cardinals in last nite’s game.

Hmmm….our local sports guys were just discussing games 3 & 4. Our main, most knowledgeable, in the loop baseball guy said he thinks game 3 COULD be winnable if Wacha can keep his pitches down. “Michael’s got what it takes”, he said. “Look what he’s done in the past. We’ll just have to see if he brings it.”
He also said not to forget past seasons when things looked bleak. The Cards HAVE pulled it out…and he gave several examples.
And if we do lose to Arrieta? He feels MM could start Lynn with a REALLY short leash, followed by Lackey the second there’s a problem. OR…MM could simply start Lackey again.
He feels that either way, Lackey will most likely be pitching in game 4. So maybe I’m not so crazy, huh? ; )

Losing game two only means best two outa three now.If Lynn starts game 4 I’d be very careful with him after 5 innings. Who ever pitches game 4 will depend on Mondays out come I feel.

If Arrieta wins game 3, Lackey needs to start game 4.
But on the off-chance Wacha wins game 3? It might be OK for Lynn to start game 4, using the bullpen for back-up. Then Lackey again in game 5….right?

Yes that makes sense. But how do they adjust to actually beat Arrieta? Unless he just has a bad game which h might be due for right now. Wacha has dealt with these pressures before but will be hard to tune out that raucous Cubs crowd,

This morning on the radio show, they brought up Arrieta and how difficult he is to hit. We can only hope the Cards get lucky.
That’s why they were talking about Lackey in game 4. The odds are that we lose to Arrieta in game 3.

Cards players seemed pretty upbeat since they have defeated other teams aces in the postseason several times recently.

The Jays won and as their series will continue the game time for the Cards will be somewhat later at 5:05 CT instead of 3:30. I am not sure if I’ll get to see much of it here if the Jays game which starts a bit earlier is still on.

Oh yeah…yesterday, I heard some TV sports nut saying not to count out the Blue Jays just yet. He was convinced they still had a way to go in the playoffs.
And the Cards hit Kershaw pretty good last year when everybody was saying HE was unhittable.
Did you see Jen’s latest tweet up on the right of the page? Looks like Lackey might be pitching game 4 after all. Duh. What else CAN they do.
Go Cards! Go Blue Jays! ; )

In a Sunday interview, Arrieta said, “With so much on the line, it’ll be hard not to be amped up for game 3”. Who can say…..maybe being wound-up a little tight could negatively affect Jake’s pitching? We can only hope.
Also yesterday in batting practice, Reynolds hit a 460+ ft HR…which crashed thru the front window of an apartment across the street from Wrigley. The apartment owner says he’s gonna’ tell Reynolds’ mom. Hahaha.
It’s being said that Lackey’s definitely an option for game 4 if we lose today, as you’re probably now aware. So Lynn, Jaime, Lyons & Waino would likely be the candidates if we play a game 5. A heck of a platooning situation if MM would wanna’ go that way, eh?
Of course…if we’d somehow happen TO win today’s game? What a monumentally colossal & stupendous feat THAT would be!!!! : )

Hopefully it will at least be a good pitchers duel and Wacha will get some of his post-season mojo back. Having Yadi back to work with him will help a lot I hope.

The ONE thing that occasionally bothers me about Yadi? Is that when we really need a pitcher to throw a strike, mostly when it’s a 2-0 count? Yadi will scoot TOO freakin’ far over & set-up way outside, which practically forces the pitcher throw another ball.
Really. Keep an eye out for that tonite…and see if he doesn’t do it some more.
Also, I’ll have to check around to see what stats say. (The Cardinals should have that info.) But if Arrieta typically throws a strike on the first pitch to a batter, which I’d guess he probably does??? The Cards need to swing right outta’ the box, instead of taking a first pitch hoping for a ball. Ugh.
Oh, and one last thing? Maddon had such good luck with bunting yesterday that maybe we should worry he might do a repeat using that strategy?

Arrieta is going to be tough to beat tonight, but so was Kershaw last year when we supposedly had no shot at beating him……we did! So tonight lets break another heart!
Tonight’s theme song ‘Heart Breaker’ by Grand Funk Railroad. Haley is too young to know those guys, but Bob you might be in the ball park:)
Pitch well, play solid D, and timely hitting will be the ticket to our win tonight!!!

Aha, Mr Positive decides to grace us with one of his rare posts. Hehehe. And I DO know who Grand Funk is! Neener, neener.
PS? It’s Grand Funk Railroad, btw. : )
Nothing more to say other than what you already did. Play & pitch your best tonite, Cardinals….and kIck Jakie’s hiney!

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