St. Louis Cardinals: Series Recap Against the Chicago Cubs
Game 3: Chicago 0-St. Louis Cardinals 5
The big headline from this game will be, and should be, Adam Wainwright‘s pitching performance on Sunday. Wainwright, who has struggled to find consistency this year, threw his most complete game of the season in the 5-0 victory. He out-dueled his opponent, Jake Arrieta, who torched the Cardinals during his first start back in April.
WP: Adam Wainwright
LP: Jake Arrieta
No Save recorded.
I’ll get into Wainwright’s start a little later, but here is how the Cardinals scored their runs. The first two came off a Yadier Molina 2-Run home run off of Arrieta. Molina took the first pitch he saw and blasted one into left field. After going through a bit of a rough patch, Molina was able to put the Cards on top in the second.
The next couple of runs came off the bat of Matt Carpenter. Carpenter going into the series was 0-28 against Arrieta, something well documented. I have some opinion on that as well, but I’ll save it for my takeaway section. Carpenter pushed the lead to 4-0 with a 2-Run home run of his own.
The third inning blast was a no doubter as well. Carpenter was able to deposit the ball into right center, and with the way Waino was pitching, the game seemed to be out of reach. The last of the Cardinal’s runs came off another Molina home run. The homer came off Brian Duensing in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kevin Siegrist shut the door and capped off the series win for the Cardinals.
So what are the takeaways from Game Three and the series win?
First off, and probably most important, Adam Wainwright’s performance was exactly the kind of game he needed. His final line on the day was: 7IP, 0 ER, 4BB, and 3K’s. Much like the other two Cardinal starters on Friday and Saturday, walks were an issue. But, again, no damage was done with those men on base.
This kind of start is important to Adam Wainwright because he has been searching for some consistency this season. Sunday’s start was the furthest into a game he has pitched, and he has only gone into the sixth inning one other time. So for him to be able to get to seventh inning and complete is a huge boost to him.
With as many fans hating on Waino’s performances, maybe it’s possible he came out with a chip on his shoulder. Here at Redbird Rants a few of us have suggested Wainright she be in the bullpen. So kudos to Wainwright for delivering a vintage performance. I’m sure he would tell you that he’d like to limit those walks and pick up a few more strike outs. Sorry, Adam. This will do just fine.
Related Story: What to do With Adam Wainwright
Second thing to takeaway from this series is beating Jake Arrieta. The Cardinals were able to prove to themselves that they could beat both Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in back to back games. Sure, we were in St. Louis, but don’t let that stop you from doing it again. If the Cardinals are going to win the division they have to be able to put up runs against those two guys.
Now don’t get me wrong. The Cardinals should have beat Eddie Butler Friday, but as a consolation for the sweep I’ll take beating Lester and Arrieta for a series win. Speaking of beating Arrieta, hats off to Matt Carpenter.
As I mentioned he broke his 0-28 with a home run to right center, but I want to point something out to fans. Before the game and in many games before, while Carpenter was on this 0-28 streak, many fans were pleading with Matheny to take him out of the lineup when Arrieta pitches. I can’t blame them, but really?
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- St. Louis Cardinals non-tender former All-Star closer Alex Reyes
- St. Louis Cardinals sign Oscar Mercado and four others to MiLB deals
- St. Louis Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt named 2022 NL MVP
- Lars Nootbaar is a prime Cardinals trade candidate
- Cardinals: Former MLB GM calls Jordan Walker a superstar for 2023
Matt Carpenter is your best hitter. I understand he was 0-28, but not playing him isn’t an option. He was bound to break the streak eventually, and he did so in style. Arrieta has had a rough start to the year, so Matheny might have been playing that scenario in his head. Matheny’s decision to roll with Carpenter should put a lot of confidence in Matt. Also, Carpenter has been one of the hottest hitters in the lineup over the last few weeks.
Or did you forget the three straight games with a home run against Atlanta?
My last takeaway is pretty simple. By taking the series, the Cardinals were able to not only to stay in first place in the highly contested NL Central, but also push the Cubs under .500 and 3.5 games back. All week I have been mentioning how important this series was.
It was important for two reasons. The first reason is that the Cardinals needed to continue playing good baseball. Friday’s mishap was quickly overlooked by the series win. The team is continuing to build confidence and they are going to need it when they face LA and Colorado.
The second reason is about kicking your opponent while they are down. The Cubs haven’t been playing their best baseball. You know it. They know it. But, surely they won’t continue like this? So it is better to beat them now and widen your lead on them while you get the chance. It would have been nice to take all three, but two will do.
Next: Redbird Rants Podcast Ep. 2
By Sunday night, the Cardinals were still in first place. That is a great feeling to have, but there is more to be done. The one thing the Cardinals need to continue to work on are those middle relievers. Brett Cecil has to be better for the team. If he continues to struggle, the Cardinals need to act quickly to shore up the bullpen. For now, though, let’s keep this momentum going. Go Cards!