A very solid outing on the mound from Jason Hammel, who was commanding his pitches very well for most of the night, and he really only ran into a couple spots of trouble in his six innings of work.
The top and bottom of the 4th featured some huge moments, as Hammel came through at the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, grounding the ball into left field and scoring the Cubs’ only two runs of the night. Then, in the bottom of the frame, after the first two batters reached second and third, Hammel got a pop out then a fly to right that Jason Heyward and his cannon arm converted into a double play at home plate when Matt Holliday tried to tag.
A weird moment in the 7th when Javy Baez pinch hit for Hammel and appeared to get drilled on the wrist and appeared to be in a lot of pain and I appeared to be terrified. I say it all like that because then the Cardinals asked for a review, where it was concluded that the pitch first hit the knob of the bat before hitting Baez, so he was called back, and subsequently struck out. As long as Baez is OK, I’ll take it, but it was not immediately apparent to me that it hit the bat, so it seemed like a strange review. But the Cardinals were “right” – or so said the replay umps – so I guess it was a good move, and it saved them a run, as Dexter Fowler doubled and probably would have scored the speedy Baez from first.
In the end, though, the run would have been superfluous, as the bullpen nailed things down. And Hammel’s your pretty clear MVP in this one …