Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 8, Cubs 5 – September 24, 2021

While Brett described the potential outcome to today’s twin-billing with the Cardinals as a win-win (either the Cubs break the Cardinals winning streak or improve their draft positioning), I saw it as more of a lose-lose. It’s always nice to win a game against the Cardinals, sure, but if they had won, the Cubs would’ve weakened their potential draft positioning and bonus pool while not really impacting the Cardinals chances at a postseason berth. If they lost, which they did, well, who *wants* to lose a game to the Cardinals at home?

Point here being, the one thing we could all root for absolutely was a great performance out of 2022 rotation-hopeful Justin Steele. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Steele gave up 6 earned runs though his 5.0 innings of work, four of which came on a pair of two-run homers in his final inning of work. Steele has struggled the deeper he’s gone into games pretty much throughout his time as a starter this season, *and* he’s now allowed 12 homers through just 50.0 total innings of work (10 of which came during his 36.2 innings as a starter). Not great.

Offensively, the Cubs couldn’t manage much … until the sixth inning, when they exploded for 5 runs *after* starting the frame with back-to-back strikeouts. The scoring began with a two-run, pinch-hit homer off the bat of Sergio Alcantara and continued with a David Bote single, Trayce Thompson walk, and back-to-back doubles from Austin Romine and Willson Contreras. At least it turned the game from an 8-0 laugher into something more competitive. But they couldn’t take it any further than that.

It was legitimately great to see Jason Adam make his way back and strikeout the side, however. It didn’t seem likely he’d pitch again this season.

Another game coming your way at 7:05 CT.

Full Box Score. 

written by

Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

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