This game started and ended with just, well … A LOT.
In the first inning, Christopher Morel launched a double off the left field wall and was immediately scored on a basket home run off the bat of Willson Contreras. And in the eighth inning, Contreras was removed from the game after being hit by a pitch, then the Cubs added a little insurance, and finally Harrison Bader (because of course) hit a two-run, 9th inning homer to bring the Cardinals within a couple runs.
I suppose it felt like the Cubs were in control for most of the night, but you never can tell with the Cardinals.
But stressful or not, it sure counts as a win!
And the Cubs offense absolutely popped tonight: 12 hits and 5 walks against just two strikeouts(!) plus homers from Ian Happ (from the right side!), Frank Schwindel, and Contreras. Schwindel had an especially solid night, going 3-4 with two very important RBI and 2 runs scored, including an 8th inning sacrifice fly. Dude has turned it WAY up lately, and it’s been very fun to watch.
Beyond that, Clint Frazier reached base three times, matching a pretty interesting little milestone last reached by Anthony Rizzo, Christopher Morel kept his on-base streak alive, and Nick Madrigal even hit a hard one down the right field line (which is just nice to see).
For now, I’m purposefully skipping around Keegan Thompson, who was making his first start as a permanent(ish) member of the starting rotation, because I want to dive in much more deeply tomorrow. The short version? He got good results over his career-long 5.1 IP (89 pitches), surviving on a lot of weak contact and not many whiffs. His four-seam velocity was strong through the game, but the Cardinals were seeing his cutter very well. I’ve got so much more on my mind regarding Thompson’s outing, but we just have to put a pin in it for now and enjoy the win.
The Cubs have now won three games in a row against the Brewers and Cardinals. And I’m going to enjoy that fact, no matter where this season is going (though it wouldn’t hurt to extend that streak against St. Louis this weekend (there are still FOUR MORE GAMES)!