Final Cardinals 4, Cubs 0. This is Dylan Mondi signing off.
Top 9th, two on, two outs: Kris Bryant strikes out looking on a pitch down and away.
Top 9th, one on, two outs: Kyle Schwarber lines a single to left to move Soler to third.
Top 9th, one on, one out: Dexter Fowler takes strike three called.
Top 9th, none on, one out: Jorge Soler works a five pitch walk.
Top 9th, none on, none out: Chris Denorfia pinch hits for David Ross and takes strike three called.
Trevor Rosenthal comes in to attempt to close this one out.
Bottom 8th, none on, two outs: Jason Heyward grounds out to Rizzo as he tosses to Strop as well.
Bottom 8th, none on, one out: Matt Holliday grounds out as Rizzo tosses to Strop.
Bottom 8th, one on, one out: Stephen Piscotty UNLOADS on a Pedro Strop pitch to put the Cardinals up 4-0.
That's it for Lester as Pedro Strop comes in.
Bottom 8th, none on, one out: Matt Carpenter draws a walk.
Bottom 8th, none on, one out: Tommy Pham, pinch hitting for Siegrist, UNLOADS on a Lester pitch to make it 2-0 in favor of the Cardinals.
Bottom 8th, none on, none out: Kolten Wong grounds out to second baseman Starlin Castro.
Actually Lester will start the bottom of the eight so his night continues.
Top 8th, none on, two outs: Addison Russell strikes out on a pitch away.
Top 8th, none on, one out: Chris Coghlan strikes out looking on a fastball away.
Kevin Siegrist is coming in for the Cardinals. He posted a 2.17 ERA over 81 appearances.
Mike Matheny will pull John Lackey in what has been a fantastic outing for him pitching 7.1 innings of two hit baseball with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.
Top 8th, none on, none out: Starlin Castro grounds out to shortstop,
Jon Lester likely concludes a fantastic outing for the Cubs. Gave up one run in the first and finished by retiring the last 12 batters he faced. 7 IP 100 pitches, 4 hits allowed, and 9 strikeouts.
Bottom 7th, none on, two outs: Yadier Molina bounces out to Starlin Castro on the first pitch.
Bottom 7th, none on, one out: Mark Reynolds, who came in for Grichuk at first and moving Piscotty to right field, grounds out to Jon Lester with a really nice stretch by Rizzo.
Bottom 7th, none on, none out: Jhonny Peralta grounds out to Addison Russell on a bounce.
Top 7th, runner at first, one out: Anthony Rizzo grounds into a 3-6 double play.
Top 7th, runner at first, none out: Kris Bryant strikes out on a late swing on a fastball.
Top 7th, none on, none out: Kyle Schwarber legs out an infield single against the shift.
Bottom 6th, none on, two outs: Jason Heyward grounds out to Anthony Rizzo.
Bottom 6th, none on, one out: Matt Holliday strikes out on a cutter running on Hollidays hands.
Bottom 6th, none on, none out: Stephen Piscotty flies out to the center fielder Fowler.
John Lackey has been lights out through six innings, He is feeding off the outside corner and it has been working so far for him.
Top 6th, runner at third, two outs: Dexter Fowler flies out to the wall to end the Cubs scoring threat.
Top 6th, runner at second, one out: Jon Lester grounds out to second base advancing Addison Russell to third.
Addison Russell advances to second on a wild pitch by John Lackey
Top 6th, runner at first, none out: David Ross takes strike three called on the outside corner after a seven pitch at bat.
Top 6th, none on, none out: Addison Russell leads off the 6th with the Cubs first hit off of John Lackey.
Lester has really settled in so far. He is at 79 pitches with eight strikeouts with four hits surrendered.
Bottom 5th, none on, two outs: Matt Carpenter drills a high fly ball to right that is caught by Kyle Schwarber to end the frame.
Bottom 5th, none on, one out: John Lackey strikes out on three pitches.
Bottom 5th, none on, none out: Kolten Wong strikes out on a really nasty curveball from Jon Lester
Top 5th, none on, two outs: Chris Coghlan pops out to Matt Carpenter on one pitch.
Top 5th, none on, one out: Starlin Castro grounds out to the shortstop Peralta.
Top 5th, none on, none out: Anthony Rizzo strikes out on a fastball with some really nasty movement.
Bottom 4th, runner at second, two outs: Yadier Molina flies out to center on the first pitch.
Bottom 4th, runner at second, one out: Randall Grichuk takes strike three looking right down the middle.
Bottom 4th, runner on second, none out: Jhonny Peralta strikes out on a pitch outside of the strike zone.
Jason Heyward advances to second on a wild pitch
Bottom 4th, none on, none out: Jason Heyward lines a single to right field on a 3-1 count.
Top 4th, runner on first, one out: Kris Bryant grounds into a double play to end the half inning.
Top 4th, none on, one out: Kyle Schwarber draws a five pitch walk for the Cubs first baserunner of the evening.
Top 4th, none on, none out: Dexter Fowler flies out to the second baseman Wong.
The call on the field is confirmed. It was a super close play but not enough evidence to overturn.
Cardinals will challenge.
Bottom 3rd, none on, two outs: Matt Holliday grounds out to second base, but Mike Matheny might have the umps take a look.
Bottom 3rd, none on, one out: Stephen Piscotty strikes out after an eight pitch at bat.
Botton 3rd, none on, none out: Matt Carpenter drills a deep fly ball to right that is caught by Kyle Schwarber.
Top 3rd, none on, two outs: Jon Lester grounds out to shortstop.
Top 3rd, none on, one out: David Ross grounds out to shortstop.
Top 3rd, none on, none out: Addison Russell lines out to center after an eight pitch at bat.
Bottom 2nd, runner on second, two outs: John Lackey grounds out to Castro stranding a runner at second.
Bottom 2nd, none on, two outs: Kolten Wong flares a double down the left field line.
Bottom 2nd, none on, one out: Yadier Molina strikes out looking on a fastball at the knees.
Bottom 2nd, none on, none out: Randall Grichuk strikes out.
Top 2nd, none on, two outs: Chris Coghlan strikes out on a fastball on the outside corner.
Top 2nd, none on, one out: Starlin Castro hits a chopper to third and is thrown out.
Top 2nd, none on, none out: Anthony Rizzo flies out to shallow right center.
Bottom 1st, runner at first, two outs: Jhonny Peralta strikes out chasing a pitch in the dirt.
Holliday moves to second on a wild pitch by Lester
Bottom 1st, runner at first, one out: Jason Heyward flies out to the left fielder Coghlan.
Bottom 1st, runner on second, one out: Matt Holliday drives in a run with a line drive single to center.
Bottom 1st, none on, one out: Stephen Piscotty hits a ground rule double to right.
Bottom 1st, none on, none out: Matt Carpenter flies out to the left fielder Chris Coghlan
Top 1st, none on, two outs: Kris Bryant hits a sharp liner to Matt Holliday for the third out.
Top 1st, none on, one out: Kyle Schwarber pops out to Jhonny Peralta
Top 1st, none on, none out: Dexter Fowler strikes out on a good curveball from Lackey.
We are underway in St. Louis as Dexter Fowler takes a strike
Starting Lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals 1. 3B Matt Carpenter
2. 1B Stephen Piscotty
3. LF Matt Holliday
4. CF Jason Heyward
5. SS Jhonny Peralta
6. RF Randal Grichuk
7. C Yadier Molina
8. 2B Kolten Wong
9. P John Lackey
Starting Lineup for the Chicago Cubs
1. CF Dexter Fowler
2. RF Kyle Schwarber
3. 3B Kris Bryant
4. 1B Anthony Rizzo
5. 2B Starlin Castro
6. LF Chris Coghlan
7. SS Addison Russell
8. C David Ross
9. P Jon Lester
For the Cardinals their biggest x-factor is Jason Heyward as he is leading the team with a .324/.400/.380 with 4 steals and 4 extra base hits. At Wrigley he is hitting .270/.308/.324 with only two extra base hits.
Some people might look at the matchup and say it is an easy win for the Cardinals as they won the season series 11-8 but the Cubs took the second half of the series 4-2 including back to back blowouts in Busch Stadium and the Cubs are the hotter team going 22-8 in their last 30 games while the Cardinals are just 14-16. I think the biggest x-factor for the Cubs is Anthony Rizzo. He has destroyed the Cardinals with a .323/.432/.585 with 4 home runs and 5 doubles. In Busch he is hitting .289/.364/.632 with 3 home runs.
The Cardinals got a huge boost this week when it was revealed that their star catcher, Yadier Molina, would be on the active roster after missing the final two weeks of the regular season with a thumb injury. The team went just 7-6 following his absence so they will breathe a big sigh of relief to see him back out there.
For the Cardinals, they have John Lackey going for them, the veteran has had a very good season for the Cardinals going 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA giving up 211 hits in 218 innings pitched with 175 strikeouts and 53 walks. However, his advanced numbers suggest he has been benefiting significantly from luck with a 3.77 xFIP and a LOB% of 82.6% which is 10% higher than his career average (72.9%). Against the Cubs he is 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA this season with 19 hits allowed in 21.2 innings pitched.
Taking the mound for the Cubs is southpaw Jon Lester who finished the regular season with an 11-12 record with a 3.34 ERA in 205 innings with 207 strikeouts and 47 walks. Against the Cardinals this season, he is 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA giving up 25 hits in 31 inning surrendering just three home runs and 10 walks. The advanced metrics say Jon Lester has been as good, if not, even better than his traditional numbers indicate with a 3.06 xFIP and a LOB% of 71% which is lower than his average of 74%
The Cardinals came on top in a very competitive Central division that is being considered one of the greatest divisions of all time with the top three records in all of the MLB in that division with the Cardinals at 100-62, the Pirates at 98-64, and the Cubs in third at 97-65.
The Cubs take on the Cardinals today in Game One of the National League Divisional Series. This is the first time in over 2000 matchups the two teams have faced each other in the postseason. The Cubs will have their $155 million dollar man in Jon Lester on the mound against John Lackey.
Hello everyone my name is Dylan Mondi and I will be covering Game One of the NLDS between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. I will be providing play by play updates, commentary, and results starting at the games first pitch at 6:30 CST.