What’s the best way for the St. Louis Cardinals to get over a 1-5 post-All-Star-break record?
Have the Chicago Cubs come to town.
The Cardinals completed a sweep today 7-0, shutting out the Cubs on back-to-back days. In fact, the Cards held the Cubs scoreless for 25 innings in the series — their only run in the three games was in the second inning Friday.
Which, obviously, means the pitching today continued to excel. Lance Lynn allowed four hits and three walks in six innings, striking out five. He won his 12th game of the season, which ties him for second in the NL with Gio Gonzalez. (R.A. Dickey is first with 13.)
Relief-wise, Fernando Salas pitched two innings and allowed only one hit and Marc Rzepczynski retired all three Cubbies in the ninth to end the game.
On offense, the Cardinals came out swinging like it was last night’s seventh inning all over again … except for Tyler Greene. After lead-off man TG fouled out, Allen Craig singled followed by — surprise! — a Matt Holliday double. After Carlos Beltran flied out, David Freese was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jon Jay — surprise again! — doubled to score two. Then Tony Cruz — OK, no surprise — also doubled to score two more.
Tyler Greene did drive in a run today, even though he didn’t have a hit, as the Cards manufactured a run in the fourth. Daniel Descalso led off the inning wtih a bunt single, took second on a passed ball, went to third on a sacrifice by Wolf Pup and then scored on TG’s sacrifice fly.
The Cards’ fifth inning began with a bang. Matt Holliday hit the first pitch to left-center for a home run (and the new seated dugout receiving line). On the next pitch, Carlos Beltran homered to left.
Worth noting: Jon Jay was 4 for 4. Also worth noting: the Cubs had five hits total.
So, all in all a very satisfying weekend — because nothing can top a sweep of the Cubs. Right?
Tomorrow night, the Dodgers come to town for four games. And be sure to sign up for the latest project from the United Cardinal Bloggers — our new newsletter, “The Bird’s Eye View.”
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