29 year old rookie Mitch Harris, a former Navy lieutenant, worked a scoreless sixth for his first career victory as the Cardinals picked up their eighth straight win with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Matt Carpenter showed off his power and Trevor Rosenthal earned his ninth save in 10 chances, but finding a starting pitcher to replace Adam Wainwright is a priority.
First, Lieutenant Harris. He entered the sixth inning after Carpenter had just tied the game up at 4-4 with his fifth homer of the season. That came off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.
Harris got a fly out and pop out to retire the first two batters, then gave up a double to Addison Russell, but Harris got Dexter Fowler to strikeout as the Cubs stranded another runner in scoring position. Chicago went 2 for 12 with RISP and left 11 stranded for the game.
It has always been a dream for Harris to pitch in the majors. He was asked to compare serving in the military to pitching.
Harris is the just the second major leaguer from the Naval Academy and the first since Nemo Gaines in 1921 with the Washington Senators.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mark Reynolds hit for Harris and doubled home Yadier Molina, who singled off former Cardinal Edwin Jackson. The Cardinals tacked on one more in the sixth and another in the seventh off a shaky Chicago bullpen, giving Harris the victory.
The Cardinals starting pitching has struggled the last two games against the Cubs. Tyler Lyons worked 4.1 innings and struck out seven, but was also tagged for four runs, three earned on six hits. When Lyons fell behind in the count, the Cubs made him pay.
Matheny on Lyons