Adam Wainwright’s curveball was sharp and his inside fastball was jamming Cubs hitters. Through the first three innings he was rolling along until Chicago scratched out two runs in the fourth inning to hold on for a 2-1 win to even this opening series at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night. The series concludes Wednesday afternoon starting at 12:45.
Wainwright allowed three hits and two walks in five innings while striking out six. Wainwright gave up a one out double to Addison Russell and walked Willson Contreras. Jason Heyward blooped a single over the head of shortstop Aledmys Diaz and Randal Grichuk made an ill-advised late throw home allowing Contreras to move to third.
“That’s not a no-brainer there. If you’ve got a two-run lead and you know that run is scoring, then maybe you could come up and maybe fire to third base. For a guy (Grichuk) to pick up exactly where that runner is and what kind of jump he got, that’s asking too much. If he air-mails a ball, that’s a different story. But it was a good throw.”
Wainwright was slow in reacting to a safety squeeze bunt by Javier Baez as Contreras slide just ahead of a tag by Yadier Molina at the plate to make it 2-0.
Jake Arrieta also struck out six and held the Cardinals to four hits and two walks. It was a rough fifth inning for Stephen Piscotty. After getting hit on the right elbow by Arrieta, he was hit on the left elbow by Contreras as he was stealing second base. After Kolten Wong reached on an infield single, Baez fumbled the ball and Piscotty raced home from third and was hit by Baez’s throw in the ear flap of his helmet. After laying on the ground for several moments, Piscotty was helped up and sent for concussion protocol.
“The trainers asked him a lot of questions,” Matheny said. “He answered everything fine. It just rang his bell, which we will find out what exactly that means when doctors give him better tests than us asking him questions on the field. He was coherent.”
The unearned run was the only run scored by the Cardinals.