(BaseballStL) — After a month of mumbles and grumbles about the offense, Friday’s matchup saw a radical change of pace for the Cardinals.
Adam Wainwright, as dominant as any starter in the majors this season, took the hill in Chicago on regular rest riding a 24 inning scoreless streak.
The offense had posted nine runs to win the finale with Milwaukee and all signs pointed to a sixth win for the St. Louis ace.
The Cubs disabused him of that notion quickly, scoring two runs in the first three batters of the game. Through three innings, Chicago had five runs- more than Wainwright’s last four starts combined.
He would finish with 10 hits, two walks and four strikeouts. One of those 10 hits was Anthony Rizzo’s home run in the sixth, the second allowed by Wainwright this season.
In his last three starts (all scoreless) he allowed only nine hits total. It was an unconventionally ineffective outing for the big right-hander, as he tossed 110 pitches in just five innings. That total tied his season high for pitches, though last time he hit that mark he threw a complete game two-hitter.
Rizzo’s homer made it six runs for Chicago on the day, which Wainwright had given up in his first six starts combined.
The Cubs had at least two runners on in four of Wainwright’s five innings and only two at-bats were less than two pitches. He was only ahead of 12 of the 26 batters he faced with a strike.
Despite scoring three runs in support during Wainwright’s outing, the Cardinal offense couldn’t keep up with the string of hits from the Cubs, falling short by one run and losing 6-5.