October 12, 2015

Cubs rock Wrigley, roll over Cards in NLDS Game #3

CHICAGO--WRIGLEY FIELD--Six home runs by six different Chicago Cubs set a new MLB record for round trippers in a playoff game in a 8-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night.

A 30-mile per hour wind blowing out to right field didn't hurt the longball production for either team.

The record-setting homers were hit by each of the first six Cubs in their batting order, though not in that order. The six were:
  1. Kyle Schwarber - 2nd inning - solo - left-center field - off Michael Wacha
  2. Starlin Castro - 4th inning - solo - left-center field - off Michael Wacha
  3. Kris Bryant - 5th inning - 2-run - left field - off Michael Wacha
  4. Anthony Rizzo - 5th inning - solo - right-center field - off Kevin Siegrist
  5. Jorge Soler - 6th inning - solo - left-center field- off Adam Wainwright
  6. Dexter Fowler - 8th inning - solo - right field - off Jonathan Broxton

The win was also the first playoff win ever at Wrigley Field and sets up a chance for Chicago to win the NLDS Tuesday night, now with a 2-1 lead in the series.

The Cardinals fell behind early when Kyle Schwarber powered a solo home run out in left-center field off Michael Wacha (0-1).

Bouncing back in the top of the fourth off of Cubs' starter, Jake Arrieta (1-0), the Cardinals plated a couple to take the only lead they had of the night, making it 2-1.

Chicago answered quickly, tying the game at 2-each in the bottom of the frame off a solo homer by Starlin Castro.

The Cubs put up a crooked number in the fifth with a couple more homers. Kris Bryant cracked a two-run homer to left field off Wacha to put the Cubs back on top, 4-2. Cards' manager, Mike Matheny, may have left Wacha in one batter too long. Then again, that argument could go the other way as reliever Kevin Siegrist got touched up by Anthony Rizzo's solo blast to right-center field, his first hit of the NLDS, the Cubs extending their lead to 5-2.

The Cubs didn't maintain their 3-run lead for long, the lefty swinger, Jason Heyward, taking Arietta long to the opposite field on a two-run blast in the top of the sixth inning, cutting the Cubs lead to 5-4.

Again the Cubs answered in their next at-bats, Jorge Soler pounding a two-run homer off Wainwright, the Cubs once protecting their lead, now up 7-4.

Dexter Fowler added an insurance run with an eighth inning solo homer that broke the MLB playoff home run record of five, the Cubs moving out of reach at 8-4.

The Cardinals didn't go easy, however, with home runs the tone of the game, Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run blast to right field to close the gap to 8-6, the final score.

Game #4 is set for Tuesday at Wrigley Field with the Cubs in the driver's seat, leading the series 2-1 and taking the historic field with a chance to take the series. Chicago manager, Joe Maddon, sends Jason Hammer (10-7, 3.74) to the mound for the clincher.

Matheny will go with John Lackey (13-10, 2.77) in an effort to force a fifth game Thursday at Busch Stadium.