Game 1 was pretty much everything you could’ve asked for between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. The pitching was splendid, defense was great, and the game came down to the wire, before the Cardinals came away with a 4-0 win.
Jon Lester didn’t have the greatest of starts, surrendering a double to Stephen Piscotty, and then an RBI single to Matt Holliday within the first three batters. After that though, the wily veteran pitched valiantly into the 8th before making a costly mistake. On a 3-1 count, the Chicago starter left his beloved cutter over the plate to pinch-hitter Tommy Pham and the rookie obliterated it into the St. Louis night. Jon Lester would walk the following batter, Matt Carpenter, to end his night. Pedro Strop replaced him, but the next batter, Piscotty, launched a moonshot of his own closing the book on Game 1.
On the other side, John Lackey was absolutely brilliant. Lackey carried a no-hitter into the 6th inning, and ended up going 7.1 innings, walking one while striking out five and and only yielding two hits. The young bats for the Cubs had no answer for the 36-year-old righty, who fooled the Cubs with his mix of pitches. Behind Lackey, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal did their jobs to shut the door on any Cub comeback attempt.
Going into Game 2 tomorrow, the Cubs may want to consider some lineup changes. Miguel Montero will surely come in for David Ross, who is Lester’s personal catcher, but it may be time to slot Jorge Soler into the lineup to see what he can do. The Cubs will really be tested in Game 2 as their rotation falls off from #2 starter Jon Lester to #3 starter Kyle Hendricks. St. Louis will send out another deadly arm in Jaime Garcia to start for them.