In what many considered to be a must-win Game 2, the Chicago Cubs bats answered the call powering ahead to a 6-3 win. The Cubbies exploded with a five-run second inning, and tacked on another in the third to put the lead on the St. Louis Cardinals early. Jaime Garcia was chased after just two innings despite not allowing an earned run (it was later reported he had a stomach virus). An error of his own, coupled with an error by Kolten Wong helped the Cubs keep men on base and kept bringing in runs in the pivotal second inning. Joe Maddon’s managing helped create the big inning, as the Cubs used consecutive safety squeezes, one with their catcher on third base, to their advantage. Jorge Soler provided the exclamation mark with a two-run home run to center.
For the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks didn’t pitch great, giving up long balls to Matt Carpenter, Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong, but was able to keep Cardinals off the bases through 4.2 innings of work. After Hendricks, the combination of Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill and Hector Rondon kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard. The Cubs bullpen gave up only two hits in 5.1 innings and did not walk a batter.
With RHP Michael Wacha set to go in Game 3, there’s going to be a lot of questions as to what Joe Maddon will do. Will he go back to his left-handed bats like Kyle Schwarber and Chris Coghlan, or will he leave in his Game 2 star Jorge Soler? The biggest storyline going into Game 3 is going to be a certain Cubs ace who will take the bump, looking to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Check back Monday for the full Game 3 preview.