Off the back of a great first game on Saturday, the crowds gathered once again to witness the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Chicago Cubs 7-5 at London Stadium.
After the Chicago Cubs put a 9-1 hurting on the St. Louis Cardinals in front of 54,662 fans at London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals looked to salvage some pride in the second and final game of the series. Beginning at the earlier first pitch time of 3:10pm BST, the crowd of 55,565 brought the energy back to the English capital for another beautiful game of the American pastime.
There were some changes to the starting lineups, today. Marcus Stroman started at pitcher for the Cubs; he did not play in yesterday’s victory. Lefty pitcher, Matt Liberatore, got the nod for the Cardinals, hoping to prevent the kind of home run play the Cubs were able to deliver yesterday.
Cardinal Sins Continue
If St. Louis were unhappy with yesterday’s first inning, today would drive them to despair. Nico Hoerner started off the game with a grounding hit and scraped his way to first base. After Seiya Suzuki was lined out, Hoerner stole two bases when Willson Contreras committed an error. Hoerner was then able to get home after Dansby Swanson made a good hit to deliver the Cubs their first run of the game. Before too long, a two run double from Trey Mancini had Swanson scoring, as well as Ian Happ. In case being down three at the top of the 1st wasn’t bad enough, Nolan Arenado missed a ball hit left, allowing Miguel Amaya to get a double and send Mancini home.
The bad luck kept coming for the Cards as, with Paul Goldschmidt stuck out but Brendan Donovan on first base, Lars Nootbaar’s hit bounced straight into the hands of Stroman, allowing a Cubs double play to retire both he and Donovan to end the first inning.
Turnaround Begins in Second Inning
Seemingly, a different St. Louis Cardinals team showed up in the second inning. After getting out Barnhart, Suzuki and Morel in quick order, Contreras singled before moving to third base on a Nolan Gorman single. After young sensation, Jordan Walker was given a walk, Tommy Edman came in with a hit that sent Contreras home on the back of a key Mancini error. With the bases still loaded, Donovan hit a two run single to get Gorman and Walker home. At the bottom of the 2nd, the Cardinals had closed their deficit and the score was 4-3 to the Cubs.
The Cardinals tied the game 4-4 at the bottom of the third, with Nootbaar and Gorman on bases, Jordan Walker singled to allow Nootbaar home before being caught trying to steal second, bringing the inning to a close.
The Cubs had further dramas in the third inning. After ESPN mic’d up Ian Happ at the top of the third, he lost the earpiece on the first play. The grounds crew struggled to find it between innings. It was eventually found in the middle of the 4th.
St. Louis Take Over
During the third inning, Jake Woodford came in at pitcher for the Cardinals. He came in hot in the 4th, allowing his team to ground out Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner and catch out Tucker Barnhart. The Cardinals took their first lead of the series at the bottom of the fourth inning after Edman worked his way around the bases, driven home by a single from Goldschmidt. The 4th was interrupted when Michael Stroman had to be replaced by Michael Fulmer, with a blister on his right little finger, but this did not slow down the Cardinals who scored again after a sacrifice fly from Nootbaar.
With the Cards now up 6-4 at the top of the 5th, they were able to retire the Cubs batters without any realistic scoring hope in three straight innings. Chicago just couldn’t get anything going at bat but were able to retire St. Louis themselves across three innings. The Cardinals were not held scoreless, though; Contreras scored in the bottom of the 5th to make the game 7-4, despite the hitter, Gorman, being touched out at second base.
Cardinals Hold On
The Chicago Cubs had a chance to come back and tie the game in the eighth inning. After Morel hit a single and Happ walked, Tauchman came up to the plate knowing a good hit could bring enough of his colleagues home to tie the game. However, Tauchman – who also played in the London Series with the Yankees in 2019 – was lined out, ending these hopes.
The St. Louis Cardinals were able to hold on to win this game and split the series, despite a final effort by the Cubs in the 9th. Nick Madrigal started off the inning with a line drive double that he later finished on a Nico Hoerner sack fly. With Hoerner out, Cardinals pitcher, Jordan Hicks, struck out Yan Gomes and Seiya Suzuki to close out a well earned victory.
With a wonderful 2023 London Series in the books, we look ahead to next year’s games. Will you be attending? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or reach out to us on social media, @JEZSports.