Chicago Cubs: Arrieta's 18th win hurts Cards' wild card chances
|Friday, September 23, 2016, 5:18 PM- -|
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs (98-55) were victorious 5-0 against their rival St. Louis Cardinals (80-73) on a beautiful 71-degree Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The win gave the Cubs 98 wins on the season which is the most single-season victories for the Cubs since 1945. The Cubs have now increased their win total each of the last four seasons. Also, the Cubs magic number is only ONE to have the home-field advantage throughout the National Leauge portion of the playoffs.
Emotions ran high before the game with the Cardinals in town and with Cubs management playing a tribute video [see video below] with a touching pregame ceremony for veteran catcher David Ross. The video had different Cubs players talking about how much of an impact that Ross had on their lives.
The offensive firepower for the Cubs started in the first inning with Dexter Fowler scoring on a wild pitch by Cardinals pitcher Mike Leake to make it 1-0. Anthony Rizzo's 41st double of the season to left field scored Kris Bryant to make it 2-0. Ben Zobrist followed up with a ground ball single to score Rizzo to put the Cubs up 3-0. Chris Coghlan continued the scoring in the first stanza with his 12th double of the season that scored Jason Heyward which made it 4-0. That was pretty much the game with Arrieta on the mound.
Zobrist collected another RBI with a ground out to score Jake Arrieta to make it 5-0 Cubs. Arrieta leads all major league pitchers with 17 base hits on the season.
Arrieta was also outstanding pitching going seven shutout innings on 99 pitches, giving up only five hits, only one walk, and striking out ten batters. Arrieta has a season ERA of 2.85 and now owns a 0.95 ERA in nine career starts against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. He is just the third pitcher in the last three seasons to compile seven starts or more of 10 strikeouts without giving up a run according to ESPN.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop pitched the 8th inning after just getting off the 15-day disabled list with his torn meniscus injury and an injured groin. His season ERA was lowered to 2.82 as he gave up only a walk with a strikeout in his first outing since Aug. 11.
Cubs duo Travis Woods and Carl Edwards Jr. got the final three outs of the game for the Cubs.
The rivalry series will continue as Jason Hammel will take the mound against right-handed Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes on Saturday at 12:05 CT.