Chicago Cubs silence Redbirds in series opener at Wrigley Field

The Chicago Cubs welcomed in the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game weekend set at Wrigley Field. Today’s series opener marked their final home set of the regular season. But don’t worry, the division champions will return to the North Side in October.

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And before both clubs took the field for today’s afternoon opener, the Chicago Cubs honored catcher David Ross. Ross has been on a farewell tour while completing a big league bucket list of his own. He received a framed jersey as his wife and children stood by his side.

However, the Cubs did not have Ross penciled in the starting lineup. In fact, Miguel Montero sat behind the dish to catch for right-hander, Jake Arrieta, who had himself a fantastic day on the mound.

Arrieta (18-7, 2.85 ERA) held the Cardinals to five hits while issuing one walk, and striking out 10 in seven innings of work. Not to mention, those seven frames were scoreless as the visiting team struggled to solve him.

Yet while St. Louis wasn’t doing much offensively, Chicago, on the other hand, continued to stay hot in the box. It all started in the first inning of the game where they scored four on Mike Leake, mainly on miscues.

Leake, who usually pitches well against the Cubs, had two wild pitches in the inning that later resulted in runs. Chicago did not hold up as Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, and Chris Coghlan got things started.

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Rizzo lined his 41st double out to left field and came around to score on Ben’s RBI single to right field. Moments later, Jason Heyward was rounding the bases on Coghlan’s double. He also advanced to third on the throw to the plate.

After cruising through the first three innings of play, Arrieta recorded a hit in the home half of the fourth. Both Arrieta and Jon Lester have been hitting well for the Chicago Cubs this season and should not be underestimated by opposing pitchers.

Remember, Jake launched a towering home run earlier on in the year against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Plenty of power in that bat to compliment the arm that won him a Cy Young in 2015.

With today’s win, the Chicago Cubs (98-55) are one game away from clinching home-field advantage in the National League Championship Series. Washington plays the Pittsburgh Pirates later on this evening starting at 6:05 p.m. central time.

Also, the Cardinals (80-73) are at risk of missing the postseason for the first time in a very long time. Seems like the Cards are always in the playoff picture but that may come to an end starting this year. They have a ton of ground to make up as the end of the regular season is next week.

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