By Joseph Phillips, Sports Writer Chicago Crusader
In game one of a four game series against the St Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs fell to their division rivals 5-4 in extra innings on Thursday night at Wrigley Field.
The team lost on a Matt Carpenter home run in the top of 10th inning, after taking Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel’s first pitch deep into the center field bleachers for a late 5-4 lead and eventually a Cardinal’s victory.
The homer smashed by Carpenter in the top of the 10th inning was his 12th of the season and would quell the Cubs late inning rally prior to his huge at bat. With the Cardinals leading 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Cubs rallied to score three runs off of Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez to tie the game at 4.
And in spite of a tough loss by the Cubs on Thursday night, the team received good news prior to the game, as first baseman Anthony Rizzo was activated from the injured list. Rizzo suffered a sprained right ankle in Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and was forced to wear a walking boot 5 to 7 days according to Cubs medical staff.
In his second at bat in the top of the 3rd inning, Rizzo would provide some heroics for the fans at Wrigley, after taking the first pitch of Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty into the left field bleachers. Tying the game at 1-1.
Prior to the game, Rizzo was approved to play by the Cubs medical staff shortly after warming up in the outfield, as the team medical personnel looked on. After approval by the medical staff, Cubs manager Joe Maddon inserted Rizzo into the leadoff spot and allowed him to play first base.
Rizzo’s warm up happened 20 minutes before the first pitch.
Final Score: Cardinals 5, Cubs 4
Thursday night’s game was a huge win for the Cardinals, as they now hold a three-game lead over the National League Central Milwaukee Brewers, while pushing the Cubs four games back in the division.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty pitched a magnificent game, allowing one run on three hits while striking out eight Cubs over 8 innings.
Flaherty threw a whopping 118 pitches on the mound to complete his Thursday night masterpiece.