The Cardinals defeated the lowly Chicago Cubs on Sunday in a somewhat unexpected pitcher’s duel. The offense wasn’t overly spectacular wearing their 1978 throwback jerseys, but with Adam Wainwright on the mound they didn’t need to be. The offense produced just one run, on a Matt Holliday homerun, and was held in check throughout by rookie hurler Kyle Hendricks. The homerun was Holliday’s fourth in his last eight games and gives the uber-consistent righty ten long balls on the season. Holliday also added a single later in the game to raise his average to .269 to go along with 53 RBI’s. Holliday is inching towards his seasonal averages and doing so while receiving the same scrutiny as usual.
Newly acquired catcher AJ Pierzynski also added a double in the game, giving him an average of .667 with the Redbirds, and the Cardinals moved to 2-0 since his acquisition with the 1-0 victory. Surely, those numbers are destined to drop off some in the following weeks, but as of now Cardinals fans couldn’t have asked for more from the highly criticized signing of Pierzynski.
Wainwright, who struggled mightily in his last start versus the Rays in which he went 4+ innings and gave up 6 runs (4 earned), controlled the Cubs lineup through seven innings, giving up just five hits and three walks, while striking out three. The performance gave Wainwright his 13th win and helped lower his ERA to 1.92. Wainwright helped himself in the Cy Young race with the performance, nearly matching Clayton Kershaw’s dominating performance the night before. Kevin Siegrist came in for a scoreless eight inning and Rosenthal closed the door on the Cubs while striking out one and allowing one hit in the ninth.
The victory gave the Cardinals a series victory after suffering a disappointing loss on Friday and the back-to-back wins snapped the Cardinals season long four-game losing streak. The victory also pulled the Cardinals within two games of the Milwaukee Brewers, who lost 2-0 to the Mets on Sunday. The Cardinals have an opportunity to pull even closer or surpass the Brewers as they take on the offensively challenged San Diego Padres starting on Tuesday for a three game stretch to be followed by a crucial series against the Brewers.