The Bottom Line: John Lackey went a strong 6 2/3 innings, striking out 8 and giving up 2 runs. However, Jake Arrieta was even more stellar, allowing one unearned run and striking out 10 in 7 innings. Arrieta has now given up only 3 earned runs in his last 28 innings.
When his offense had not given him any support by the 4th inning, Arrieta took matters into his own hands by hitting a 2-RBI triple, the first triple of his career. The Cardinals got on the board the next inning when catcher Wellington Castillo‘s throw, intended to gun down Peter Bourjos stealing second base, sailed into center field, allowing Yadier Molina to stroll home from third.
Postseason Push: The Pirates lost to Atlanta, so the Cards’ 1.5-game lead remains intact as the Cardinals head over to Arizona for the final series of the season. Playing against the Diamondbacks, the Cards’ standing in the division looks safe, but they cannot afford to take the final three games for granted.
What’s Next: On Friday, Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.18 ERA) will take the mound against the Diamondbacks’ Trevor Cahill (3-12, 5.55 ERA). As the Cardinals look to build momentum heading into October, Wacha will try to prove that he can be a dependable part of the rotation in the post-season.