Matt Carpenter has a day to remember on Friday, doing something only one other player in baseball history had accomplished to lead the Cardinals over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Carpenter hit three homers and two doubles, joining the Cubs’ Kris Bryant as the only player in history to record that stat line – and he did it in six innings.
With the Cardinals leading 15-1 at that point, Carpenter was pulled from the game. His position came up to bat one more time.
Carpenter tied the franchise record of 16 total bases in a game, set by Mark Whiten with his four-homer game in 1993 in Cincinnati.
He also became the first player in Cardinals’ history with five extra-base hits in a game, driving in seven runs and scoring four. He led off the game with a home run, hit a two-run homer in the second, had two doubles in the fourth and hit a three-run homer in the sixth.
The Cardinals blew the game open with seven runs in the fourth. Their 18 runs were the third most in a game at Wrigley Field in team history, as the Cubs used three position players to pitch the game’s final 3 1/3 innings.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Carpenter became only the second player in Cardinals history to hit three homers in a game at Wrigley. Albert Pujols did it twice, in 2004 and 2010 … He became the first leadoff hitter ever to hit three homers in a game for the Cardinals, and his seven RBIs were the second most by a leadoff hitter since Augie Bergamo drove in eight on July 4, 1985 against the Giants, when he went 5-of-6 with two homers … The last leadoff hitter to hit two home runs for the Cardinals at Wrigley Field was Lou Brock on Sept. 26, 1967 … The Cardinals had 18 hits, including three by Tommy Pham … Greg Garcia and Yairo Munoz came off the bench to hit home runs for the Cardinals, who also got two hits and two RBIs from Dexter Fowler.
On the mound: The beneficiary of the big offensive day was Jack Flaherty, who held the Cubs to two hits and one run, but had to come out of the game after five innings and 110 pitches. He walked four and struck out nine, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the third by striking out Javier Baez and Willson Contreras. He threw 36 pitches in the inning and the Cubs did not put a ball in play, loading the bases on a hit batter and two walks … Luke Gregerson and Greg Holland each worked a scoreless inning but Brett Cecil allowed three runs in one-third of an inning and Matt Bowman gave up the other Chicago run.
Key stat: Carpenter tied Brock’s franchise record of 21 leadoff homers. He has hit eight homers as the first batter of the game, three coming this season. Brock did that nine times in his career. Carpenter also became the first leadoff hitter in team history to hit a home run in four consecutive games.
Worth noting: The 18 runs were the most scored by the Cardinals at Wrigley since a 21-run game on April 27, 1977 … It was the third five-hit game in Carpenter’s career, his second this season and was his seventh career multi-homer game … Pujols had 15 total bases in his three-homer game at Wrigley on July 20, 2004, as he went 5-of-5 and also had a double and a single … Carpenter’s seven RBIs were the most ever by a Cardinal at Wrigley. The record had been six, accomplished six times, most recently by Brian Jordan on July 13, 1996 … The last time a position player pitched for the Cubs against the Cardinals was when Doug Dascenzo did it on June 28, 1991.
Looking ahead: The two teams will play a day-night double-header on Saturday to make up a game which was rained out in April. Luke Weaver will be recalled from Memphis and the start in the afternoon game, with John Gant getting the start in the night game.
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