Observations: Alzolay's strong outing not enough vs. Cards


The Cubs lost 2-1 to the Cardinals Saturday, dropping to 23-22 this season.

Here’s 10 observations from the game.

1. Adbert Alzolay fought to get through five innings Monday against the Nationals. He came out strong Saturday, retiring the Cardinals’ first 10 hitters.

2. Busch Stadium erupted when Yadi Molina hit a routine fly out to left field in the fourth inning. They followed suit in the seventh, only this time, Molina hit Alzolay’s offering over the wall for a go-ahead home run.

3. Molina’s homer proved to be the difference, but Alzolay did more than enough for the Cubs to win. Saturday marked the first seven-inning start of his career. The 26-year-old allowed just two runs on five hits and no walks, striking out six.

"I thought it was a spectacular outing from him. Just came up a little short," David Ross said postgame. "Really [only] a couple of bad pitches and a really nice night for him.

"Sometimes that's how it goes in the big leagues. You can pitch really well and still lose. That was a really nice outing from him."

4. Alzolay and Miles Mikolas were in the midst of a pitcher’s duel when the Cardinals starter exited with right forearm tightness. Mikolas, making his season debut and first start since 2019, exited in the fifth after throwing a few warmup pitches.

5. Cardinals shortstop Edmundo Sosa is very fast. As in, he turned a two-out double in the fifth into a triple. That turned into a run, when outfielder Lane Thomas singled a batter later to tie things at 1.

6. Sosa isn’t a well-known name, but he’s done some damage against the Cubs this series, going 5-for-7 with three runs.

7. David Bote pinch hit for Matt Duffy in the seventh. Whether it’s related, Ross said Friday Duffy is dealing with some “bumps and bruises.” Duffy started Saturday for the first time since Tuesday.

8. There would be no eighth-inning rally Saturday. After Friday's eight-run eighth, the Cubs put the tying and go-ahead runners on with one out in the eighth Saturday. They came up empty.

9. Even when the Cubs have lost this month, they've been in the game. All seven of their losses in May have come by a single run.

"We don't let those type of numbers — the one-run or two-run ballgames — affect us," Anthony Rizzo said. "We weren't there tonight offensively and we'll just come back [Sunday] night and hop back on the saddle."

10. The Cubs' bullpen's May dominance rolls onRookie reliever Keegan Thompson pitched a scoreless eighth, dropping the 'pen's ERA to 2.02 this month.

On deck: The Cubs and Cardinals play the rubber match on Sunday Night Baseball. First pitch is 6:08 p.m. Zach Davies (2-2, 5.58 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (2-4, 4.63 ERA) are the probable starters.

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