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Cardinals 7, Cubs 2: Swept

This result was not unexpected.

Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

Didn’t we see this game earlier in the day?

Well, not exactly, but the Cubs’ 7-2 loss to the Cardinals in Thursday’s nightcap started the same way — with a Cubs home run in the first inning, giving them a 1-0 lead.

Patrick Wisdom supplied the power [VIDEO].

Wisdom’s 20th of the season went a long way:

Sean Newcomb, recalled from Triple-A Iowa to make this start, gave that lead right back in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run homer by Nolan Arenado.

Newcomb left the game after three innings. He had a ball go off his hand in the third that wound up turned into a double play, and it was unclear whether David Ross simply wanted to move on from Newcomb, or there was something wrong that forced him out of the game after 56 pitches.

After Wisdom’s home run, the Cubs did not have another hit until the seventh inning. Wisdom and Seiya Suzuki walked. After Nico Hoerner hit into a force play, putting runners on first and third, Nico stole second.

Nelson Velázquez then hit a comebacker [VIDEO].

The ball deflected off Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks’ hand, and Paul DeJong double-clutched throwing to first. Everyone was safe and Wisdom scored, tying the game.

That gave Frank Schwindel a chance to give the Cubs the lead, but he hit into an inning-ending double play [VIDEO].

Then one of the Cubs’ new acquisitions, Kervin Castro, had a chance to show what he could do. That’s what these post-deadline games are for, right? Especially after the team traded away its four highest-leverage relievers.

Castro issued a leadoff walk, then got Paul Goldschmidt to hit into a double play. Then he walked Nolan Gorman and Tyler O’Neill smashed a three-run homer.

This is a good summary of Castro’s outing:

Matt Dermody, who had been called up as the 27th man for the doubleheader, allowed two more runs to the Cardinals in the eighth and that, as they say, was that.

So that’s what we’re going to see, most likely, for the final 58 games of the 2022 season, a lot of experimenting with relievers. What we really need to see is more of the guys from the system and less of Schwindel and Rafael Ortega. Those two are not part of the “Next Great Cubs Team.” Let’s see the players who will be, or at least have a chance to be.

Like, for example, Christopher Morel, who made this nice diving catch in the eighth [VIDEO].

Morel should be playing every single game from now through season’s end, in my view.

Here’s the recap of Game 1, if you’d like to re-live that loss.

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field to begin a six-game homestand Friday. That begins with a three-game set against the Marlins. Justin Steele will start for the Cubs, and the Marlins are expected to activate Edward Cabrera from the injured list to start for them. Game time Friday is 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network (and also on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Marlins market territories).