Eleanor Sheahan – 23 Sports

The well-known Route 66 rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals returned over this Labor Day weekend. After playing a five-game series in just four days, the Cardinals were victorious, beating the Cubs 3 games to 2. 

The five games series kicked off on Friday, with extraordinary performances from both Chicago’s catcher Willson Contreras and pitcher Yu Darvish. Contreras stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the first inning. With a 3-2 pitch count, Contreras hit an RBI, which drove in the first 2 runs of the series. Contreras continued to lead the Cubs as he hit yet another base hit in the bottom of the third to extend their lead 3-0 over Chicago. Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish held a perfect game up until the sixth inning when he gave up a solo home run to Cardinals Matt Carpenter. Contreras was not finished yet, at the top of the sixth inning he hit a huge home run to seal the Cubs win 4-1. Chicago started this series looking strong from both the pitching mound and behind the plate. 

On Saturday, the Cardinals responded by beating the Cubs early on in the day with a score of 4-2 only to return back on the field for a doubleheader and beat the Cubs again 5-1. 

Chicago’s center fielder Ian Happ started the first game of the double header, with a solo home run off the second pitch of the game, putting the Cardinals on top 1-0. Moving to the bottom of the first inning, Chicago’s first baseman Anthony Rizzo failed to catch the throw to first, making what should have been a double play a scoring play for the Cardinals, tying the game 1-1. With the bases loaded with a 3-0 pitch count, Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay threw a fourth ball that walked in a run making it 2-1 Cardinals at the bottom of the third inning. The Cardinals continued to put pressure on the Cubs as third baseman Tommy Edman hit a sacrifice fly to allow another run to score and an RBI from Paul DeJong extended the Cardinals lead 4-1. Just as the Cardinals were about to run away with the game, Ian Happ hit another solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Cardinals go on to win game two, 4-2. 

Heading into game three of the series and the second game of the double hitter on Saturday, the series was tied 1-1. The Cardinals got on the board first with a solo home run from No. 11 DeJong. Tyler O’Neill followed his teammate as he destroyed a two-run homer, and the Cardinals went up three to nothing in the second inning. Miller continued the Cardinals’ scoring run with an RBI to drive in Edman, putting the score at 4-0, in favor of the Cardinals. The St. Louis’ offense dominated Game 3 as Harrison Bader hit a sacrifice fly to right field, another run scored, and the Cardinals increased their lead over the Cubs 5-0. The fifth inning brought some hope for the Cubs as they finally got on the board with an RBI from David Bote to make it 5-1, but Chicago could not catch up. St. Louis would win 5-1. 

Heading into Game 4 on Sunday, The Cardinals were ahead in the series 2 games to 1. Both Chicago and St. Louis had solo home runs to tie the ball game 1-1 going into the second inning. The Cubs took a 3-1 lead with a two-run home run from Jason Kipnis in the second. The Cardinals got some momentum as Paul Goldschmidt crushed with a three-run homer in the top of the third inning. Rangel Ravelo followed by hitting an RBI double to put the Cardinals ahead 5-3. Moving to the sixth inning, with two men on base, Kolten Wong got a base hit to drive one run in. Next up to bat, DeJong’s RBI drove the score up to 7-3, Cardinals. The Cubs were unable to get back into this game, St. Louis ended up on top 7-3.

The last game of the series on Monday favored the Cardinals as they had just won three straight games over the Cubs. Chicago’s Rizzo started game five off with an RBI, later followed by a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third to put the Cubs up 2-0 over the Cardinals. Chicago continued to dominate early in the game with an RBI double from Kipnis. Conteras came back and crushed a two-run single in the bottom of fifth, the Cubs ahead 5-0. Cardinals Matt Wieters responded with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough. The Cubs took the last game of the series 5-1. 

As for the 2020 MLB season, the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 in a five-game series in mid-August. The rivalry resumed on September 4th to play yet another five games, but this series turned the tides with the Cardinals coming out victorious, winning the series 3-2 over the Cubs. The Cubs and the Cardinals are not scheduled to play each other again for the rest of the regular season. 

The history behind the rivalry: 

The Route 66 rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals is one of the biggest and oldest rivalries in baseball. The rivalry gets its name from the road that connects Chicago to St. Louis, Route 66. It all dates back to the 1800s when these teams competed in the 1885 World Series. Back then the Chicago Cubs were known as the Chicago White Stockings and the St. Louis Cardinals were called the St. Louis Brown Stockings. This world series consisted of immense issues and problems with both the teams and the umpires. The 1885 World Series between Chicago and St. Louis ended in a 3-3 tie. Eventually, the St. Louis Browns moved into the national league and the teams have been battling it out in regular-season games ever since. 

Fans from both sides constantly argued about which team is better. Throughout the years the Cardinals-Cubs games have gone back and forth. While the teams are almost even in NL Pennants with the Cardinals winning 19 NL Pennants and the Cubs close behind with 17 NL Pennants, that is not the case for World Series Championships. St. Louis dominates with 11 World Series wins while the Cubs only hold three. The Route 66 rivalry continues to boil the blood of both teams’ fans and the rivalry makes for an extremely competitive and interesting series to watch every time they face each other. 

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