London Series 2023 Live Blog: Game 1

We are live from the London Series all weekend, bringing you all the action as the Cardinals face off against the Cubs. For more, follow us on Twitter @batflips_nerds or Instagram @batflipsandnerds.

21:06 – Thanks for joining us. We’re recording a pod!

20:54 – No heroics. A couple of popouts and a fly out and it’s over in under three hours. A wonderful atmosphere, albeit not much of a game after the third.

20:47 – On to the bottom of the ninth. Just the eight runs needed. Anthony Kay will pitch it.

20:44 – Swanson blasts one down the right field line for a two-run homer. 9-1.

20:40 – Hoerner shows the hustle again as the ball gets away from Goldy at first on an errant throw. He ends up on second.

20:39 – It’s never. The Cards leave Goldy stranded and we’re on to the 9th. 7-1.

20:31 – Goldy takes a walk after a long at-bat. It might be now or never.

20:28 – Michael Fulmer on to pitch the 8th for the Cubs after a rousing rendition of Sweet Caroline. Something for Tigers fans.

20:19 – Cubs get a double play to erase another Cards chance. Running out of time now.

20:14 – Actual Ron Swanson is singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game.

20:03 – Steele is having none of it. He whiffs his way through the inning and the score remains 7-1.

19:56 Goldschmidt singles and Edman races home for the Cards’ first run. Arenado then singles and there are two on with no outs.

19:52 – Tommy Edman leadoff single. Is this the rally?

19:51 – Cubs threaten again with a Hoerner hustle double but Matz gets a couple of grounders to escape.

19:40 – A DeJong double opens the door with runners at second and third but Donovan flies out to left and the Cards remain scoreless.

19:39 –

19:36 – Jordan Walker saves the day with a leadoff single. At least they won’t get no hit.

19:33 – A rare Madrigal strikeout (looking, of course) prevents any damage. The Cards really need to get something going here though.

19:31 – Morel grounds one into left. He’s 3-3 today. The Cubs have runners on second and third after Gomes gets them over.

19:22 – Cards are getting some hard hits off Steele but they’re not falling. No hits through four. Bear in mind Steele only threw 73 pitches last time out.

19:15 – Matz gets a DP ball to limit the damage.

19:13 – It didn’t help. Suzuki grounds one to third and Tauchman beats the throw at home for the seventh run. Getting ugly now.

19:08 – Back to back doubles from Madrigal and Tauchman end Wainwright’s day in the fourth. Matz is in. It’s 6-0.

19:04 – We’re on a quest to find Andy Brown, baseball artist.

19:01 – Another Steele strikeout and the third is over. Racing along.

19:00 – Think Happ quite likes facing Wainwright.

18:59 – Steele strikes out DeJong for his third of the day and Brendan Donovan is the last batter in the lineup. Swanson has to back up on Donovan’s slicing grounder, then calmly records the out at first.

18:56 – Better than ours.

18:53 – Morel singles to centre to make it 4-0 before Gomes does the same to score a fifth but Morel gets caught trying to push to third and is tagged out easily after the throw from CF is cut off. Wainwright doesn’t look like he’ll be long for this game; Steven Matz is up in the bullpen.

18:50 – Happ had an 1.195 OPS and four dingers against Waino entering this game. Swanson follows up by lining another into centre before Bellinger bloops one into the outfield and it’s once again first and third with two outs. Tom thinks that’s the third time Wainwright has shaken off Contreras immediately prior to a hit.

18:48 – DOUBLE DINGER FOR IAN HAPP! He only had five entering today.

18:47 – Wainwright is not getting much past the Cubs hitters but both Hoerner and Suzuki’s drives to the outfield fly into gloves. Happ is up again.

18:43 – In case you missed it, Goldschmidt became the first player to play an MLB game in five different countries today (USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and now the UK).

18:41 – Dylan Carlson walks and is then running on a 3-2 pitch to Nootbaar. Noot grounds a slightly awkward one to Hoerner at second and although his throw is a little-off balance, he successfuly gets the out.

18:38 – More hard contact for the Cards. Unfortunately Willson Contreras lines it straight to Seiya Suzuki. That’s immediately followed by Jordan Walker’s bat breaking rather explosively. Swanson isn’t phased as shards of wood fly towards him and records the easy out at first.

18:37 – Here’s that Happ dinger that got us started.

18:35 – Hard grounder from Tauchman but it’s right at Brendan Donovan at second, who fields cleanly and records the easy out to get Waino out of the inning. Tom notes that the infield dirt is VERY wet – lots of pre-game watering.

18:33 – Madrigal reaches out to get one from Wainwright on the outer half and lines it into center to score Morel. 2-0, Cubs.

18:31 – Single to right-centre from Yan Gomes sends Morel to third and Nick Madrigal has an opportunity with runners on first and third. The Cards convene a conference at the mound and Waino does not seem happy.

18:29 – I thought we were getting an Arenado special there on a slow roller to third from Christopher Morel, but his throw on the run draws Goldschmidt off the base and Morel is safe.

18:28 – Now Wainwright walks Dansby Swanson, but immediately gets out of it by inducing a weak grounder to second base from Cody Bellinger for an easy double play.

18:27 – This feels a bit more familiar: Ian Happ blasts one to dead center that just creeps over the wall for our first run. Probably not out in every MLB park!

18:24 – Welcome to the UK, Nico.

18:22 – Nolan Arenado sends one out to left field but doesn’t quite catch it clean and Ian Happ is under it easily just short of the track. Nine minutes instead of 58 this year for the first inning. Just a bit quicker.

18:21 – Two-for-two! Steele drops one in at the top of the zone this time and Paul Goldschmidt also goes down looking.

18:20 – Steele punches out Tommy Edman looking on a heater  at the very bottom of the zone for our first strikeout.

18:17 – And another grounder to DeJong at short ends the inning. Took Wainwright just four minutes to do what took over half an hour last time. Will Justin Steele match him?

18:16 – GREAT sliding catch in LF from Nootbaar to retire Nico Hoerner. Hoerner did slip as he came out of the box; something to watch with this freshly-laid dirt.

18:15 – Grounder up the middle on a full count is fielded by DeJong for the easy out at first. What slugfest?

18:13 – It’s a strike to start us off. It’s 27 degrees, by the way (that’s 81F for readers from across the pond).

18:12 – Wainwright is on the mound. Big Mike Tauchman is warming up. It’s go time!

18:09: Important message from the terrific A’s UK team:

18:05 – Attendance update: Not all seats are full, but people are still streaming in with a few minutes to go. It is certainly an enthusiastic crowd. Despite the massive attendance at the Cubs Pub, it does seem that Cards fans are slightly in the majority here.

18:01 – Here’s Jimmy Anderson and Nathan Lyon for first pitch (hearty boos for Lyon, of course). Lyon’s control questionable; Jimmy threw a perfect strike.

17:59 – Hello from the London Stadium! We are 10 minutes to first pitch and the fans are hyped. Most enthusiastic cheer had to be the cries of ‘Nooooooot!’ for Lars Nootbaar. Will we get another epic slugfest?

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