Joe Mather was the Cubs last hope Monday night against the Cardinals.
Trailing arch rival St. Louis 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Mather strutted towards the plate with two runners aboard and one out remaining.
Falling behind early in the count, the rookie battled his way out of 0-2 whole, evening the count at 2-2.
Mather punched St. Louis closer Jason Motte’s fifth pitch through the middle of the infield, bringing home two runners and securing a game one walk-off win.
Called on in relief in the top of the ninth, Rafael Dolis earned the win after a solid Matt Garza performance was smothered by Cardinals’ starter Jamie Garcia. Garcia twirled 7 2/3 innings of one run baseball that surrendered just six Cubs’ hits.
Garza only claims one win after allowing two runs or fewer in three of his four starts. He would be equally as stellar on Monday giving up two runs on four hits over seven innings.
First denting the scoreboard, the Cubs utilized an Alfonso Soriano sac-fly in the first that scored Starlin Castro who stood on third following a wild Garcia pitch.
Cubs’ bats were led by Mather and Darwin Barney who each had two hits en route to propelling the club past a Cardinals’ lineup that had combined for 16 home runs in 16 games.
In the Cubs’ half of the eighth, the team squandered a late scoring opportunity with Tony Campana singling and stealing both second and third. Cardinals’ reliever Mitchell Boggs induced a Castro ground out that stranded Campana and placed the teams’ winning hopes solely on the ninth.
Before Monday’s walk-off thriller, the Cubs’ were 0-11 when trailing entering the ninth this season.