Is it too much to ask for an actual winning streak of more than a game?
The Cardinals’ 6-0 win over the Cubs on Saturday night at Wrigley Field prevented the Cubs from winning back-to-back games for the first time since beating Cleveland June 22 and the Dodgers two days later.
They haven’t won on back-to-back days since they swept the Cardinals at Wrigley June 11-13.
A few observations on this one before they try Sunday to win a series for the first time since that Cards series in June.
1. Rare air travel: The Cardinals in the fifth inning salted this one way by hitting three home runs — off three different Cubs pitchers. Paul Goldschmidt led off the inning with a homer off starter Zach Davies; pinch-hitter Tommy Edman hit a two-run shot off Adam Morgan three batters later; and three batters after that Paul DeJong hit another two-run shot off Dan Winkler.
2. Gold standard: Goldschmidt’s one-out walk in the first led to the first run of the game, and after singling in third, the six-time All-Star hit his 13th homer of the year leading off that big Cardinals’ fifth. He added another walk in the sixth.
3. Short-timer: Davies made it just one out into the fifth inning of what figures to be one of his final three or four starts as a Cub before getting moved by the July 30 deadline. In his eighth start of less than five innings this season, Davies gave up three earned runs — including one that Morgan inherited before giving up Edman’s homer.
4. Can’t spell this defeat without some ‘D’: Cubs shortstop Javy Báez flashed some more El Mago glove work in the top of the third, diving toward the hole to rob Nolan Arenado of a hit, then spinning from his knees to throw out the runner at second. Nico Hoerner’s relay was about a half-step short of completing a double play. He robbed Arenado again with a sliding backhand catch of a liner to end the eighth.
5. And can’t spell this loss without some ‘O’: With his infield single leading off the fourth and line drive up the middle in the sixth, Báez delivered his fourth multi-hit performance in his last five games. He’s 9-for-19 with a walk, a double, three homers and seven RBIs during the surge.
6. 500 club: Catcher Willson Contreras, who was edged out twice for a third All-Star bid Saturday, drove a sharp grounder off the glove of Arenado trying to make the backhand play for the 500th hit of Contreras’ career.
7. What was that about an All-Star snub? Cards catcher Yadi Molina beat out Contreras as an injury replacement early in the day Saturday. And then when Molina said he would not play in Tuesday’s game, MLB announced Brewers catcher Omar Narváez would take his place. Contreras started the last two All-Star games.
8. For those scoring at home: The Cubs, who snapped their longest losing streak in nine years on Wednesday, have lost 13 of their last 15, and 19 of their last 25 games. It was the eighth time this season the Cubs have been shut out -- second in their last three games. Hey, at least we waited until No. 9 to share that one.
9. Singles night: Five days after his first scoreless start of the season, Cardinals starter Kwang Hyun Kim made it two in a row with six innings against the Cubs in which he allowed only one walk and five singles — two of them infield hits and another that rolled under the glove of shortstop DeJong in the first. It was Kim’s second career start against the Cubs. He pitched 3 2/3 innings against them as a rookie last year, allowing one run in a game the Cardinals won 3-1.
10. Daily double: Nico Hoerner had the only extra-base hit of the day for the Cubs, a leadoff double in the seventh. He did not advance.
On deck: Check for rain-delay announcements before heading to the park Sunday with significant chances of precipitation in the forecast through the scheduled 1:20 p.m. start. If they play, it’ll be the Cubs’ Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51) vs. RH Adam Wainwright (7-5, 3.58) on Marquee and 670-AM.