Nothing In Between

Game One Hundred – Cubs 1 Cardinals 11
WP – Braden Looper (8-8) LP – Jason Marquis (7-6) Save – None

Jason Marquis has either been very good this season or very bad and unfortunately for Lou Piniella on Thursday night it was the latter. Marquis appeared to be in control and showed good command in the first 3 innings but a solo home run by Scott Rolen in the 4th inning broke the scoreless tie and the Cardinals put the game away in the 5th and 6th innings. Chris Duncan hit his second grand slam of the year in the 5th after Marquis walked Braden Looper earlier in the inning and hit Albert Pujols to force home the second run of the game. Pujols ended his 0-for-11 slump with a 3-run homer off of Billy Petrick in the 6th and finished the night 2-for-4 with 5 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. The Cardinals scored 11 runs on 10 hits.

Braden Looper beat the Cubs for the second time this season. The only run he allowed came off a solo home run by Derrek Lee in the 6th inning, his 9th of the year. The Cubs had chances early in the game but for the first time in the series they were not able to come up with the clutch 2-out hit with runners in scoring position. Despite the loss the Cubs won their second series of the year in St. Louis and are 21-8 in their last 29 games.

The Cubs were trying to sweep the Cardinals in St. Louis for the first time since 1988 and win their 5th straight against the Cardinals for the first time since 1983, but it was not meant to be. Jason Marquis lost to his former team for the first time this season and he can point to the 5th inning as the reason.

Marquis could not find the strike zone after a lead off single by Aaron Miles. The Cardinals were trying to give Marquis an out and he would not take it. He walked Braden Looper after he made several attempts to lay down a sacrifice bunt. David Eckstein did lay down the bunt to advance the runners and Marquis followed by walking Jim Edmonds to load the bases. Marquis then hit Albert Pujols to force home a run. Chris Duncan stepped in and with a 2-2 count, Duncan cleared the bases with a grand slam over the right field wall.

Billy Petrick took over in the 6th. He gave up back-to-back singles by Yadier Molina and Aaron Miles to start the inning. With Braden Looper at the plate, Molina stole 3rd. Piniella removed Aramis Ramirez at the start of the inning and replaced him with Ronny Cedeno. When Looper attempted to bunt, Cedeno charged and left 3rd base open….Molina took advantage of the mental miscue. Looper eventually singled to left, Molina scored. Eckstein grounded out to 1st to advance the runners and with the infield in, Edmonds hit a ground ball to Derrek Lee. Lee threw home to Jason Kendall, he blocked the plate and tagged out Miles for the 2nd out. But Albert Pujols took Petrick’s first pitch over the right center field wall….his first hit of the series.

The Cubs offense could not string any hits together. Jason Kendall had his best game as a Cub at the plate. He was 2-for-4 with a single and a double. Jake Fox finished the game at 1st base and was 0-for-1. Lou Piniella emptied his bench but unfortunately Cliff Floyd hit a ball of his ankle in the 8th and was removed in the bottom of the inning. Koyie Hill finished the game in right field. Ryan Theriot committed his 2nd error of the year at shortstop in the 8th inning that led to the 11th run of the game. So Taguchi hit a grounder to Theriot, the throw was low and Fox could not dig it out….while Fox is learning to play 1st base, it was a scoop that Derrek Lee probably would have made.

The Cardinals returned the favor from Wednesday night.

The Cubs start a 3-game series on Friday night against the Reds and Bronson Arroyo. Rich Hill is scheduled to make the start and will have the task of cooling off the very hot and very dangerous Cincinnati Reds team.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver