Let ‘Em Off the Hook

Game One Hundred Forty-Nine – Cubs 3 Cardinals 4 – Game Two
WP – Joel Pineiro (6-4) LP – Sean Marshall (7-8) Save – Jason Isringhausen (29)

Lou Piniella’s crew had a chance to bury the Cardinals but ran out of gas after jumping out to an early lead. The Cubs scored a run in the 1st and two in the 2nd off of Alfonso Soriano’s 27th home run of the season and should have had more. Derrek Lee was thrown out at the plate to end the 1st inning by Jim Edmonds and So Taguchi threw out Ryan Theriot at home in the 2nd inning. Joel Pineiro retired the last 15 batters he faced and the Cubs managed only one hit after a Derrek Lee double in the 3rd.

The Cardinals scored all 4 of their runs in the 3rd inning after an error by Jason Kendall. With 1-out, Sean Marshall struck out Ryan Ludwick on a ball in the dirt but Kendall’s throw to 1st was low and the Cardinals took advantage. Yadier Molina doubled in the first two runs for the Cardinals and Scott Spiezio tied the game with a single to center. Former Cub, Miguel Cairo tripled in the winning run off of Michael Wuertz, The Cubs bullpen allowed only 2 baserunners after the 3rd inning. Kevin Hart did not allow a hit and struck out 2 in 2 innings. Kerry Wood pitched a perfect inning with 2 strikeouts after picking up the win in game one.

The Cubs split a day-night doubleheader in St. Louis after a come from behind win in game one. They lost a half game in the standings but still lead the central by a full game over the Brewers. The loss ended the Cubs 4-game winning streak and dropped them back to 5 games above .500 for the season.

The Cubs had a chance to put the game away early but could not. Once again they loaded the bases but came away without a run. Over the final two weeks of the season this team has to develop the ability to put away a team when they have the chance. All of the teams left on the Cubs schedule have nothing to play for except keeping teams, like the Cubs, out of the playoffs. If the Cubs could have scored a few more runs in the first two innings the game would have been put out of reach….but that is a “big if”.

Sean Marshall struggled from his first pitch of the game. He had control problems and threw 30 pitches in the 1st inning, but he worked out of a bases loaded jam without giving up a run. Marshall settled in a little in the 2nd. He threw only 11 pitches but the Cardinals put two on without hitting the ball out of the infield.

When Marshall took the mound in the 3rd, he appeared very confident. Marshall went after Albert Pujols and a nice play at 3rd by Aramis Ramirez robbed him of a double. Marshall actually struck out Ryan Ludwick but strike three was in the dirt, it got away from Jason Kendall and he made a poor throw to Derrek Lee….the first of two errors in the game for Kendall. Marshall was never the same.

Jim Edmonds walked and on a 3-2 pitch, Yadier Molina doubled to left. Both Ludwick and Edmonds scored. Scott Spiezio singled to center, the slow-footed Molina came around to score. It appeared Jones was surprised when Molina rounded 3rd and he made a poor throw to the plate….it bounced several times. Pineiro sacrificed Spiezio to 2nd and Piniella pulled Marshall for Michael Wuertz. Miguel Cairo then tripled to center over the head of Jones….on a regular day a more energetic Jacque Jones might have caught the ball. Spiezio scored the winning run.

Saturday night figures to be Marshall’s last start of the year. His line…. 4 runs, 2 earned, on 6 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

The Cubs offense came out swinging against Pineiro. Jacque Jones singled to center with 1 out in the 1st. Derrek Lee blooped a single to right and Aramis Ramirez drove in Jones with a single to left. Cliff Floyd walked to load the bases. Mark DeRosa appeared to hit a sacrifice fly to center but Jim Edmonds threw out Lee at the plate on a very close play….Lee appeared to get in.

Ryan Theriot doubled to right with 1-out in the 2nd. Sean Marshall followed with a single to left but Mike Quade sent Theriot home and he was thrown out by So Taguchi. Alfonso Soriano followed with a home run to left, his second of the day and 27th of the year.

The Cubs made several great defensive plays and several bonehead plays in the field as well. It was a long day at the park but must be considered a good one. The Cubs split a doubleheader on the road against their biggest rival in September….

The Cubs and Cardinals complete their 2007 schedule on Sunday afternoon. Jason Marquis against Mark Mulder.

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe