Cardinals Stick It to the Cubs … Again – Cubs 1 Cardinals 2

Game One Hundred Forty-Seven – Cubs 1 Cardinals 2
WP – Ryan Franklin (4-3, BS 5) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-4) Save – None

For the second game in a row the Cardinals won the game in the ninth inning off a Cubs’ reliever, on Saturday it was Carlos Marmol’s turn. After the Cubs could not scratch out a run in eight innings against Chris Carpenter, they tied the game at one in the ninth off of Ryan Franklin.

Micah Hoffpauir, a late substitute for Milton Bradley, put together a 3-for-4 afternoon at the plate and led off the ninth with a single. Sam Fuld pinch ran and advanced to third on a single to right center by Geovany Soto. Jeff Baker hit a 2-2 pitch from Ryan Franklin into right and tied the game at one. Bobby Scales grounded into the Cubs’ fourth double play of the afternoon to end the inning.

Ryan Ludwick started the ninth inning rally with a single to center. Mark DeRosa attempted to sacrifice him to second but bunted the ball back to Marmol. Ludwick was forced at second but Ryan Theriot’s throw to first was high … and DeRosa was safe.

On a 0-2 pitch to Yadier Molina, Tony LaRussa called for the hit and run. His catcher hit the ball into left in the space vacated by Theriot. DeRosa advanced to third with one out.

Brendan Ryan gave the Cardinals the win with a single to left on a 1-2 pitch. DeRosa scored and cut the Cardinals magic number to four games.

The Cardinals shortstop drove in both runs for the Redbirds on Saturday afternoon. Brendan Ryan hit his third home run of the year in the fifth inning, a solo shot to left with a little help from Bobby Scales.

The veteran minor league infielder tried to make a leaping catch near the wall in left center on the fly ball hit by Brendan Ryan. The ball went into Scales’ glove then bounced out and over the wall to give the Cardinals a one-run lead.

Ryan Dempster pitched his best game of the year. Dempster threw eight innings of one-run ball, allowed eight hits, one walk and struck out six. Dempster did not make any mistakes on the afternoon as the Cubs wasted another great outing by one of their starters. While Dempster was credited with one earned run, Brendan Ryan’s assisted home run is a catch that a Major League outfielder must be able to complete.

The Cubs lost for the seventh time this season in St. Louis (1-7) and of their last 12 losses in St. Louis ten have been decided by two runs or less …

The Cubs have lost four games in a row and have scored just three runs in the last two games. The run in the ninth inning on Saturday ended a string of 16 shutout innings at the hands of the Cardinals’ staff. Saturday was just another pathetic performance from an offense that cannot hit top of the line pitching or at times this season, mediocre pitching as well.

The Cubs had their chances. They recorded 10 hits, but all were singles and hit into four double plays. When the offense put runners on base they became over aggressive at the plate swinging at the first pitch … and each time it resulted in outs.

The Cubs put two runners on against Chris Carpenter in three different innings, just to come away empty.

In the fourth inning, Aramis Ramirez and Micah Hoffpauir reached on one-out singles but Geovany Soto hit a 2-0 pitch from Carpenter to Mark DeRosa … and he started the 5-4-3 inning ending double play.

In the fifth, Jeff Baker singled to center to start the inning. Bobby Scales followed with a single to right but Ryan Dempster bunted right into the wheel play. DeRosa charged and was almost at home plate when Dempster bunted the ball. DeRosa quickly threw to third to nail Baker and Ryan almost threw out Ryan Dempster at first. Ryan Theriot popped out to right on the first pitch he saw from Carpenter … but Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases.

On the first pitch of the at bat, Derrek Lee flied out to center … inning over.

Ryan Theriot led off the eighth with a single to right center. Derrek Lee reached on a one-out single to left … but Aramis Ramirez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

It has been that kind of year for the Chicago Cubs. Even when they play a decent game, the ball bounces the other team’s way …

15 …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Carlos Zambrano will face Adam Wainwright in the series and season finale against the-soon-to-be 2009 NL Central Division Champs on Sunday night.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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