Scott Maine … the Chevrolet Player of the Game – Cubs 1 Cardinals 7

Game One Hundred Fifty-Three – Cubs 1 Cardinals 7
WP – Adam Wainwright (20-11) LP – Tom Gorzelanny (7-9) Save – None

Following every Cubs game, Pat Hughes asks Ron Santo to name the Chevrolet Player of the Game. On Friday, the Cubs’ legend picked Scott Maine … and that spoke volumes as to the way the Cubs have played over the last two days.

After a string of holding their opponents to three runs or less in 11 straight games, the Cubs pitching staff has given up 20 runs in the last 18 innings … while the offense has managed only one run, a solo homer by Aramis Ramirez in the second inning on Friday afternoon.

Tom Gorzelanny made his first start since September 1 and could not complete four innings of work. Gorzelanny was hammered to the tune of seven runs on seven hits with five walks and four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Gorzelanny could not find his command after the long layoff and two of his free passes, both to Albert Pujols, came around to score.

Gorzelanny threw 82 pitches, only 44 for strikes, and gave up a two-out, three-run homer to Allen Craig in the first inning that put his team in too big a hole against Adam Wainwright. Craig made the most of being a last minute substitution by hitting his third longball of the year.

Outside of Justin Berg, the Cubs bullpen did a good job and kept the Cardinals from tacking on.

Scott Maine was very impressive in his 1 2/3 innings of work and Marcos Mateo retired all five batters he faced. James Russell surrendered a hit in the ninth, the Cardinals only base knock over the last three innings … and that was erased on a 4-3-6 double play.

Adam Wainwright posted his 20th win of the season with another dominating performance over the Cubs. The Cubs only run came off the long homer by Aramis Ramirez, his 24th of the year. Q’s offense had chances, especially in the sixth when Brad Snyder flied out to deep right with two on, but failed to capitalize on any of their opportunities.

All six of the Cubs hits came off Wainwright in the first six innings and they finished the game 1-for-5 with RISP and left seven on base. After doing a lot of swinging and missing on Thursday, the Cubs struck out eight times Friday afternoon and worked just two free passes … and one was intentional.

Marlon Byrd left the game in top of the fourth after fouling a ball of his face in the bottom of the third. The ball hit the dirt around home plate and bounced back up and knocked off Byrd’s glasses and helmet. Byrd went to the hospital for precautionary reasons and is listed as day-to-day.

The Cubs offense did not take advantage of the conditions at Wrigley once again and have scored a grand total of three runs since Tuesday (four games) … only two earned runs, both off solo home runs.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 8-5 on the year against the Cardinals … and to 18-10 under Mike Quade (69-84, 15 games under .500) …

Friday turned into a rout early on and the Redbirds never looked back. St. Louis scored in each of the first four innings and Cubs pitching did not retire the Cardinals in order until the sixth inning.

Tom Gorzelanny sat down Aaron Miles and Colby Rasmus to start the game but issued a two-out walk to Albert Pujols … and it would cost him. Matt Holliday singled to right and Allen Craig hit a 3-2 pitch into the bleachers in left, 3-0 Cardinals. Gorzelanny was ahead in the count to Craig 1-2 before serving up the dinger.

The Cardinals tacked on one in the second after back-to-back one out doubles by Brendan Ryan and Adam Wainwright. Gorzelanny got out of the second by retiring Miles and Rasmus but at 4-0 and Wainwright on the hill, the game was pretty much over at that point.

Aramis Ramirez made it 4-1 with a long homer just to the left of straight away center … the ball ended up on Waveland.

Gorzelanny walked Pujols and Holliday to start the third inning. With Allen Craig at the plate, Pujols stole third … yet another reason he is the best player in the game. Craig ended up grounding into a 4-6-3 double play but Pujols scored … 5-1 Cardinals.

Pedro Feliz kept the third going with a two-out infield single off Aramis Ramirez’s glove. The Cardinals back-up catcher, Matt Pagnozzi, hit his first double of the season off the base of the wall in center. Feliz scored, 6-1 Cardinals. Gorzelanny struck out Ryan to end the third.

More walks in the fourth allowed the Cardinals to score for the fourth inning in a row.

Aaron Miles ripped a one-out single to center. Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols walked to end Gorzelanny’s afternoon.

Mike Quade brought in Justin Berg, who is simply not a Major League pitcher. With the bases loaded and one out, Berg struck out Holliday. But issued a four-pitch walk to Jon Jay that forced in Aaron Miles … 7-1 Cardinals. Pedro Feliz popped out to right to end the inning.

Berg pitched an uneventful fifth then turned the game over to Scott Maine.

The southpaw struck out Colby Rasmus (looking) and Albert Pujols (swinging) but walked Matt Holliday. Jon Jay was called out on strikes to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance to put up runs in the sixth … but came away empty.

Aramis Ramirez doubled with one out and advanced to third on a single by Xavier Nady, the Cubs only hit with runners in scoring position. Blake DeWitt lined out to second and Brad Snyder flied out to deep right to end the inning.

Scott Maine retired the only two batters he faced in the seventh before Quade went to his pen for Marcos Mateo.

The Cubs and Cardinals bullpens allowed one hit and one walk after the sixth inning.

While it is always a good day when the Cubs beat the Cardinals …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Casey Coleman will square off against Chris Carpenter in game two on Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer
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