Game Fifty-Five – Cubs 1 Cardinals 6
WP – Jaime Garcia (6-1) LP – Ryan Dempster (4-5) Save – None
The Cubs needed Ryan Dempster to set a positive tone for the long road trip … and Dempster barely made it through five innings.
Ryan Dempster slipped back to his April ways … too many pitches, a lot of walks and multiple balls left the park (Dempster has served up 13 home runs in 13 starts, 74 innings). The Cardinals took batting practice for the first five innings while the Cubs tried to get a runner on base. The Cardinals scored six runs off Dempster in five innings … with five of the runs coming off longballs by Lance Berkman and Albert Pujols.
Ryan Dempster allowed six runs on eight hits (two left the park), walked three and struck out five on 109 pitches, 67 for strikes.
The Cubs pen kept the Redbirds from tacking on but with the impatient Cubs, Jaime Garcia would not need any more support than what he received from Lance Berkman’s three run homer in the first inning.
Q’s offense was pathetic again. Jaime Garcia retired the first 13 batters he faced and had a perfect game going until a one-out walk by Carlos Pena in the fifth inning. The Cubs showed zero patience at the plate again. Garcia threw only 40 pitches in four innings.
Garcia was at the top of his game but again, the Cubs made it very easy on the lefty. Garcia struck out four of the first seven batters and the Cubs failed to put the leadoff hitter on in any of the nine innings Friday night … the Cubs put two runners on base only once, the eighth inning, and by that point the Cardinals had the game well in hand.
Luis Montanez drove in the Cubs only run with a one-out double in the fifth … the Cubs first hit of the game.
Jaime Garcia allowed one run on four hits (two of the four hits came in the eighth inning) with a walk and eight strikeouts. Garcia threw 94 pitches, 69 for strikes.
The Cubs other offensive highlight of the night was the first big league hit by D.J. LeMahieu … an infield single with one out in the eighth.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs have dropped six of seven and are a season-low nine game under .500 with a 23-32 record … Ryan Dempster’s first inning struggles continued Friday night in St. Louis. Dempster labored through a 26-pitch opening frame and by the time he recorded three outs, Dempster and the Cubs were in a huge 3-0 hole (Dempster has allowed 18 runs in the first inning this season, 13 starts).
Ryan Theriot faced his former teammate for the first time and extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a bloop double to right. Tony LaRussa gave up an out by having Jon Jay sacrifice Theriot to third. Dempster walked Albert Pujols on five pitches … and the Cubs were in trouble.
Lance Berkman launched a 1-1 pitch into the stands in right center … 3-0 Cardinals.
Ryan Dempster retired Colby Rasmus on a foul out to Pena but Yadier Molina ripped Dempster’s first pitch into the alley in left center. Tyler Colvin made a sliding stop to keep the ball from rolling to the wall. Colvin’s throw to second was a little late and Molina ended up with a double.
Skip Schumaker struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the second on just 12 pitches … Garcia’s pitch count after two innings and labor-free 21 pitches, 16 for strikes.
The Cardinals went down in order in the second.
Dempster worked around a leadoff in the third to Jon Jay. Jay stole second with Pujols at the plate and advanced to third when Pujols grounded out to second. Quade brought his infield in with Lance Berkman at the plate. Berkman popped out to short and Rasmus struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs went in order in the fourth and after four complete Garcia had thrown only 40 pitches.
Ryan Dempster gave the Cardinals another run in the fourth. Yadier Molina led off with a single to right. Skip Schumaker hit a grounder to the hole at second. Barney threw to second to force Molina. Daniel Descalso blooped a single into center.
With runners on first and second with one out, Jaime Garcia had trouble laying down the bunt but finally did on a 1-2 pitch. Dempster threw out Garcia as Schumaker and Descalso advanced to second and third.
Dempster uncorked a wild pitch on a 1-0 offering to Theriot. Schumaker hustled home with the Cardinals’ fourth run. Theriot flied out to right center on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs ended Garcia’s bid for a perfect game in the fifth. Carlos Pena worked a one-out walk … the Cubs first baserunner. Luis Montanez ripped a 0-1 pitch into right center … the Cubs first hit. Pena scored on Montanez’s double and Luis advanced to third on Berkman’s throwing error. Tyler Colvin struck out swinging … and D.J. LeMahieu struck out swinging to end the inning.
In typical Ryan Dempster fashion, whenever the Cubs score a run … Dempster gives at least one right back.
Jon Jay led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center. Albert Pujols stepped in and lined a two-run homer into the stands in left. Pujols’ 48th career homer (127 RBI) off Cubs’ pitching gave the Redbirds a 6-1 lead.
At this point Dempster was really struggling, everything was up and he was not fooling any of the Cardinals.
Lance Berkman followed Pujols’ dinger with a hard single to left. Colby Rasmus then scorched a 3-2 pitch to first. Carlos Pena made a nice pick on a short-hop, threw to second and Castro threw back to first to complete the 3-6-3 double play.
Following a walk to Yadier Molina, Skip Schumaker struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt to end the inning.
Ryan Dempster left the mound and the game with his team in a huge hole … and only one run on one hit.
The Cubs pen (James Russell, Rodrigo Lopez and John Grabow) did a good job of keeping the Cardinals from adding on over the last three innings. The Cardinals managed only one hit and a walk (two baserunners) against the trio.
After Montanez’s double in the fifth, Q’s offense managed only four more hits … and not a single walk (Soto one-out single in the seventh, LeMahieu infield single in eighth, DeWitt single in eighth, Pena two-out single in ninth).
This group of players appears disinterested and simply not prepared to play at the Major League level.
Randy Wells will face Kyle Lohse in game two on Saturday afternoon.