Number Five Hands Cubs Fifth Straight Loss – Cubs 4 Cardinals 5

Game Fifty-Six – Cubs 4 Cardinals 5 – 12 innings
WP – Eduardo Sanchez (2-1) LP – Jeff Samardzija (3-2) Save – None

It took 12 innings but Albert Pujols finally beat Mike Quade and the Cubs on Saturday afternoon. Albert Pujols was a one-man wrecking crew and sent the Cubs to their fifth straight loss with a walk-off homer in the 12th … the 50th homer of Pujols’ career off Cubs’ pitching.

Albert Pujols drove in four of the Cardinals’ five runs and scored the fifth with a pair of home runs and a double (3-for-4 with two home runs, a walk, HBP, three runs scored and four RBI).

The Cubs offense was good over the first six innings … but non-existent after Kyle Lohse left the game. Q’s squad scored all of their runs and tallied half of their hits in the sixth inning.

Kosuke Fukudome (3-for-6 with two doubles and a run scored), Tony Campana (2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI) and Carlos Pena (2-for-5 with a home run, a run scored and two RBI) led the way early on in Saturday’s game.

The Cubs managed only one hit and one baserunner after Kyle Lohse was lifted with two outs in the sixth. The Cardinals’ pen retired 17 in a row and the Cubs’ hitters really helped them out. Q’s offense displayed no patience against the opposition’s pen once again. Over the last 6 1/3 innings of the game, Cardinals’ relievers threw only 61 pitches, 41 for strikes.

Randy Wells put together a better outing than his final line indicates. Wells was very aggressive and kept most of the Cardinals off balance, the only exception to his game plan, Albert Pujols. Pujols drove in three of the four runs Wells was credited with on a two-run homer in the fourth and a double in the sixth. Outside of Pujols, Wells allowed only one other hit, a single to Ryan Theriot in the sixth.

Wells received a no decision after pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Wells threw 75 pitches, 51 for strikes … and really made only two mistakes but they cost him three runs.

Sean Marshall gave up the hit to Lance Berkman that tied the game in the sixth. Outside of the Berkman RBI single, the Cubs pen was solid until the 12th, which was more on Mike Quade than Jeff Samardzija.

Kerry Wood, James Russell and Carlos Marmol did their job in relief of Marshall. The Redbirds managed only three hits and a walk while striking out five times against the trio.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs continue their slide and are now a season-low 10 games under .500 with a 23-33 record …

The game began on a very positive note for the Cubs. The Cubs put runners on first and third with no outs after a leadoff double by Kosuke Fukudome and a beautiful bunt single by Darwin Barney. Starlin Castro reached out and hit a tapper back to Lohse. The Cardinals pitcher looked Kosuke back and threw to Theriot to force Barney at second.

With runners still on first and third but with one out, Carlos Pena struck out swinging and Blake DeWitt fouled out to Jon Jay in left to end the inning.

After the first inning, the Cubs offense managed single hits in the second, four and fifth but could not string any together against Kyle Lohse.

Randy Wells took a perfect game into the fourth (retired first 12 batters he faced on 31 pitches, 24 for strikes) but walked Ryan Theriot to start the inning. Only the 12th time all season Ryan Theriot has taken a free pass.

Tony LaRussa put the hit and run on with Jon Jay. Jay hit a one-hop liner to Barney at second. Barney knocked the ball down but could not make a play on Theriot at second. Randy Wells appeared to be very tentative against Albert Pujols and it cost him. Wells fell behind Pujols 2-0 before getting one over for a strike. Pujols launched Wells’ next offering into the stands in right center. The 49th homer of Pujols’ career off Cubs pitching gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead … and it was the Cardinals first hit of the game off Randy Wells.

Wells refocused, which has been one of his problems in the past, and retired Lance Berkman (fly out to left center) and Colby Rasmus on a pop out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs finally broke through against Kyle Lohse in the top of the sixth.

Starlin Castro showed rare patience and took three straight out of the zone to start his at bat. Castro ended up with a solid single to left on a 3-2 pitch. Carlos Pena tied the game with one swing of the bat. Pena ripped Lohse’s first pitch into the stands in right center. Pena’s eighth longball of the year tied the game at two … just the fourth homer served up by Lohse this season.

After Blake DeWitt struck out looking, Geovany Soto launched a 3-1 pitch into left center. Soto ended up with a double … and just missed a home run. Tyler Colvin lined out to shallow right for the second out.

With the game tied at two and the go ahead run in scoring position, Tony Campana fell behind 0-2 before blooping a single into shallow right center. Soto lumbered around third and slid in safe with the go ahead run.

Randy Wells kept the inning going with a single to right on a 0-1 pitch.

Kosuke Fukudome continued his big day and ripped the first pitch down the left field line. The ball hit and jumped sideways into the stands … and cost the Cubs a run. Campana scored from third but Wells had to stop at third.

Yadier Molina stalled for time and LaRussa eventually brought in Jason Motte to face Darwin Barney with two on and two out.

Barney grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs 4-2 lead evaporated rather quickly. Wells retired Skip Schumaker to start the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Theriot extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a solid single to right … just the Cardinals second hit of the game. Wells struck out Jon Jay for the second out.

Albert Pujols stepped to the plate and Wells changed his approach again.

Randy Wells was very aggressive all afternoon, except against Pujols. Wells missed on his first pitch to Pujols in the sixth … and Pujols did not miss his second. The Cardinals’ first baseman scorched a double into left center. Theriot scored and cut the Cubs lead to 4-3.

Quade went to his pen after the Pujols’ double to turn Lance Berkman around.

Sean Marshall jumped ahead of Berkman 0-2 before the veteran got just enough of a Marshall curve ball to bloop a single into left center. Campana charged the ball aggressively but bobbled it and Pujols scored the tying run without a throw.

Colby Rasmus grounded out to second to end the sixth.

At the end of six, the Cubs and Cardinals were tied at four.

The game remained tied after the ninth and Carlos Marmol did an excellent job in relief of James Russell. Marmol came in with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth and struck out Lance Berkman swinging and retired pinch-hitter Tony Cruz on a fly out to left to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol set a franchise record Saturday. Marmol ran his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 1/3 innings, longest mark by a Cubs’ reliever and broke the record of 24 set by Lee Smith and Warren Brusstar.

Another loss and another bad decision by the Cubs manager … It’s a Way of Life.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Carlos Zambrano and Chris Carpenter square off in game three on Sunday afternoon.

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
  • cubtex

    One positive is Fuko having a big day on national tv. Hopefully some teams looking for outfield help were watching.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Wells was pitching to contact today. Only 1 K. And he had a nohitter for almost 4 innings–until Pujols poked a two run shot off of him. 

      • cubtex

        Wells is a solid #5 on a good team. As I said…. Keep Garza and Wells and rebuild the staff for next year.

        • Kevinwickit

          If the Cubs rebuild it will be take them at least 3 years to do so. It doesn’t look like they will have the 130 to 145 to spend to fix it. Trading Garza will net us the biggest package.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Maybe we can get five prospects for him. 

            Here’s a question for Jimmy Eugene Hendry, the Clueless One: WHY DIDN’T YOU KEEP YOUR OWN PROSPECTS TO BEGIN WITH?

          • Tony

            Rip – You know the answer – This is the YEAR!

            It just shows you how clueless, Jim Clueless is. 

            Most teams in the Cubs situation, would be trading a pitcher, who is getting expensive and nearing FA, who is starting to show wear and tear.  He was so confident, he had a team that could compete in 2011, he traded FOR a player, most teams in their situation, would have been trading away.

            At least we are ahead of Houston and Minnesota, so far…

            I am so glad my son’s team has more games today. No temptation to watch the game.

          • BillyFinT

            Tony, a double-hearder? Don’t wear him out like the Cubs management did with a line of pitchers. LOL

          • Tony

            D – We had a 4 team round robin yesterday at 13U, which we won all 3 to win the tournament.  Today we had a DH in our travel league against a 14U team, which we lost the 1st one badly, then lost game 2, 2-0 in a very good game. 

            So actually we had 5 games in 2 days.

          • BillyFinT

            Wow. Organized baseball for junior high is a different world, incomprehensible to me.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Well, I’m looking at the bright side of things, myself. IF the Astros could actually win a game, we’d fall right into last place in both the NL and the Central. 

    Pittsburg is ahead of Phillies 6-2 in the 9th, so they continue their winning ways–even with their woeful offense. WAIT–it is now 6-3 and the Phils have the bases loaded with 2 outs. The Pirates can still blow it!!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Oh well, the Pirates actually hold on. They have won two in a row from the Phils. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Look at it this way–the Cubs are getting Pujols out of his season long slump–all by themselves. 

    • paulcatanese

      What is really funny about Quade today (actually every day) is he “is not in the habit of walking anyone with two out and nobody on” He has had what 17-18
      years as a coach and has seen Pujols many,many times and now he has to re-think his options with him? Talk about how to win friends and influence people.he has certainly made a friend in Pujols and LaRussa. Quade is a better Cardinal than a Cub.

      • Ripsnorter1

        How Quade got to be manager–even a bench coach!–is beyond me. 

        But then, I remember who does the hiring, and it’s really easy to see how it all came about. 

        • paulcatanese

          I also think Ricketts is running out of cheeks to turn. I hope he was at the game.He needs to start bringing his glove. Those Pujols homeruns will
          be valuable some day and he’s going to need the money.

          • Brp921

            Paul, I was hoping he was watching the game on Fox, so he could here what some objectional anylists had to say about how Quade was running the team. It did not take them long to point out the error in putting Campana in the eight spot in the order and wasting his speed.

          • diehardcubfan

            I noted the same thing and posted that yesterday.  They were also not very complementary about Quade handled the pen and the Pujols situation.

          • paulcatanese

            And what was the result? He’s not even in the lineup today. I dont think any
            of them can accept criticsm and respond the opposite to let people know
            they are in command. They get those comments all the time and it goes
            in one ear and out the other as their is nothing in between to learn.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cubs are 10 games under .500! Things are looking up!

  • Agustinrexach

    This one is completely on Quade. Pitches to Pujols with nobody on and two outs!!!
    What a f…. Dumba@@&$! Seriously at this point I don’t want to see them win a game until they fire MQ and JH. Brake the darn thing morons. Ty

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ricketts is talking that the down turn in attendance will mean that the Cubs will have to put back their plans to revamp the team by another two years. They just haven’t got the money to pay for players and pay off their loans. 

    Man, did they overpay! 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just Tweeted from a ML Scout . . . .

    Jim Clueless has been reading the CCO and is looking to deal Marmol. The Diamondbacks are showing interest. Jim Clueless thinking of saving money is considering sending Marmol off to Arizona for Aaron Heilman and anther prospect, rumored to be Luis Gonzalez and 4 35 year old single A players.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Update: Cubs to receive Aaron Heilman and four 42 year old single A prospects.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Further Update:

        Arizona balking at giving up Heilman. Jim Clueless rumored to be willing to settle for just the four 42 year old single A prospects. 

  • Kingdomusa

    Quote on Friday to a reporter…..when the fan heat is building….”BRING IT ON”
    Trust me they will. Did I read Ryno in 1st place @ 36-20. Not bad for an all star that can’t manage but yet wins 2 Coach of the year awards back to back in AA & AAA. It’s amazing that Ricketts let Hendry pull this off when he is the owner.

    • Ripsnorter1

      A rather stupid comment from Quade, wouldn’t you say? “Bring on the heat!” 

      The guy is nuts! He always “manages” to put one foot in his mouth–it’s so easy for him it is instinctive–but if you give him fifteen minutes, he’ll find a way to get both feet in his mouth at once. And we’ve got two years of this stupidity ahead of us! And just think: the Cubs are too cheap to cut him lose as a bad hire. They’ll play out the string with him like they did Dusty!  AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  No matter than he’ll offend the entire fan base so that every single fan will swear off the Cubs forever! They’ll save his salary by letting him continue to run the team into the ground, and the franchise into bankrupcy! 

      The Cubs could actually stoop to new lows. I mean, with Laurel and Hardy running the team, 40 wins or less becomes a real possibility!  

      • Ripsnorter1

        Tom Ricketts has no baseball sense whatsoever. NONE. Just give him two years to let the buffoons Jim Hendry and Quade run this team into oblivion, and we’ll see how much of that $1 Billion dollars old daddy Joe Ricketts has left. I’d be willing to say, “Not too much.” 
        They might be standing on a street corner saying, “Brother, can you spare a dime?

  • paulcatanese

    You think Pujols dosen’t get plunked tommorow? Don’t bet against it.
    And Campana with a two out RBI? I heard they were getting a trophy
    engraved as we sit here and post. Probably wont play tommorow.
    Good idea to start Hill tommorow that should pump Pujols up.
    Can’t use Wood or Marmol tommorow either.
    Isn’t there a song called Tommorow,Tommorow,Tommorow?

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Cards were really playing Campana so very shallow–in front of the girl’s line. Zonk said that the Cubs were hitting just .128 with RISP since the Met’s series, and just .158 as a team. Until today’s 12 hits. 

  • Bryan

    I keep wondering where all the Quade supporters are these days on CCO that preferred him over Sandberg.  Not much of a peep lately. 

    Quade may likely go down as the worst Cubs manager in franchise history, and that’s saying a lot.  Every game, this guy creates a new level in defining incompetence. 

    Supporting dumb-ass award goes to Samardjzia today.  Notre Dame alumni can’t be too proud….regardless of what Quade was “pitchin'” on the mound summit, Jeff needed to “be smart”, walk Pujols, and live another day. 

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to the Peoria Chiefs on their 30th win of the season.

    Peoria joins Tennessee and Daytona as teams within the organization with 30 or more wins,

    Prior to tonight’s game, at 40-15, Daytona had the best winning percentage of any team in professional baseball.

    • paulcatanese

      Tom,nice to see an uplift on the posts tonight,kind of takes the edge away from today.

  • Bryan

    How does Quade keep his job…here’s some post game quotes from our brilliant manager:

    “The guys played their (butts) off and came up short,” manager Mike Quade said. “And I’ll take the heat for that for pitching to Pujols. I wasn’t looking to avoid Albert at all costs, and he made us pay.”.Quade came out to the mound before the Pujols at-bat to tell Samardzija to be “real careful” while pitching to him.”I’m not talking about being careful anymore,” Quade said. “I’m not in the habit of walking people with two out and nobody on. I understand how good this guy is. So we’ll have to rethink that a little bit. The pitcher’s spot was three holes away. That was our salvation. You figure if you keep him in the ballpark, you take your chances. And we couldn’t.”

  • Bryan

    How does Quade keep his job….here’s some brilliant post-game quotes from our manager (from the evening online Tribune)

    “The guys played their (butts) off and came up short,” manager Mike Quade said. “And I’ll take the heat for that for pitching to Pujols. I wasn’t looking to avoid Albert at all costs, and he made us pay.”Quade came out to the mound before the Pujols at-bat to tell Samardzija to be “real careful” while pitching to him.”I’m not talking about being careful anymore,” Quade said. “I’m not in the habit of walking people with two out and nobody on. I understand how good this guy is. So we’ll have to rethink that a little bit. The pitcher’s spot was three holes away. That was our salvation. You figure if you keep him in the ballpark, you take your chances. And we couldn’t.”

  • skavoovee

    Aside from his inability to manage the pitching staff, he may singlehandedly kill Castro’s development this year. While I respect Fuk’s impressive stats batting leadoff (he will not be here next year), Castro is hitting 234/265/327 in the 3 hole in 107 AB prior to today and has a .175 BA in his last 10 games. To Starlin’s credit he is the only player on the Cubs with solid RISP #s.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Quade also singlehandedly killed Colvin’s development, too. He likely killed Colvin’s confidence, and thus, his entire career. That’s very sad.

      Funko was hitting .350 with RISP prior to yesterday’s game, and since he did not come to bat with RISP, is still hitting .350. Not too bad . .. .. 

  • GrantJones7

    I assume everyone knows but i havnt seen anything on it, Rob Whitenack is having Tommy John surgery. Very bad news, and yes it is almost for sure, but has not been anouced i dont think.

    • Neil

      Grant, I did post as a comment in Brian’s article on Friday. Tom will have it in Monday’s Down on the Farm Report. I was listening to the game when it happened. Did not sound good. It is official, Whitenack is scheduled to have the surgery Tuesday.

      McNutt was placed on the DL was bruised ribs as well.

      • GrantJones7

        The Cubs will rush McNutt back, then e will change how he throws as hes still injured and have TJS. Theres our luck so far. Ha

  • BillyFinT

    Guys, with all due respect to Pujols, the Shark pitched him a low breaking ball, and it was a good pitch. Intentional walks are overrated. All pitchers are worse on the stretch. Berkman can bite on that.

    Anyway, I think Jeff had learned to pitch lately. Late, nevertheless, he has learned. If he knows false pride is too expensive for his career, he should contend by signing a minor league contract and stay with the Cubs.

    Jim Hendry signed and made the roster management. Quade went along. And Jeff Samardzjia is not a problem now. There’s a milliard of problems with the Cubs. It starts top-to-bottom.

    • diehardcubfan

      Yes, I agree with you that the pitch by Shark to Pujols was a good pitch and I do not blame Shark in anyway but still Quade should not have pitched to Pujols. You should never let the other teams best hitter beat you. 

      Pujols was mashing the ball all day and despite Pujols struggling a little during the season (for his standards) you should not pitch to him with the game on the line.  His track record is just too good. 

      If anyone beats you then make it Berkman, not Pujols.  Pujols is just too good and dangerous.

  • Agustinrexach

    Neil, do you know the details on Quade’s contract ? As in length and $….?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Rich HIll finally found a home in Boston. 

    8 IP …3 H….0.75 WHIP….12 K…..0.00 ERA….AND NOW–a season-ending injury. He needs Tommy John surgery.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Hill had a great arm. The Cubs didn’t know how to develop him. 

    • Tony

      That’s too bad.  I always liked Hill, he was so dominant for that one stretch to start the season.

      • paulcatanese

        It’s strange with pitchers over the last ten years,like dandruff all of them have Tommy John surgery hidden away somewhere and its not a question of how but when. Never seen so many of them go under the knife. Its like the old draft for the military you know that you are going to lose two years but come back a little older,and wiser and many times stronger and hope you miss it, but do excpect it.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Gotta love Adam Dunn. He got the BIG, BIG, BIG contract, and now he can’t hit his way out of a paper sack. Last night, another memorable game for Adam, as he fanned 3 times in 3 plate appearances. He’s got his average up to .175, which is 110 points BELOW his weight. Yes, Adam is 285 now.  Click the link and check out the double chin.

    Pujols isn’t hitting just THINKING about $300 million. Wait until some dingfod owner throws that much money at him. He’ll be done. Then the boos will come. And then his performance will fall even further.Conclusion: Baseball–especially hitting the baseball–has a lot to do with your mind. Mess with someone’s mental balance, and you can ruin their career. Take Quade and Colvin, for instance. He is probably done forever–certainly as long as he remains a Cub. Like Rich Hill, he needs to get out of Dodge where the incompetents Jim Clueless and Quade are destroying the entire franchise with their crazy ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jim Clueless playing a fiddle while Wrigleyville burns.

    • Tony

      Just more examples of why, buying players is a very hard way to build a team.  Player development and an actual minor league training system, that matches the big league clubs style, is the way to go.  FA is used for signing difference makers, and value veterans (ala the Mark Derosa signing), to fill in for your holes in your system.

    • Brp921

      Pujols is a great player and it would be nice to have him on the Cubs, at a decent price. But no player is worth 300 million over ten years, let alone a guy who is thirty plus years old, not even Pujols.