Game One Hundred Six – Cubs 2 Cardinals 9
WP – Edwin Jackson (1-0, 8-7) LP – Matt Garza (4-8) Save – None
Friday night was another in a long line of ugly games for the Chicago Cubs this season. Mike Quade’s team and coaching staff embarrassed themselves with poor play in every aspect of the game. The Cubs lost for the fourth time in as many games and in the process they dropped to a season-worst 22 games under .500.
The Cubs failed to execute in any aspect of the game on Friday night in St. Louis.
Matt Garza pitched better than his final line and really made only one big mistake … the three-run homer by David Freese in the fourth inning. The Cubs defense did not show up Friday night and it cost Garza. While the Cubs were charged with only two errors, they made many more mistakes. Garza ended up allowing six runs, all earned, on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Garza threw 89 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Carlos Marmol made his first appearance since last Sunday and gave up three runs on three hits (all doubles) and a walk in an inning of work. Marmol struck out a batter and appeared very uncomfortable on the mound.
The Cubs defense added two more errors to their league worst total but misplayed balls by Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto gave the Cardinals extra outs … and they took advantage.
Not to be outdone by the players, Ivan DeJesus committed two costly mistakes … DeJesus didn’t send a runner when he should have then did send a runner when he should not have. DeJesus held Marlon Byrd in the second on a hard hit single to left by Alfonso Soriano. Byrd would have scored and eventually did but his decision changed the course of the inning. Then in the seventh with the Cubs down by five, DeJesus waived Tyler Colvin around third. Colvin was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning.
The Cubs had a runner thrown out a third and at home on Friday night.
The Cubs offense continued to struggle. Q’s offense has scored a grand total of six runs in the first four games of the trip. The Cubs managed nine hits and three walks but were 3-for-8 with RISP, eight left on base.
Albert Pujols had another big game against the Cubs and once again recorded a personal milestone against the Chicago Cubs. Pujols entered play Friday night two hits short of 2000 in his career and Pujols reached the mark with a 2-for-5 night that included a pair of doubles, a RBI and a run scored.
Bad defense, baserunning gaffes, poor coaching, lack of clutch hitting … no wonder with Friday night’s loss the Cubs are now a season-low 22 games under .500 with a 42-64 record … The Cubs and Cardinals both managed a hit in the first inning but did not score. Starlin Castro led off the game with a single to left on a 3-1 pitch by Edwin Jackson … but Barney, Ramirez and Pena could not get the job done.
For the Cardinals, Jon Jay was the beneficiary of a misplayed ball in right by Tyler Colvin. Jay singled to right with one out but Albert Pujols hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Garza threw only seven pitches (five for strikes) in the first.
The Cubs wasted a golden opportunity in the second. Q’s un-fundamental squad, and coaching staff, cost them a big inning.
Marlon Byrd led off the second with a double down the left field line. Jackson hit Soto near the hand on a 1-1 pitch. Alfonso Soriano hit a smash to left past a diving Daniel Descalso. Ivan DeJesus held up Byrd at third when he could have scored.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Tyler Colvin fell behind 1-2 before working the count back to full. Colvin lined a ball into right field. Corey Patterson made the catch and a strong throw to the plate but Byrd slid in safe with the Cubs first run.
For some reason, Geovany Soto waited to tag from second. Molina threw a strike to third to cut down Soto for the second out of the inning. Soto heard from Mike Quade when he returned to the dugout. Garza struck out swinging … but even when the Cubs score a run they make it feel like they did not.
Matt Garza gave up a two-out double on a 0-2 pitch to Skip Schumaker in the second, but that was it.
Darwin Barney reached on a one out single to right in the third. Aramis Ramirez looked lost at the plate for the second time and struck out swinging. Carlos Pena popped out to second to end the third.
Daniel Descalso reached on an error by Carlos Pena to start the third. Jackson dropped down his first sac bunt of the season (0-for-4 prior) and advanced Descalso to second. Patterson grounded out to short and with Descalso on third, Jon Jay grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Cubs went in order for the first time in the fourth.
The Cardinals took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. Albert Pujols entered play Friday night just two hits shy of 2000 for his career and he got number 1999 to lead off the fourth. Pujols ripped a 2-1 pitch into the gap in right and ended up at second with a double. Matt Holliday reached on an infield single up the middle. David Freese gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead with one swing of the bat.
Freese launched Garza’s first pitch into the stands in left center … 3-1 Cardinals.
To Garza’s credit he retired the next three batters he faced to end the inning.
Matt Garza put together his best at bat of the season that resulted in a single to right on a 2-2 pitch (Garza has a two-game hitting streak). Starlin Castro worked the Cubs first walk. With runners on first and second with one out, Darwin Barney advanced both runners with a swinging bunt to the third base side of the mound. Jackson threw out Barney and retired Ramirez on a ground out to first to end the inning.
The Cardinals managed only one hit in the fifth, a two out single by Jon Jay.
Carlos Pena led off the sixth with a four-pitch walk but Marlon Byrd rolled into a 5-4-3 double play … and Soto popped out to shallow left to end the inning.
The Cardinals blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth … and chased Matt Garza from the game.
The Cubs defense, namely Aramis Ramirez, let Garza down in the sixth and it cost him a bunch of runs. Matt Holliday led off the sixth on a double down the third baseline. Aramis Ramirez misplayed the ball, appeared to short-arm it. Garza struck out David Freese but walked Skip Schumaker.
Yadier Molina singled to left. Soriano missed the cutoff man but delivered a one-hop throw to the plate. Soto dropped the ball as Holliday slid in with the Cardinals fourth run. Both runners advanced to second and third on the play. Garza intentionally walked Descalso to load the bases with one out.
Edwin Jackson hit for himself and fouled out to Carlos Pena.
Mike Quade went to his pen and brought in James Russell to face Corey Patterson. Tony LaRussa went to his bench and sent up a former Cub to hit for a former Cub. Ryan Theriot hit for Patterson and hit a slow chopper to third. Ramirez slipped as he appeared to dive unnecessarily for the ball. The ball hit off his glove, rolled into foul territory and both Schumaker and Molina scored … 6-1 Cardinals. Theriot was given a double on what should have been an error.
Russell retired Jon Jay on a grounder to second to end the inning.
Tyler Colvin reached on a one-out single in the seventh. Blake DeWitt hit for Russell and Colvin advanced to second on a balk. DeWitt hit a hard single into right past a diving Theriot. Schumaker charged and made a strong throw to the plate.
Ivan DeJesus sent Colvin to the plate down by five in the seventh … and he was thrown out.
After a wild pitch advanced DeWitt to second, Castro popped out to center to end the inning.
Ramon Ortiz issued a one-out walk to Holliday in the seventh but that was it.
The Cubs scored a run … and once again it should have been more in the eighth. Kyle McClellan started the eighth for the Cards and walked Darwin Barney to begin the inning. Aramis Ramirez lined out to left. Carlos Pena reached on an infield single.
With runners on first and second with one out, Marlon Byrd ripped a 0-1 pitch into right that hopped over the wall for a ground rule double. Barney scored … 6-2 Cardinals.
Jason Motte replaced McClellan and struck out Geovany Soto swinging. Soriano lined out to a diving Jon Jay in shallow center to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol took the hill for the first time since Sunday and was hit very hard.
Yadier Molina ripped Marmol’s first pitch into left center for a double. Descalso lined out to right. Molina tagged and advanced to third. Marmol walked Tyler Greene. Greene then took off for second on a 1-0 pitch to Ryan Theriot. Greene swiped the bag as the ball got past Barney and ended up in center. Molina scored on the Cubs second charged error of the game … 7-2 Cardinals.
Ryan Theriot reached on a hustle double to left center. Greene scored … 8-2. Jon Jay struck out swinging.
Albert Pujols stepped in a hit shy of 2000 for his career … and of course #2000 came against the Chicago Cubs. Pujols doubled down the left field line on a 1-1 pitch. Theriot scored the Cardinals ninth run and Pujols received a standing ovation. Tony Cruz hit for Matt Holliday and popped out to second to end the inning.
The Cubs went down in order to end the game.
The Cubs have lost a lot of games this season … but not many have been as ugly as the one on Friday night.
Rodrigo Lopez will face Kyle Lohse on Saturday afternoon.