Game One Hundred Seven – Cubs 5 Cardinals 13
WP – Kyle Lohse (9-7) LP – Rodrigo Lopez (2-3) Save – None
The Cubs lost for the fifth time in as many games and dropped to a season-worst 23 games under .500 after another pathetic performance. The Cubs jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning after a two-run double by Geovany Soto and a three-run homer by Alfonso Soriano. Rodrigo Lopez gave two of those runs right back in the bottom of the first but settled down and the Cubs took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
After a preposterous bottom of the fifth in which the Cardinals scored eight runs on three hits, an error and five walks, the Cubs found themselves trailing 10-5 and could never recover … in fact the Cubs managed only one hit and two baserunners after the first inning.
The game changed on late takeout slide by Matt Holliday in the bizarre fifth inning. After Rodrigo Lopez walked Holliday with the bases loaded to force in St. Louis’ third run, Jeff Samardzija took over and appeared to get out of the inning. David Freese hit a grounder to Darwin Barney who threw to Starlin Castro to start the inning ending double play. But Matt Holliday slid late, spiked Castro and the Cardinals tied the game as Castro lay on the field.
Mike Quade argued with second base umpire, Derryl Cousins and was eventually ejected for the fourth time this season. The Cardinals scored five more runs in the fifth and by the time James Russell recorded the third, the Cardinals had a commanding 10-5 lead.
David Freese hit a two-run homer off James Russell in the sixth and Ryan Theriot (4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored) doubled in the Cardinals’ 13th run in the seventh.
The Cubs appeared to lose all interest after the fifth and mailed in the remainder of the game.
The Cubs scored all five of their runs in the first inning with two outs. The Cubs actually showed a lot of patience against Kyle Lohse and took advantage of an error by Daniel Descalso. The Cubs five runs in the first nearly matched the six runs scored over the first four games of the trip. Kyle Lohse settled down after the opening inning and did enough to qualify for his first win against the Cubs in a Cardinals’ uniform … and just his second career win against the team that drafted him.
Q’s offense plated five runs in one inning on Saturday … in the other 44 innings of the trip, a total of six runs. The Cubs have been outscored 31-11 in the last five games.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to a season-low 23 games under .500, equaling the low-mark from last season and the most games under .500 since the 2006 season. The Cubs will enter play on the final day of July with a 42-65 record …
Aramis Ramirez (on four pitches) and Carlos Pena worked back-to-back walks to load the bases with one out.
Marlon Byrd swung at the first pitch and popped out to second base.
Geovany Soto launched a 0-1 pitch into the gap in right. The ball hit off the top of the wall and missed by a foot of leaving the park. Soto settled for a two-out, two-run double.
Alfonso Soriano hit a towering fly on a 1-1 pitch that just made it into the stands in left. Soriano’s 16th homer of the season gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead. Tyler Colvin struck out swinging but the Cubs took a five-run lead with all of the runs scoring with two outs.
But the Cubs 5-0 lead was short lived …
Ryan Theriot led off the bottom of the first with a single to right. Theriot was thrown out at second on a botched hit and run … and Jon Jay lined out to left.
Albert Pujols lined a 0-1 pitch into the stands in left for the Cardinals first run. Pujols’ second at bat of the year against Rodrigo Lopez … and his second home run.
Matt Holliday doubled to left center and Lopez walked Freese on a 3-2 pitch. Skip Schumaker singled to center on a 3-2 pitch. Holliday scored … 5-2 Cubs. Yadier Molina flied out to center to end the inning.
After the first inning on Saturday, the Cubs have been outscored 87-63 in the first inning this season.
The writing was on the wall that the Cubs would not be leading this game after nine innings.
The Cubs started swinging at everything thrown near the plate in the second inning. Kyle Lohse retired the Cubs in order in the second.
Rodrigo Lopez sat down the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the second and worked around an infield single to the hole at short by Pujols in the third without allowing a run.
The Cubs did nothing against Lohse in the fourth … at that point the Cardinals starter had retired 10 in a row.
Rodrigo Lopez made it through the fourth and faced the minimum after issuing a leadoff single to Schumaker. Lopez threw 60 pitches in four innings, 39 for strikes.
Darwin Barney reached on an error with two outs in the top of the fifth by David Freese … but that was the Cubs last baserunner of the day until the hustle double with one out in the ninth off the bat of Marlon Byrd.
The Cubs began the fifth inning with a 5-2 lead and before they could record three outs they found themselves down 10-5. The bottom of the fifth began with Kyle Lohse grounding out to third base … then it got extremely ugly.
Ryan Theriot reached on a one-out single to left. Jon Jay doubled over Colvin’s head in right. Theriot was held at third with Pujols due to the plate. Quade picked the wrong time to intentionally walk Albert Pujols.
With the bases loaded and one out, Lopez lost the strike zone and walked Matt Holliday to force in Theriot with the Cardinals third run. Mike Quade went to his pen at that point and brought in Jeff Samardzija to face David Freese.
Freese hit a grounder on a 1-1 pitch to Barney at second. Barney threw to Castro to force Holliday but Castro could not throw to Pena to complete the double play.
Matt Holliday slid late and took out Castro at second. It should have been called interference and the inning should have been over. But instead Jay and Pujols scored and tied the game at five as Castro lay on the ground after being spiked by Holliday.
Mike Quade argued (a little late) to no avail and was ejected. The Cubs fell apart after the play and the game was basically over at that point.
Samardzija walked Schumaker to put runners on first and second with two outs. Yadier Molina singled to center. Freese scored the go ahead run. Samardzija intentionally walked Daniel Descalso to load the bases.
Tony LaRussa let Kyle Lohse walk to the plate before calling him back for pinch-hitter Tony Cruz. Samardzija could not find the strike zone and walked Cruz to force in Schumaker with the Cardinals’ seventh run. The free pass to Cruz was the fifth walk of the inning.
Ryan Theriot then ripped a 0-2 pitch into left. Alfonso Soriano did not know what to do with the ball. Soriano looked at third, then to second, double clutched then threw low Castro behind the third base bag. The ball got away from Castro … three more runs scored on another hit by Theriot and just like that it was 10-5 Cardinals. Theriot ended up at third and Pat Listach made his way to the mound.
James Russell replaced Samardzija and struck out Jon Jay to end the debacle.
From a 5-2 lead to a 10-5 hole in the matter of 12 batters.
The Cardinals tacked on in the sixth against James Russell. Matt Holliday walked (instead of wearing one from Russell) and scored when David Freese launched his second homer of the series into the stands in right center. Russell had tossed 14 1/3 scoreless innings prior to Freese’s homer … Russell had not allowed a run since June 24 in Kansas City.
Ryan Theriot added to the Cardinals lead in the seventh. Theriot came into the weekend series in a miserable 2-for-42 slump. Theriot recorded two hits on Friday and four more on Saturday. Theriot’s fourth, a double to left center off John Grabow, plated Tyler Greene (who reached on an error by Aramis Ramirez) with the Cardinals’ 13th and final run of the game.
Sean Marshall retired the Cardinals in order in the eighth and Marlon Byrd picked up the Cubs’ third hit of the game in the ninth.
Saturday was beyond pitiful. The Cubs showed a national audience just how bad the team is that Jim Hendry assembled … and one he is not willing to change and get rid of what movable pieces that could be dealt.
Ryan Dempster against Jake Westbrook in the finale on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.