Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine – Cubs 2 Cardinals 3
WP – Octavio Dotel (5-3) LP – Randy Wells (7-6) Save – Jason Motte (9)
Randy Wells rebounded nicely from his last two starts and put together a quality start on Sunday afternoon. Wells pitched his second complete game of the season and became the second starter on Quade’s staff to take a loss with a complete game effort. The Cubs defense turned two double plays in the first two innings that bailed Wells out of early trouble.
Randy Wells made only two mistakes on Sunday and both left the park. Yadier Molina tied the game in the seventh with a solo homer and Rafael Furcal hit the game winner against Wells leading off the bottom of the eighth.
As has been the case all season, the gopher ball was Wells’ undoing on Sunday. Wells surrendered just six hits but two left the yard. In 23 starts this season (135 1/3 innings), Randy Wells served up 23 home runs.
In his final start of the year, Randy Wells allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in eight innings.
The Cubs managed only five hits and three walks in the season finale against the Cardinals but still had plenty of opportunities again in a one-run loss. Quade’s offense finished the game a miserable 1-for-6 with RISP and left seven on base.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) reached base for the 37th game in a row. Castro singled in Marlon Byrd (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) in the seventh (65 RBI on the season). Geovany Soto (0-for-3 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs first run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
With Sunday’s loss (7-18 on Sundays in 2011), the Cubs finished with a 5-10 record against the Cardinals in 2011 and dropped back to 19 games under .500 with a 70-89 record … After Starlin Castro flied out to right to start the game, Darwin Barney singled and advanced to second on a two-out walk by Carlos Pena. Alfonso Soriano flied out to left to end the inning.
Rafael Furcal reached on an infield single to Castro to start the bottom of the first. Jay sacrificed him to second. After Albert Pujols received a standing ovation in what could have been his last game as a Cardinal at Busch Stadium, Pujols hit a liner to Barney … Furcal was doubled off second to end the inning.
Blake DeWitt led off the second with a single to right … but that was it for the Cubs. Byrd (line out to right), Soto (line out to left) and Wells (groundout to short) went down in order.
Lance Berkman led off the bottom of the second by flying out to left. Matt Holliday and David Freese followed with back-to-back singles … but Molina grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
The Cubs did nothing in the third against Edwin Jackson … and Wells retired the Cardinals in order in the home half of the third.
The Cubs finally got on the board in the fourth but it should have been more. The Cubs could not take advantage of a mental lapse by Matt Holliday and scored only one run after loading the bases with one out.
Carlos Pena walked to start the fourth. Soriano lined out to center but Blake DeWitt singled to left. Holliday threw to the wrong base and that allowed both Pena and DeWitt to move up ninety feet. With runners on second and third with one out, the Cardinals intentionally walked Marlon Byrd, for some unknown reason, to load the bases for Geovany Soto.
Geovany Soto launched a 1-2 pitch into right center. Jon Jay raced back and caught the ball on the warning track. Pena tagged and scored … 1-0 Cubs. Randy Wells popped out to short to end the inning.
The Cardinals did nothing in the fourth against Randy Wells.
Edwin Jackson sat down the top of the Cubs lineup in order in the fifth.
The Cardinals tied the game in the fifth after Randy Wells struggled with his command. Wells retired Holliday on a grounder to second to start the inning. Freese walked and advanced to second on a single by Molina. Wells pitched around Skip Schumaker and walked him on five pitches to load the bases.
Edwin Jackson hit a 1-2 pitch into right field. LaHair caught the ball but Freese tagged and scored the tying run. With runners on first and third with two down, Furcal flied out to left to end the inning.
After five, the Cubs and Cardinals were tied at one.
The Cubs did nothing against Edwin Jackson in the sixth … and other than a two out walk by Lance Berkman, the Cardinals did nothing against Wells in the home half of the inning.
Marlon Byrd ripped a double into right to start the seventh. After Soto and Wells struck out, Starlin Castro stepped in and ripped a 1-0 pitch into left. Byrd scored the go ahead run and Castro extended his streak of reaching base safely to 37 games.
With Castro at first, Darwin Barney reached on an error by Skip Schumaker but Bryan LaHair grounded out to second to end the inning.
Randy Wells took a one-run lead into the bottom of the seventh … and the one-run advantage did not last long.
Wells retired Freese on a grounder to short to start the inning. Yadier Molina followed with a homer to left … and his 14th of the season tied the game at two. Schumaker struck out swinging and Daniel Descalso, pinch hitting for Edwin Jackson, flied out to right to end the inning.
The Cubs predictably did nothing against Octavio Dotel in the eighth.
After throwing 96 pitches in seven innings, Mike Quade sent Randy Wells out to start the eighth … and it cost the Cubs.
Rafael Furcal crushed a 0-1 pitch from Wells. The ball ended up beyond the right field wall and the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead. To Wells’ credit, he retired Jay, Pujols and Berkman to keep the Cubs deficit at one run.
Randy Wells threw 109 pitches on Sunday afternoon, 66 for strikes.
The Cubs went down in order, quickly, against Jason Motte in the ninth to end the game.
Two one run losses in a row to the Cardinals in which the Cubs had a lead late in the game … It’s a Way of Life.
The Cubs open their final series of the year on Monday night in San Diego. Casey Coleman against Mat Latos in game one.