Cubs Rain on Cardinals Celebration – Cubs 9, Cardinals 5

Game Eight – Cubs 9, Cardinals 5
WP – Jeff Samardzija (2-0) LP – Adam Wainwright (0-2) Save – None

wflag.jpgAfter a one hour and 44-minute delay and watching the Cardinals celebrate their latest World Series championship, the Cubs came out swinging and by the time they were done, Dale Sveum’s team scored a season-high nine runs.

Before Adam Wainwright could get comfortable, the Cubs put a four-spot on the board in the first inning. Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a RBI, a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base) singled in David DeJesus (1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) with the first run of the game. Two batters later, Ian Stewart launched a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right. Stewart’s three-run homer, his first big league home run since August 23, 2010, gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead on their longtime rival.

Bryan LaHair (1-for-4 with a home run and four RBI) went oppo in the third with the bases loaded. LaHair’s first Major League grand slam, and the first granny hit by a Cubs’ player since October 2, 2010, gave the Cubs an 8-0 lead for the second day in a row.

The Cubs tacked on a run in the fourth. David DeJesus walked and scored when Alfonso Soriano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded.

A day after scoring eight runs against Zack Greinke, the Cubs’ offense scored eight runs on seven hits (two home runs) with two walks against Adam Wainwright in three innings.

Jeff Samardzija was not as sharp through the first four innings as he was in his last outing but was equally effective. Samardzija pitched himself into deep counts, ran up his pitch count but still managed to keep the Cardinals off the board … that all changed in the fifth.

The Cardinals got to Jeff Samardzija in the fifth and put up five runs on six hits and a walk, Samardzija’s first free pass of the season. Samardzija pitched ahead in the count in the fifth but could not put hitters away. Samardzija was able to qualify for the win after allowing five runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings. Samardzija threw 103 pitches, 64 for strikes, and will benefit from the extra day of rest.

Dale Sveum’s pen was excellent and tossed four innings of shutout ball. The Cardinals managed only two hits off the Cubs pen while not receiving any help … the relievers did not walk a single batter on Friday afternoon. Rafael Dolis allowed just one hit in his two innings of work. James Russell retired two of the three batters he faced with a strikeout. Kerry Wood recorded the last out of the eighth and Carlos Marmol pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs have won on back-to-back days for the first time under Dale Sveum and improved to 3-5 on the young season … David DeJesus led off the ballgame by pulling a 0-1 pitch down the right field line. The ball hit on the line and bounced into the seats for a ground rule double. Darwin Barney followed with a single to left (1-2 pitch). DeJesus had to pause and could not score.

With runners on first and third and no outs, Starlin Castro pulled a 1-1 pitch into left. DeJesus scored and Barney stopped at second. Alfonso Soriano flied out to deep right. Barney tagged and advanced to third on the productive out.

Ian Stewart stepped in and pulled a 1-1 pitch from Adam Wainwright over the wall in right. Stewart’s first homer as a Cub gave his new team a 4-0 lead.

Bryan LaHair and Geovany Soto struck out swinging to end the top of the first.

Jeff Samardzija took the hill in the bottom of the first with a 4-0 lead and retired Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay quickly to start the inning. Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran reached on back-to-back two out singles. Samardzija struck out David Freese swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Adam Wainwright in the second.

Samardzija struck out Yadier Molina to start the second. Matt Carpenter, filling in for the injured Lance Berkman, singled to right. Daniel Descalso grounded out to first (3-1 pitch), Carpenter advanced to second but was stranded when Wainwright hit a blooper to Castro.

Samardzija kept the Cardinals off the board but was not sharp. He threw 43 pitches in two innings, 28 for strikes.

After Darwin Barney grounded out to short to start the third, Starlin Castro walked and advanced to second on a single to right off the bat of Alfonso Soriano. Ian Stewart walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out.

Bryan LaHair launched Wainwright’s first pitch into the Cardinals’ bullpen beyond the left center field wall … and just like that the Cubs led 8-0.

Geovany Soto followed LaHair’s slam with a fly out to right.

Marlon Byrd ended his 0-for-20 slide with a single to left but Samardzija struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cardinals showed in the bottom of the third that is was still early … and they were not going to quit.

Rafael Furcal grounded out to third (3-1 pitch) to start the Cardinals’ third. Samardzija jumped ahead of Jay 0-2. The Cardinals’ centerfielder worked the count full before ripping a single into right. Holliday flied out to left on the first pitch.

Jeff Samardzija issued his first free pass of the season to Carlos Beltran (3-2 pitch) with two on and two down, David Freese grounded out to first on Samardzija’s 68th pitch (42 for strikes) of the game.

Mike Matheny went to his pen in the fourth. Victor Marte replaced Wainwright and walked David DeJesus to start the inning. Darwin Barney singled to right and Castro singled to left. With the bases loaded and no outs, Soriano hit a 1-0 pitch to Furcal … 6-4-3 double play. DeJesus scored the Cubs’ ninth run and Barney ended up at third. Stewart grounded out to first (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.

Samardzija put together his best inning of the day in the fourth. Samardzija retired the Cardinals in order on nine pitches, six for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing against Victor Marte in the fifth.

Shane Robinson hit for Marte to start the bottom of the fifth and singled to right, just the fifth hit allowed by Samardzija. Rafael Furcal tapped back to the mound. Samardzija tagged Furcal for the first out. Jon Jay singled to right and plated Robinson with the Cardinals first run.

Matt Holliday hit a deep fly to right center. DeJesus caught the ball and Jay had to retreat to first. Carlos Beltran singled to center (2-1 pitch), Jay advanced to third with two down. David Freese hit Samardzija’s first pitch into right center. Jay scored, 9-2 Cubs.

Yadier Molina followed with a single to left, Beltran scored the Cardinals’ third run and Samardzija received a visit from Chris Bosio.

With two on and two down, Matt Carpenter ripped a 1-2 pitch into right center. Freese and Molina scored on Carpenter’s first career triple.

With the Cubs up 9-5, Jeff Samardzija was allowed to stay in and struck out Daniel Descalso (2-2 pitch) for the third out of the inning.

After five, the Cubs nine-run lead was down to a four run advantage … the Cubs led 9-5.

J.C. Romero retired the Cubs in order in the sixth.

Rafael Dolis took over for Samardzija in the bottom of the sixth. Dolis made quick work of pinch-hitter Erik Komatsu and Rafael Furcal but gave up a two-out hustle double to Jon Jay. Matt Holliday flied out to a diving David DeJesus in right to end the inning.

Starlin Castro led off the seventh with a single to center off Kyle McClellan. Castro stole second with Soriano at the plate … but Soriano struck out swinging for the first out. Stewart walked on four pitches. LaHair looked at strike three and Soto struck out swinging to end the inning.

Rafael Dolis sat down the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the seventh … Beltran (grounded out to second), Freese (flied out to a diving Soriano in left) and Molina (grounded out to third).

Kyle McClellan faced the minimum in the eighth after hitting Marlon Byrd to start the inning. Blake DeWitt hit for Dolis and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. DeJesus grounded out to short for the third out.

James Russell started the bottom of the eighth by retiring Matt Carpenter on a fly out to left. Daniel Descalso doubled to center. Matheny went to his bench and sent up Tyler Greene to hit for McClellan. Greene struck out swinging and Sveum went to his pen for Kerry Wood.

Rafael Furcal grounded out to first (0-1 pitch) to end the eighth … one up, one down for Kerry Wood.

The Cubs did nothing against Fernando Salas in the ninth and went to the bottom of the ninth up by a score of 9-5.

Carlos Marmol struck out Jon Jay, Matt Holliday popped up the first pitch into right and Carlos Beltran struck out swinging (3-2 count, eighth pitch) to end the game.

It is always a good day when the Cubs beat the Cardinals.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Game two is Saturday afternoon, first pitch at 12:05 … Chris Volstad against Lance Lynn.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO


  • wrigleylover

    Samardzija this game 9.00 ERA 2.10 WHIP. He won due to offensive run support

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

      Shark wasn’t as sharp today no doubt.  But with an 8 run lead, you also start pitching a little differently.  The Cards a good hitting team and will take advantage when pitchers start pitching to contact.  But bottom line is, he did win and 2-0 to start the season.  Can’t we just enjoy a Cubs W for once?  Nobody is saying the Cubs are going to be a contender based on this game.  The odds still favor the Cards taking the next two, but I don’t really care.  I’m going to enjoy putting a little bit of sour milk into the Cardinals fans cereal for the day.  

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Good post Trevor… 

        Every time I see your name I always think…Travis Pastrana!

      • Ripsnorter1

        And it was such lousy weather that even Wainwright got shellacked. You have to take that into account.

  • jw

    It’s alway good to rain on the Cardinal parade but I’d rather have a WS title and have the Cards rain on my parade the opener of the next year
    Steward Woo-woo LaHair Woo-woo!!!!

  • Aaron

    DeWitt=worthless

    While I understand the Cubs won, this game was closer than the final score indicated. The Cardinals put several runners in scoring position, and easily could have at least tied the game.

    The Cubs, meanwhile…while they might have played a good game offensively early on in the game…took their foot off the gas pedal, and both Soriano (bases loaded) and DeWitt grounded into double plays when they could have added onto the lead. 

    Obviously, I’m not complaining about the final result, but if I’m not mistaken, both Soriano and DeWitt grounded into double plays on the first pitch….DeWitt’s was especially troubling, considering he was pinch hitting for a pitcher, AND Byrd was just hit by a pitch. Baseball 101 says after a guy is hit by a pitch, you take the next pitch (if the pitcher is the same) for two reasons:
    1) because you want to give the guy that just got hit by the pitch to gather himself at 1B…

    and

    2) because the pitcher (unless intentional) hit the batter because his command was off, so you make him throw you a strike before you swing

    ….anyway, just my take….

    oh, also, this just in, Soto and Byrd still suck. What’s new? What’s frustrating is that Samardzija pitched the game of his life last time out with Clevenger behind the dish, and with Soto back there, implodes in the 5th inning….just sayin’…

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I don’t like Clevenger sitting today.  The guy is the hot hand.  Why not keep him in until he cools?

      • GaryLeeT

         I know they are trying to build up Soto’s value, but Clevenger certainly earned back to back starts.

    • Tony_Hall

      Soriano…
      Dewitt…
      Byrd…
      Soto…

      What do they all have in common?

      Not gonna be around that much longer.  Ony Soriano (due to his contract) can you say will be around next year, possibly.  But I expect all 4 to be gone by the trade deadline.  Soto and Byrd could be gone sooner, if they don’t start hitting.

      • Coachdon

         But if you sit Clevenger enough you might just cool him off to the point that if Soto leaves, Clevenger will have to get back into the flow. I would have those two catchers go 50/50 for awhile.

        • Tony_Hall

          Not sure if you have ever read my thoughts on how to manager the catching position for a team or not, but I’m not quite 50/50, but I agree with keeping both catchers active and not having a true starter, who only rests once a week.  

  • Aaron

    By the way…don’t know if anyone noticed but Dolis had just 16 pitches in 2 IP….now THAT is being efficient. Now, if only Wood and Marmol can learn from him…

    • Ripsnorter1

      Speaking of Marmol…..

      I didn’t see him pitch, only the box score. He fanned two. His last couple of outings are much better. Has his stuff improved?

      • xaxinho

        I saw the last 3 innings. Marmol is getting better. His slider is so much better, backdoor against lefties if my memory is fine. Fastball command is better. He hustled a little, asked to change the ball on the last pitch. I would say he is improving.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Thanks for the update.

    • Tony_Hall

      Wood 2 pitches 1 out
      Marmol 14 pitches 3 outs

      Wood was efficient, and for Marmol this is extremely efficient.

      • GaryLeeT

        I don’t remember how fast Marmol threw his slider before, but yesterday it was in the mid 80s. Maybe he’s slowing it down to to get it to sink better.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Mid-80′s is all it has ever been.

  • paulcatanese

    Ironic, seven runs batted in by two guys that were not even here last year.(well LaHair was for a cup of coffee ).Congratulations to Theo,again. But I will also jump on what I think are mistakes.

    Byrd getting hit by a pitch, (as Aaron pointed out )DeWitt should have taken a pitch. Worse, why wasn’t he bunting Byrd to second base?

    The way the bullpen has been performing, four runs was not a safe lead. Dolis did a good job, but I was holding my breath with Wood and
    Marmol.

    The Shark did ok. Given an eight run lead, he did what he is supposed to do, throw strikes. It got out of hand quickly and was probably left in hoping for the third out without any further damage. Almost didn’t work out that way.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    The term “professional hitter,” comes to mind while watching Lahair.  If we can’t transition him to LF then I think we could get a good return by shipping him to an AL team and him being a DH.  I think he would rake as a DH.  

    That said, we need more guys like him on the northside!  I hope we can figure a way to have he and Rizzo both on the field.  That assumes Rizzo can figure it out in the show.  At this point there isn’t any reason to rush him.  With Lahair being our best hitter might as well stick with what is working. 

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Soriano looks reborn so far this year.  Running the bases, diving for balls and crushing the ball at the plate!  Keep it up Fonzi!

    • Tony_Hall

      I have been critical of Soriano and still want him gone.  

      But, if he had given this much effort in the areas he was bad in previously, he wouldn’t have had the fans on him so much.  He was always a hard worker before, but it seems McKay has been able to get him to work on his fielding and base running, areas he was atrocious in, and it shows in his play.  He is still not a good fielding LF.

      • GaryLeeT

        From his routes to the ball, to wall awareness, it appears every aspect of Soriano’s defensive play has dramatically improved. In fact, it’s improved to the point that Jed does not have to present him as a DH only, and it should make him that much easier to move.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree, he has dramatically improved.  That brings him up to an acceptable level of play in LF.

          No team is going to trade for him and expect him to play LF for the next 3 years though.  As a DH and spot starter in LF, he will help an AL team.  

          • Zonk

            I still can’t see a trade at this point; 3 years is far too long for a declining player, even if the Cubs pick up most of the tab.

            Let’s hope Fonz has a good year, and maybe we can move him this offseason.  Even then, we will have to pay $, or take a bad contract in return.

    • Steve Rock-Vegas

      I totally agree. I”ve been one of the biggest bashers of Fonzi in the past, and still hope they can use this “rebirth” to get something for him,  but all that being said…I still am completely impressed with how he’s performed this year so far.  he’s always been said to be a good person and good locker room guy, but now he’s actually being a leader on the field with effort and hustle.  His play in LF, when compared to his past performances, is almost All-Star caliber. And no one jump on me and say I’m calling him an A-S, I’m saying compared to himself in seasons past this is like adding an A-S to LF.  Anyway, I’ll enjoy him while it last because he’s probably one horrible slump from me cursing him gone again, but while it last, Keep it up Fonzi!!

  • Steve Rock-Vegas

    Wait a minute, did I just read the invincable, unhittable, can’t live without you Sean Marshall sucked yesterday. Whoa, call the Coast Guard, some CCO followers are about to jump from the bridges.
    Since so many live in a fantasy world of running a team, here’s a fantasy clip from CBS Sportsline for you- Marshall has yet to register a save with his new team this year, which is not what Fantasy owners want to hear. Marshall was named the closer by Dusty Baker after the team had to shut down Ryan Madson for the season. But if he can’t get the job done, there are a few other arms in the bullpen that are jumping at a chance to close out games. For now, Marshall is a No. 2 relief pitching option in mixed Fantasy leagues.  

    • Tony_Hall

      I guess we were thinking the same thing.

    • EqDoc

      Andrew Cashner stunk it up yesterday as well.  He has 6 walks in 4.2 innings pitched so far this season.  Granted its early.

  • GaryLeeT

     To quote Bobby from the Horrible Bosses movie “Jeff Baker, Blake Dewitt, Marlon Byrd, & Geo Soto are lazy and they’re slow and they make me sad to look at.

  • Tony_Hall

    I liked Sean Marshall and would rather have him than not.  

    But…

    “Reds closer Sean Marshall gave up one earned run off two hits on Friday night against the Nationals. He issued two walks in the game and got just one out in the 13th inning before Jayson Werth knocked in the game-winning run. The Reds lost to the Nationals, 2-1. “I didn’t make the pitches I wanted. I walked those two batters. When you do that in a game, sometimes it comes back to bite you,” Marshall said. “That’s what it did.”  

    Marshall has yet to register a save with his new team this year, which is not what Fantasy owners want to hear. Marshall was named the closer by Dusty Baker after the team had to shut down Ryan Madson for the season. But if he can’t get the job done, there are a few other arms in the bullpen that are jumping at a chance to close out games. For now, Marshall is a No. 2 relief pitching option in mixed Fantasy leagues. “

  • Zonk

    Good article on Fangraphs about Matt Garza.  Cliff Notes:  They think he is a legit #1 starter, and moving into the elite:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/matt-garza-legitimate-number-one-starter/

    The Cubs clearly want to lock Garza up long-term, and the fact that it hasn’t happened is maybe because Garza’s agent reads the same articles, and is building a case that Garza is worth Matt Cain kind of money, $100 mil +.  I think they want a 9-figure contract, or try to get one in FA.  The only thing in the Cubs favor is that he is arb eligible next year (last year), but even then he figures to get $12 mil at least.

    Nobody wants to lose Garza, but keeping him is going to entail some risk…..and big $

    • cubtex

      Don’t let Tony read that…..he might finally think he is more than a #3 :)

      • Tony_Hall

        I have always called him more than a #3…I have called him a #2/#3.  He ranked around late 30′s and early 40′s for starting pitchers, going into last year, and this year he was closer to 30.  I have always argued that he was no ACE, of which there are only about 15 of in all of MLB.  

        C’mon man, at least quote me correctly.  

        Matt Cain or Matt Garza….hmmmm, I’ll take Cain.  

        • cubtex

          Here lies the problem. With the money Matt Cain just got……Garza’s pricetag is going up. I wish they would have extended him earlier because the longer tey wait….the more his pricetag goes up. Although Cain has had a better ERA and WHIP…he hasn’t won a lot of games. I have maintained that Theo will still look to move Garza this year because they don’t want to pay him.

          • Tony_Hall

            I have no problem paying Garza, and was calling for JH to extend from the time he got here.  This team does not have an issue paying players they want to keep around.  They have very little committed payroll in the future.  Plus, all the young guys will be league minimum for  3 years.

          • cubtex

            Agreed but they need to add some high end starting pitching potential. After Garza and (maybeShark)….they are all back end guys.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

      I like Garza a lot, and I think most of us do.  I think all pitchers involve some risk and all good pitchers involve some money.  The real question is if we don’t keep Garza, who would be a similar pitcher, with similar risk, that can give you similar results.  Now what is the price comparison between the two?  I understand we might not be contenders in the near future, but I would have no problem investing some money in a young talented pitching staff.