Cubs Defense Opened the Door to a Loss – Cubs 1, Cardinals 5

Game Nine – Cubs 1, Cardinals 5
WP – Lance Lynn (2-0) LP – Chris Volstad (0-1) Save – None

After a one hour and 59-minute rain delay, the second game of the weekend series between the Cubs and Cardinals finally got underway … and it was a battle between Chris Volstad and Lance Lynn until the fourth inning.

Both starting pitchers were sharp over the first three innings. Chris Volstad kept the ball down and was rather efficient while the Cubs offense made Lance Lynn work. But that all changed in the fourth when the first of two errors on the day by Starlin Castro led to a four-run rally.

The Cardinals took advantage of the extra out and Chris Volstad could not limit the damage. The bottom of the Redbirds offense jumped on Volstad and pounded out four straight hits that included a double and a triple.

Chris Volstad ended up allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits without a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. Volstad threw 101 pitches, 62 for strikes.

The Cardinals’ fifth run was served up by Shawn Camp in the seventh … a solo home run by Jon Jay on a 1-2 pitch.

The Cubs offense had plenty of opportunities late in the game. After managing only two hits through the first five innings, the Cubs put runners on in the sixth and eighth innings but managed only one run. The Cubs tallied six hits on Saturday afternoon … but were a miserable 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.

Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) drove in David DeJesus (1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk) with the Cubs’ only run and Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4) collected another multi-hit game.

Geovany Soto (0-for-4 with three left on base) and Marlon Byrd (0-for-4 with a strikeout and three left on base) continued their struggles on Saturday afternoon and were a combined 0-for-8 and left six runners on base.

The Cubs defense struggled again Saturday … Starlin Castro was charged with two more errors and Bryan LaHair had another rough day at first base.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 3-6 on the young season …

Lance Lynn pounded the strike zone in the first inning. David DeJesus looked at three straight and did not take the bat off his shoulder for the first out. Darwin Barney lined out to center (2-2 pitch) and Starlin Castro grounded out to third … 1-2-3 on 12 pitches, nine for strikes.

The Cardinals did nothing in the bottom of the first … Chris Volstad sat the Redbirds down in order on 11 pitches, seven for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano led off the second with the Cubs’ first hit of the game. Soriano blooped a 2-1 pitch into right field. Ian Stewart flied out to deep right center on a 2-1 pitch. Soriano tagged and slid in head first at second on the play. Bryan LaHair walked and put runners on first and second with one out.

The bottom of the Cubs’ lineup failed again. Geovany Soto flied out to right center (2-1 pitch). Soriano advanced to third but Marlon Byrd (1-0 pitch) grounded out weakly to short for the third out.

Chris Volstad struck out Carlos Beltran (2-2 pitch) swinging to start the second. After Matt Carpenter grounded out to first, Yadier Molina hit a 1-0 pitch back up the middle and into center. Daniel Descalso grounded out to Barney (0-1 pitch) on a ball hit back up the box. Barney flipped to Castro for the third out.

The Cubs did nothing in the third against Lance Lynn.

Tyler Greene led off the bottom of the third by popping up a bunt attempt to Soto. Lance Lynn hit a hanging curve ball into center for the Cardinals’ second hit. Volstad refocused after giving up a hit to the pitcher on a 1-2 offering and struck out Rafael Furcal (2-2 pitch). For the second time in as many at bats, Jon Jay grounded out to Barney in the shift. Barney tossed to Volstad to end the third. It took Volstad 39 pitches (25 for strikes) to get through three innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth as Lance Lynn started to settle in. Lynn struck out two of the three batters he faced in the fourth (Soriano and Stewart). After four, Lynn had thrown 61 pitches, 36 for strikes.

The Cardinals started squaring off on Chris Volstad in the bottom of the fourth … but it was Starlin Castro’s third error of the season that opened the floodgates.

Matt Holliday hit a routine grounder to short (2-1 pitch). Starlin Castro fielded the ball but threw high to first and pulled LaHair off the bag. Carlos Beltran flied out to right on the first pitch. Matt Carpenter pulled a 3-2 pitch off the top of the wall in right. Holliday had to hold and ended up at third on Carpenter’s double. With the infield back, Yadier Molina ripped a 1-1 pitch past a diving Castro into left. Holliday scored easily and Carpenter slid in safe ahead of Soriano’s throw.

Volstad forgot about Molina at first and the Cardinals’ slow footed catcher got a running lead and stole second standing up … and Volstad’s lapse cost him a run. Daniel Descalso ripped Volstad’s next pitch into right center. Molina scored on Descalso’s first triple of the year. Tyler Greene singled to center on a 0-1 offering … and just like that the Cardinals had a commanding 4-0 lead.

Chris Bosio went out to talk to Volstad prior to Lynn’s at bat. Lynn could not get the bunt down and eventually looked at strike three. Rafael Furcal hit a 3-1 smash back up the middle off Volstad. The Cubs’ pitcher picked up the ball and threw out Furcal at first to finally end the inning. Volstad threw 28 pitches in the fourth, 17 for strikes (67 pitches through four innings, 42 for strikes).

Bryan LaHair led off the fifth with the Cubs’ second hit, a single to center … but Geovany Soto hit a liner to second (2-1 pitch) that Tyler Greene did not field cleanly. LaHair dove back to the first base bag. Greene threw to Furcal to force LaHair for the first out. Marlon Byrd’s horrible start to the season continued, Byrd was called out on a 0-2 pitch when he hit the dirt on a pitch high and inside. Volstad flied out to right to end the inning.

The bottom of the fifth started the same way as the bottom of the fourth with a throwing error by Starlin Castro. Castro fielded the grounder hit up the middle by Jon Jay as he ranged behind the bag but his throw to first was high and Jay reached on his second error (fourth of the season).

Matt Holliday flied out to deep left center on a 3-1 pitch. Jay retreated to first but stole second on a 0-1 pitch to Carlos Beltran. Volstad struck out Beltran looking for the second out and was able to retire Matt Carpenter on a fly out to right (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

At the end of five, the Cardinals had a commanding 4-0 lead … and the Cubs had only two hits.

The Cubs finally got on the board in the sixth. And it was patience and an extra out that led to the first run. David DeJesus walked to start the inning. Barney hit what should have been a 6-4-3 double play but Furcal bobbled the ball and just threw out the hustling Barney at first.

With DeJesus at second, Starlin Castro hit a 2-1 pitch into center. DeJesus scored, 4-1 Cardinals. Alfonso Soriano fell behind Lynn 0-2 before blooping his next pitch into center. Castro read the play well and made it to third with one down.

Mike Matheny made the slow walk and brought in southpaw J.C. Romero to face the Cubs’ lefty corner infielders … Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair struck out to end the inning.

Chris Volstad ended his day by retiring the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the sixth.

Mitchell Boggs pitched the seventh for the Cardinals and made quick work of the bottom of the Cubs lineup. Soto and Byrd hit routine flies and Blake DeWitt, hitting for Volstad, flied out to left (1-0 pitch) for the third out. Boggs threw 11 pitches in the seventh, eight for strikes.

Shawn Camp took over in the bottom of the seventh. Camp retired pinch-hitter Erik Komatsu on a pop out to short and caught Rafael Furcal looking at a 0-2 pitch … but Jon Jay crushed a mistake on a 1-2 pitch. The ball left the yard and Jay’s second dinger of the year gave the Cardinals a 5-1 lead. Matt Holliday flied out to right center (0-1 pitch) to end the inning.

Fernando Salas started the eighth for the Cardinals and gave up a single to David DeJesus. Darwin Barney struck out swinging (1-2 pitch). Starlin Castro blooped a 0-1 pitch into right. Beltran tried to make a diving catch on the hump-back liner but missed. DeJesus stopped at third on Castro’s double. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) and Matheny went to his pen for Marc Rzepczynski.

Dale Sveum left Ian Stewart in to face the southpaw Rzepczynski … and Stewart lined out to Jon Jay in left center to end the inning.

With a lot of help from the Cubs’ defense, Shawn Camp retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the eighth.

The Cubs went to the ninth trailing 5-1 … Jason Motte retired Bryan LaHair (ground out to first), Geovany Soto (pop out to first) and Marlon Byrd (ground out to short) quickly (seven pitches) to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm will face Jake Westbrook in the rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Ripsnorter1

    I noticed that we moved ahead of the Pirates now despite the fact that the Pirates have allowed the fewest runs in MLB behind the Nats. Furthermore, the Pirates have committed fewer errors, too. Their pathetic offense has made them 2-5, having scored 11 runs in 7 games….

    The Cubs have scored 36 times but allowed 38 runs. We are currently tied for #6 in MLB in runs scored. Cubs are #11 in BA but only #21 in extra base hits….lack of power has hurt…..we are #18 in fielding, but a lot of the top teams are even worse in this department, like SF, Brewers, Braves, Nats, Rockies, Arizona.

    • Cory

      It’s early

    • cubtex

      Speaking of the Nats….Did you see what Edwin Jackson did today? 9 IP  2 Hits  1R and 9K’s against a good Reds offense.

    • cubtex

      Rip…Your boy Adam Dunn is still being Adam Dunn. He has 11K’s in less than 30 AB’s already this year!  Wow!

      • Ripsnorter1

        And he had such a nice ST, too……

      • Ripsnorter1

        Hey, get off of his back, will ya? He’s hitting .192, and that’s up from last year’s .159. SO BACK OFF!  LOL

    • brent carmona

      And you know what’s sad, cubs got really lucky against wainwright yesterday as he was forced to hasten his warm up with the rain delay and it was obvious (pat and keith on the radio noticed especially) he was not ready to pitch. Plus, we BABIP’ed grienke to death with a bunch of singles and I believe one extra base hit the previous day.

      So we are lucky to have as much runs scored as we do right now in this part of the early season.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Astute observation.

        #6 in runs, but #11 in BA and #21 in power shows that our hits came at the right time. Yet our BA with RISP is not too good, either: Yesterday it was brought up to .182, and today we went 1 for 7, so it didn’t improve any…..

      • Theboardrider

        Wow!  Is the glass always half empty Brent?  LOL, JK bro…

        • brent carmona

          Haha man lets just say the cubbie goggles are off!

          Rip, good stats, it shows how we should not be optimistic with our offense right now. RISP has always been garbage in recent years, I really hope they learn to grind out at bats in these situations or change their approach with men on base.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I noticed that Maholm for his career has a .215 BAA LH hitters. Nice. But RHH have him at .297. And yes, these are career numbers….4,960 career Plate Appearances against him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Zambrano walking the world….again. 1.1 IP and 3 BBs already.

    • GaryLeeT

       Ah yes, reminds me of the bad old days when Zs pitching lines often had more walks than strikeouts.

      • cubtex

        He settled down and has only given up 1 run thru 6…… but it is the Astros.

        • paulcatanese

          On top of that they ran themselves out of two runs in one inning. Granted the runner on third, one out and goes on contact, but hit back to Zambrano and he was dead on third. But the next guy, no business trying to score from second on the base hit to left, out by 30 feet. Z was aided by stupid baserunning, and thats why the Astro’s are the Astro’s.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I almost thought you were going to say, “And that’s why the Astros are like the Cubs, at the bottom of the division.” 

            But our new firstbase coach has turned our running game around. It’s very impressive.

  • Tom U

    Michael Burgess and Logan Watkins with home runs as the Smokies are on top of Jackson 5-2 to start the seventh.

    • Anthony

      you can be assured Burgess was invited to a “come to Jesus meeting” for 2012

      that bonus runs out after 6 years real easy……….

  • cubtex

    With Jacoby Ellsbury on the DL for a couple of months maybe Theo can do his old team a favor and give them Marlon Byrd :) One can only hope!

  • Anthony

    Castro is not a SS. Said it before, will say it again

  • matthew8510

    just got sox cubs tickets on june 18th hope cubs in first wish me luck

  • Tom U

    Brett Jackson 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, Iowa over Round Rock 4-3, bottom of five.

  • Jason Penrod

    What are the chances the Red Sox make an offer for Byrd?  With Ellsbury out, and the relationship between Front Offices…. Could be a good landing place for him.

    • brent carmona

      I like the idea jason, but with his weight loss and combine that with his performance so far this year I bet it will be as hard as ever to trade him. He still plays above average defense, at least I think he does haha (he has made some nice grabs so far this season, especially today with that long run and catch to left center today).

    • Brian

       Like the idea, but they are much more likely to go after Podsednik.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Podsednik is an AWFUL fielder. I mean, the worst I’ve ever seen in CF (and I remember Jimmy Hickman). 
        Byrd can at least catch the ball. I’d rather have Byrd that Scotty Pods.

        But the only problem in dealing Byrd is the Cubs’ unwillingness, imo, to eat $6 million of that $6.5 million dollar contract. That’s the real hangup. You can deal anybody if you are willing to eat enough cash.

  • Anthony

    So far the A+ Daytona outfield is hitting a collective .236, thanks to Rubi Silva who has almost half the groups hits batting .429. The group is “anchored” by:

    Szczur at .125
    Perez, N at .148
    Bonne at .174, the old man

    The Peoria outfield is hitting a collective .194 with PC Chen having almost 1/2 the hits of the entire group hitting .276. This group is anchored by:

    Gonzalez at .200
    Golden at .192
    Easterling at .087

    Oh, what thrills they provide.

    The entire A level combined are hitting .217 so far.

    Now, the majority of them spent Fall and Winter in Mesa preparing for the 2012 minor league ST.

    What do all these guys have in common?

    They were paid before they ever stepped on the field of play!

    6 of the 9 of them are hitting .200 or below, actually 5 of them hitting below .200

    I will not mention any names, any bias, any unfairness.

    I will mention that there have been, and there will always be players outside of affiliated baseball that were unfairly labeled, and victims of ignorance, and

    Theo Epstein is ignorant, and that is a compliment. You can run numbers thru all the computers in the world, but when push comes to shove, they all take the easy way out because a failed prospect on a bonus is easier to deal with(many chances) then finding a diamond in the rough, letting him go because of the structure of the game/business, as azzbackwards as it is, who then may resurface on another club and excel.

    I hope Theo’s interns read this and tell him one thing.

    You are wrong!

    • Theboardrider

      Dude, chill out with all that crap.  He’s new on the job and I think he’s feeling things out.  Bigots are ignorant, people who think Barack Obama is a Muslim are ignorant.  

      Theo Epstein isn’t ignorant.  You’re comments make you sound like a rube…

      Sorry to say this and lower myself.  I try to stay above the fray and the name calling but your comments really got under my skin. 

      • Theboardrider

        Okay, so now I’m feeling even worse about lowering myself.  There’s just so much negativity regarding a man who’s been on the job for 5 months it’s astounding to me.  Why are we judging him so quickly?  Personally I like just about everything he’s done (with exception of the Marshall return) so maybe I’m biased for the positive.  However I still just don’t get all the criticism of a man who still has boxes unpacked in his office.  

        Our system is a mess.  Theo’s got to think outside the box to bring about a slow change.  This thing is the like an ocean liner and it takes time to change course.  I hear so much criticism of the guy and it just blow my mind.  Personally I think we’re headed in the right direction.  What I’ve seen on the field, although not producing the wins I’d like, has been a breath of fresh air and fun to watch.  We’ve been in every game and Sveum seems to be getting the most out of guys.  To me that says the most, that these guys are changing their bad habits and buying in to the “Cubs Way.”  Look at Soriano, he’s the posterboy for the new way of doing business on the northside, based on his play this year.  

        Again I apologize for going low and my “rube,” comment.  I’m sure you are a good guy Anthony and just another frustrated Cubs fan like we all are.  It’s not easy being us but I think that will make it all the more sweet when things finally turn around.  We need to stick together and send positive vibes towards our team and front office.  Let’s not second guess everything they do.  We are passionate, but there is a reason they get paid what they do and do what they do, and the rest of us watch the games from the stands or on TV.  

        Give these guys a chance.  And let’s give each other a break.  I’m ashamed of myself for lashing out at another fan of my beloved Cubbies.  I’d like to see it all stop.  Cubtex, Vegas; stuff like that. Not to call anyone out personally, just the dialogue between the two of you sprang to mind. Let’s just all remember we are on the same team and want the same results.  

        I apologize Anthony…


        • Texcubnut

          Brian always tells Cub fans to stay classy. Boatrider, you are a classy Cub fan. So is Anthony but he is feeling very frustrated about a situation. He’ll get through it.

        • Dorasaga

           “Give these guys a chance.  And let’s give each other a break. I’m
          ashamed of myself for lashing out at another fan of my beloved Cubbies.”

          Can’t agree better. I think this is the bottom-line, no name-calling or criticizing on another fan. We stick to the issue (the Cubs Way), and let’s see what’ll happen next.

          • Theboardrider

            Thanks for those comments guys.  We’re all frustrated but taking it out on each other isn’t the answer.  We’re all on the same side…

    • Zonk

      For the second day in a row, you have posted something that is sheer drivel.

      Yesterday, the statement that Theo issued orders to dump all low paid talent regardless of baseball ability. 
      Today, you rip Theo as ignorant because the Single-A outfield is a bunch of guys that take the bonus $ and haven’t hit. 

      Never mind that a) he didn’t actually draft any of them, and b) it’s 8 games into the season 

      You call him ignorant for 8 games of poor performance by a bunch of players drafted by Jim Hendry?  Please explain that

      I am convinced you are Ben Klafczynski.  If so, you deserved to get cut. 

      • Ty

        just a fan and former scout/recruiter

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brian Wilson out for the season!
    Maybe we can deal Shawn Camp to SF!

    • Aaron

      lol…I almost just spit up my drink when I read that. You made my day with that comment :)

    • Zonk

       Lincecum has not been good either; might be a long year for the Giants.

      Methinks Mr. Camp will be available for free at some point this season, if the Giants were really interested…….

      • Ripsnorter1

        Lincecum is worried, like AL-bert Pujols was last year, about his $300 million. It affects the mind, which then affects the performance.

        My opinion: the Cubs love Shawn Camp. I just can’t figure out why…..

  • matthew8510

    the Red Sox could enter into talks with the Cubs to acquire center fielder Marlon Byrd, according to Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The North Siders have been trying to trade Byrd “for months,” Wittenmeyer reports, and the front offices remain relatively close due to the presence of former Boston executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer in Chicago.

    • jw

      Additional compensation for Carpenter “damaged goods” would be their starting point

      • matthew8510

        send them camp with byrd

      • Ripsnorter1

        RIGHT! They just LOVE dealing with Theo, don’t you think? LOL

  • Ripsnorter1

    Zambrano walked 6 in 6 IP, but only gave up one run. But then Ozzie brought in Heath Bell for the “save.” He saved the game alright…for the Astros. He’s 0-2 with 2 blown saves already, and looking like he’s too old to pitch. 

    The Marlins have the same record as the Cubs….

    The Astros are .500…..

  • Ripsnorter1

    Buck Showalter has the Orioles in first place

    • Texcubnut

      Buck has them wearing cotton uniforms, Rip. They ‘breathe’ easier.