Cubs Get the Call … and Walk-Off the Cards in Ten – Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

Game Eighteen – Cubs 3, Cardinals 2 – 10 innings
WP – James Russell (1-0) LP – Fernando Salas (0-1) Save – None

wflag.jpgFor the second time in as many days, the Cubs beat the Cardinals in their last at bat. After Carlos Marmol failed to nail down the win for Jeff Samardzija, Bryan LaHair (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) tied the game in the ninth with the Cubs first home run since his grand slam off Adam Wainwright on April 13. Bryan LaHair hit an opposite field homer off lefty Marc Rzepczynski … LaHair’s first hit of the season off a southpaw tied the game at two.

After a perfect tenth from James Russell, Tony Campana (2-for-4, a run scored, two stolen bases and a sac bunt) reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the inning and took off for second on a 1-0 pitch to Starlin Castro (0-for-4 with a sac fly RBI). Campana was called safe but replays showed otherwise and the Cubs took advantage of the gift. With the go ahead run at second and two down, LaHair was walked intentionally.

Alfonso Soriano (3-for-5 with a RBI and a double) smoked a 3-2 pitch towards second that ate up Tyler Greene. The ball ended up in center and Campana scored the winning run.

What will be lost in the Cubs’ second walk-off win in as many nights is the tremendous outing Jeff Samardzija turned in Tuesday night.

Jeff Samardzija more than bounced back from his bad outing in Miami and put together a performance similar to his first one of the season. Samardzija tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball (90 pitches, 63 for strikes), allowed just four hits, struck out a career-high nine batters and issued two walks. Samardzija threw first pitch strikes to 18 of the 25 batters he faced (eight of the first 10).

Carlos Marmol did not do his job and he blew his second save of the year (1-for-3 in save opportunities) after taking over for Rafael Dolis with two outs in the eighth.

The Cubs took a precarious 1-0 lead into the eighth. Rafael Dolis struggled with his command and fell behind all three batters he faced. Dolis retired two of the three batters he faced but in between he issued a one out walk to Rafael Furcal. Dale Sveum tried to use Carlos Marmol for a four-out save, the Cubs’ first save opportunity since April 8, and Matt Holliday turned the game around on one swing. Holliday hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot, into the first row of the bleachers in left center and gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

Michael Bowden made his Cubs’ debut and survived a shaky ninth without allowing a run. James Russell pitched a perfect 10th and was rewarded with his first victory of the season.

The Cubs offense pounded out 10 hits but failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities early on. The Cubs were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base.

The Cubs won their first series of the season and handed the Cardinals their first series loss of the year.

With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 6-12 on the season …

Jeff Samardzija was very sharp in the first inning. Not only did Samardzija sit the Cardinals down in order but he did it on nine pitches, seven for strikes … and all three outs were on the ground.

The Cubs jumped out to an early lead after David DeJesus (2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored) pulled a 3-2 pitch into right. The ball one-hopped the ivy and DeJesus ended up at second with a standing double. Tony Campana dropped a bunt up the third baseline on a 1-0 pitch. The ball was not far enough away from Molina and the Cardinals’ catcher gunned down Campana at first. DeJesus advanced to third on Campana’s sac bunt.

Starlin Castro lifted a 1-0 pitch to medium-depth right field, near the line. Carlos Beltran caught the ball and made a strong throw to the plate. David DeJesus slid as Yadier Molina tried to tag him. DeJesus was called safe and Molina argued his case. Replays showed DeJesus did not touch the plate and Molina did not tag DeJesus. While Molina was yelling at the home plate ump, DeJesus circled around and touched the plate.

Bryan LaHair struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Samardzija struck out a pair in the second and worked around a single by David Freese. Following Freese’s single, Molina hit a weak chopper toward third. Stewart fielded and threw to second and forced Freese. Molina ended up at first with two down. Matt Carpenter struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the third out.

Alfonso Soriano ended a 0-for-11 skid with a single to left off Furcal’s glove to start the second. Ian Stewart hit a bullet back up the middle. The ball went off Wainwright’s glove but not far away enough for him to reach. Soriano advanced to second as Stewart was thrown out at first. Darwin Barney hit a weak grounder to short (2-2 pitch), Soriano went to third but was stranded when Soto flied out to right.

Jeff Samardzija faced the minimum in the third after issuing a leadoff walk to Shane Robinson. Adam Wainwright could not get the bunt and struck out swinging on the third pitch. Rafael Furcal hit a 1-2 pitch to second … Barney-to-Castro-to-LaHair, inning over.

After Jeff Samardzija grounded out to short (2-2 pitch) and DeJesus struck out swinging (3-2 on the 10th pitch of the at bat), Tony Campana singled to center. On a 1-0 offering to Starlin Castro, Tony Campana took off for second. Molina rushed his throw. The ball ended up in center and Campana ended up at third. Castro grounded out to second … and for the second inning in a row the Cubs left a runner at third.

The Cardinals did nothing in the fourth. Samardzija sat the Cards down in order on seven pitches (45 for the games, 33 for strikes). Eight of the first 12 outs Samardzija recorded were of the groundball variety … and the other four were strikeouts.

The Cubs wasted another chance to tack on in the bottom of the fourth.

Bryan LaHair led off the fourth with a single to left center. LaHair hit a 3-1 pitch back up the middle. The ball hit the second base bag and ended up in left center. Alfonso Soriano pulled Wainwright’s first pitch into the left field corner. Soriano’s first extra basehit (a double) put runners on second and third with no outs.

Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney both struck out swinging. After missing three straight out of the zone, Wainwright issued ball four to Geovany Soto intentionally. With the bases loaded and two down, Jeff Samardzija popped out to Schumaker in shallow center (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

At the end of four, the Cubs had a 1-0 lead … but were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and had left five on base.

Samardzija quickly fell behind David Freese 2-0 but battled back and struck him out swinging (2-2 pitch) to start the fifth. Yadier Molina notched the Cardinals’ second hit, a double to the left field corner. Matt Carpenter flied out to left (0-1 pitch) and Shane Robinson struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Samardzija threw 59 pitches over his first five innings, 43 for strikes.

For the third time in as many innings, the Cubs had a runner in scoring position and failed to score. David DeJesus led off the fifth with his second standing double to right of the game (2-2 pitch). Tony Campana bunted through a 0-1 offering and Molina threw out DeJesus at second. Campana looked at strike three for the second out. Castro then looked at strike three to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija made quick work of Adam Wainwright and Rafael Furcal to start the sixth. Wainwright popped out to left center, just the second fly ball out by Samardzija at the time. Furcal struck out but Schumaker blooped a single to left. Holliday struck out swinging on Samardzija’s 72nd pitch of the night (54 for strikes).

The Cubs did nothing against Wainwright in the sixth.

Jeff Samardzija started the seventh and retired Carlos Beltran on a tapper back to the mound. Freese struck out swinging, the ninth of the night for Samardzija … a new career high. Samardzija fell behind Molina 3-1 before giving up his fourth hit of the game, a two-out single to right. DeJesus did a good job of cutting the ball off and holding Molina to a single. Matt Carpenter walked (3-2 pitch). After Samardzija issued his second free pass of the night, Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Shawn Camp. Camp retired Shane Robinson on a fly out to right (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.

Victor Marte took over for Wainwright in the seventh … and retired the Cubs in order on six pitches.

Rafael Dolis started the eighth and could not throw strikes. Dolis fell behind pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso 3-1 before getting him to pop out to left on a 3-2 pitch. Dolis continued to struggle with his command and fell behind Rafael Furcal 3-0 before walking him on a 3-1 offering. Skip Schumaker lined out to left on a 2-0 pitch and Sveum made the slow walk to the mound.

Sveum brought in Carlos Marmol for his first save opportunity since April 8. Marmol got ahead of Matt Holliday 1-2 before missing out of the zone … Holliday did not miss Marmol’s next pitch. Holliday got just enough of a 2-2 pitch to lift it into the first row of the bleachers in left center … and just like that the Cubs trailed 2-1.

Carlos Beltran walked and advanced to third when Marmol’s pickoff throw to first ended up down the visitor’s bullpen. Freese flied out to right to end the inning but the damage had been done.

The Cubs did nothing in the eighth against Marc Rzepczynski … and the game went to the ninth with the Redbirds up 2-1.

Michael Bowden made his Cubs debut and it was an uneven performance. Bowden looked very good early, very bad in the middle but ended up doing his job. Bowden retired Molina on a comebacker and struck out Carpenter swinging. Shane Robinson hit a double to right … then Bowden lost his command. Bowden issued back-to-back walks to Daniel Descalso and Rafael Furcal to load the bases. Bowden fell behind Schumaker before getting him to lineout to Castro for the third out.

Marc Rzepczynski started the ninth … and Bryan LaHair went with his first pitch and hit the ball into the first row of the bleachers in left. Game tied at two.

After LaHair delivered again, Soriano grounded out to third on a 3-2 pitch. Stewart grounded out to second and Barney hit a routine grounder to short. Furcal booted it and Barney reached with two outs.

Geovany Soto ripped a 1-0 pitch into right center. Barney motored around to third with two down. Mike Matheny went to his pen and replaced Rzepczynski with Fernando Salas.

Joe Mather hit for Bowden with the winning run ninety feet away … but Mather could not walk-off his former team again. Mather struck out swinging and the game went to extra innings.

James Russell was very sharp in the 10th. Russell retired the Cardinals in order with two of the three outs being of the strikeout variety.

Fernando Salas started the tenth and retired DeJesus on a flyout to center. Tony Campana followed with a single to center on a 2-1 pitch.

Campana broke for second on a 1-0 pitch to Castro. Yadier Molina’s throw was on the money but Campana was called safe. Replays showed that the Cubs caught a break. Tyler Greene’s foot kept Campana from touching the bag.

Mike Matheny went out, argued his case and was thrown out of his first game as a manager.

Starlin Castro eventually struck out and his 11-game hitting streak came to an end.

With Campana at second, the Cardinals intentionally walked Bryan LaHair to face Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano hit a smash towards second on a 3-2 pitch that ate up Tyler Greene. The ball ended up in center and Campana scored the winning. Game over … Cubs Win!

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Volstad faces Lance Lynn in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.

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