Sveum’s Cubs Drop Down a Win – Cubs 6, Cardinals 4

Game Thirty-Five – Cubs 6, Cardinals 4
WP – Shawn Camp (2-1) LP – Mitchell Boggs (0-1) Save – Rafael Dolis (4)

wflag.jpgDale Sveum’s Cubs somehow pulled out a win Monday night in a sloppy, bunt-filled game in St. Louis. The Cubs hit the ball all around Busch Stadium and tied a season high with 14 hits. The Cubs loaded the bases three times Monday night and did not push across a single run. In a game that was much closer than it needed to be, the Cubs finished the night 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 14 runners on base.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI and a walk) broke up the 4-4 tie in the eighth with his first career hit off Mitchell Boggs, a bloop single to left that plated Tony Campana (1-for-5 with two runs scored, a sac but and a stolen base). The Cubs scored an insurance run in the ninth on a hit by pitch, two Cardinals’ errors and a sac bunt.

The Cubs scored four of their six runs in the fifth and actually gave Ryan Dempster run support. Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) drove in the Cubs’ first run in the four-run fifth with a single and he scored on a two-run shot off the bat of Bryan LaHair (3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, a stolen base and a walk). LaHair has now reached base safely in the last 31 games he’s played. Geovany Soto (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Ian Stewart (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) for the Cubs’ final run in the fifth.

Ryan Dempster finally received some run support but he could not hold the lead and departed with the game tied in the seventh. Dempster was very good once again through five innings. He worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the second and put together an impressive shutdown inning in the bottom of the fifth after his offense gave him a lead. The Cardinals scored all four of their runs in a long sixth inning off Dempster.

Ryan Dempster allowed four runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings. Dempster threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes, and he remains winless in his last 15 starts (Cubs are 3-12 in his last 15 games).

Shawn Camp picked up his second win in as many days after tossing two innings of shutout ball. Camp made three quick outs in the seventh (six pitches) and he pitched around a leadoff double by Allen Craig in the eighth.

Rafael Dolis earned his fourth save with a impressive ninth inning.

With Monday’s win, the Cubs improved to 15-20 on the season …

The Cubs did nothing in the first against Jake Westbrook. The top of the lineup made him work but DeJesus struck out swinging (3-2 pitch), Campana grounded out to second (2-2 pitch) and Castro grounded out to second (2-0 pitch).

Ryan Dempster sat the Cards down in order in the first on 13 pitches, eight for strikes.

Bryan LaHair reached on an error by Matt Holliday to start the second but Soriano hit Westbrook’s first pitch to David Freese … 5-4-3 double play. Ian Stewart reached on a single to right center. Jon Jay tried to make a sliding catch but trapped the ball. Geovany Soto followed with a bloop single to left and the Cubs had runners on first and third with two down.

Darwin Barney fell behind quickly 1-2 but worked a walk to load the bases. Ryan Dempster hit a weak grounder to Freese, who stepped on third to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster labored through a long second inning and like Westbrook, he was able to get out of a bases loaded jam without allowing any runs.

Allen Craig singled to left to start the second. Dempster fell behind Berkman 3-0 before getting him to fly out to left center on a 3-2 offering. David Freese hit a grounder to short that Castro fielded and threw to second to force Craig. Yadier Molina hit a 1-2 bouncer back up the middle that clanked off Dempster’s glove for an infield single. Skip Schumaker reached on an infield single to the hole at second to load the bases. Dempster struck out Westbrook swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Dempster threw 40 pitches in the first two innings, 25 for strikes.

David DeJesus led off the third with a single to right. On a 1-1 pitch to Campana, DeJesus took off for second and was thrown out by a mile. Someone missed a sign and Campana made the second out with a tapper back to Westbrook.

Starlin Castro reached on a single to left center with two outs in the third. Bryan LaHair followed with a single to left and ran his streak to 31 games. Alfonso Soriano walked to load the bases with two down. Ian Stewart struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs left the bases loaded in consecutive innings … six left on base at that point of the ballgame.

Ryan Dempster mowed the Cardinals down in order in the third on a much-needed nine pitch inning. After three, Dempster had thrown 49 pitches, 31 for strikes.

After Soto hit a routine fly to center to start the fourth, Darwin Barney ripped a double down the right field line. Dempster grounded out to short, Barney advanced to third but DeJesus grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

In the second, third and fourth the Cubs left a total of five runners in scoring position.

Ryan Dempster struck out Craig swinging (2-2 pitch) to start the fourth. Lance Berkman pulled a 0-1 pitch past LaHair into the right field corner for a double. Freese tapped back to Dempster, Berkman held and Molina grounded out to short to end the inning … 60 pitches for Dempster, 38 for strikes.

The Cubs finally got to Jake Westbrook in the fifth.

Tony Campana led off the fifth with an infield single to the hole at short, the Cubs’ seventh hit of the game at the time. Campana took off for second on a 0-1 pitch to Castro. The Cardinals guessed right and pitched out. Molina double clutched and Campana slid in safe as the ball hit him in the back.

Starlin Castro blooped a 2-2 pitch over Furcal’s head and into left. Campana raced around third and scored the game’s first run.

Bryan LaHair stepped in and launched a 2-2 slider from Westbrook over the wall in right … and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead on LaHair’s ninth homer of the season. Alfonso Soriano hit a routine fly to right for the first out.

Ian Stewart notched his second hit of the game, a double to left center (0-2 pitch). Geovany Soto put together one of his better at bats of the season. Soto worked the count to 3-2 before lining a single to center. Jay threw all the way to the plate. Stewart scored easily and Soto ended up at second with one down … but Barney flied out to center (1-0 pitch) and Dempster grounded out to third (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the fifth. After five, Dempster had thrown 68 pitches, 44 for strikes, and the Cubs led 4-0.

Eduardo Sanchez retired the Cubs in order in the sixth.

The Cardinals finally got to Dempster in the sixth. Jon Jay led off with a bunt single to third base side of the mound. Dempster fielded the ball but his throw was low and got past LaHair. Matt Holliday ripped Dempster’s first pitch off the top of the wall in left for a long single. Jay ended up at third with no outs.

Allen Craig popped a 0-1 pitch into right. DeJesus caught the ball and both runners had to hold … but Lance Berkman ripped a 1-2 pitch back up the middle past a diving Starlin Castro. Jay scored and Holliday ended up at third with one out. Dempster then issued his first walk of the night to David Freese … and all of the sudden the Cardinals had the bases loaded with one out.

Yadier Molina smoked Dempster’s first pitch into left center. Holliday and Berkman scored easily and Freese was sent to the plate. Campana threw a strike to Castro in shallow left. Castro made a perfect relay to Soto, who held onto the ball. Freese was nailed for the second out and came up bleeding. Molina advanced to third on the play.

Skip Schumaker worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a Texas Leaguer into center. A jubilant Molina trotted home with the tying run. Dempster struck out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster threw 27 pitches in the sixth, 19 for strikes (95 for the game, 63 for strikes).

After six complete, the game was tied at four.

Victor Marte started the seventh for the Cardinals and Bryan LaHair greeted him by ripping his first pitch off Lance Berkman and into right field. Before a 2-0 pitch to Soriano, LaHair took off for second and made it without a throw … Marte forgot about him. Soriano ended up checking his swing on a 3-2 pitch and hitting a weak grounder to second. LaHair advanced to third with one down.

Mike Matheny decided to intentionally walk Ian Stewart after Marte missed with his first offering. With runners on first and third with one down, Geovany Soto stepped in and struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch … another horrible at bat for Soto. Matheny had Marte issue his second intentional walk of the inning to Darwin Barney and forced Dale Sveum to make a decision about Ryan Dempster.

Dale Sveum lifted Dempster and sent up Reed Johnson to hit for him. Johnson’s at bat was just as bad as Soto’s … and he struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs left 11 runners on base in the first seven innings.

Shawn Camp sat down the top of the Cardinals order in the seventh on six pitches, all for strikes.

David DeJesus put together a good at bat to start the eighth. Mitchell Boggs jumped ahead 0-2, DeJesus worked the count full before ripping a single toward first that ate up Berkman and ended up in right field. Tony Campana dropped down a bunt in front of the plate. Molina picked the ball up, threw to second but his throw was low and nearly got past Furcal.

With runners on first and second with no outs, Starlin Castro squared to bunt. The incredibly bad call and/or decision backfired on the Cubs. Berkman charged the play, picked up the bunt, threw to third to force DeJesus. Freese then threw across the diamond and doubled off Castro. Castro was pushed back on the inside pitch but did not run hard out of the box.

Starlin Castro did his part to make it look like a bad decision to have him bunt in that situation … but he should have never been placed in that spot.

With Campana at second, the Cardinals took the bat out of Bryan LaHair’s hands and forced Soriano to beat themAlfonso Soriano was 0-for-9 in his career against Mitchell Boggs. After an intentional walk to LaHair put runners on first and second with two outs, Alfonso Soriano blooped a single into left on a 3-1 pitch and Campana streaked around third and slid in headfirst with the go ahead run. Stewart tapped a 3-2 pitch to the third base side of the mound, Boggs picked up the ball and threw to first to end the inning.

Shawn Camp stayed in and pitched the eighth … and was able to preserve the 5-4 lead after giving up a lead-off double to Allen Craig.

Allen Craig ripped a 2-2 pitch into left for a leadoff double but had to hold at second when Berkman grounded out to short. David Freese popped out to first for the second out. Yadier Molina flied out to deep right center to end the inning.

Mitchell Boggs started the ninth by hitting Geovany Soto on a 1-0 pitch. Darwin Barney squared to bunt. Berkman picked up the ball and threw to Schumaker at first. Schumaker took his eyes off the ball and dropped it. Joe Mather hit for Camp and the bunt fest continued. Mather bunted back to Boggs, who threw to third to force Soto but Freese’s throw across the diamond was off the mark and ended up down the right field line. Barney scored all the way from first and Mather ended up at third with one out.

David DeJesus and Tony Campana struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth with a 6-4 lead.

Rafael Dolis struck out Schumaker swinging to start the ninth. Carlos Beltran pinch hit for Mitchell Boggs and flied out to center (0-1 pitch) for the second out. And Rafael Furcal looked at strike three to end the game … Cubs Win!

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm is scheduled to face Kyle Lohse in the series finale Tuesday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cubs, Houston, and Milwaukee are all tied for the cellar now. Could it be that the Cubbies won’t be in last place in this division after today?

    ESPN is reporting in Rumor Central that the Cubs may be interested in acquiring a CF. The name? Peter Bourjos of your Albert Pujol’s infested Angels. Personally, I don’t believe it. He’s hitting a robust .196 this year, and Campana is playing well enough to keep the job. In fact I’d say that Campana has been the missing ingredient that has sparked the offense. 

    But the other rumor that I am much more inclined to believe is that the Nats are interested in Soto. The Nats have lost two catchers in three days, and Mr. Soto could be had, imo, in a salary dump type of move. But it would leave the Cubs extremely exposed if Castillo were to go down, since Clevinger is also on the DL, and our MiL system doesn’t seem to have anyone ready to step in as the backup. Of course Koyie Hill could receive a call again. Mr. Hill is currently hitting (are you ready for this?) .212 in AA Pensecola of the Southern League. Yeah, you probably were ready.

    • Tony_Hall

      I’m impressed that Koyie is hitting that well in the Southern League…

      The Nats would have to overpay to make the Cubs say yes right now, as you said, not the best timing for the Cubs.  2 months from now, when Clevenger is back and Castillo is showing improvements in his fundamentals, then Soto will be gone.

      • J Daniel

        If the Cubs can make a deal now for Soto that benefits them long term, and they feel they won’t do better in 2 months, do it NOW!  They are not going anywhere this year anyways.  Remember, this is about acquiring as many assests as they can.  So even if they had to bring back Hill short term, then do it.  I know that is hard to read.  It was hard to type.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Just remember, the last two trades like this netted us Volstad and Bowden. These are not not likely to be long term assets. The main benefit was getting rid of attitudes detrimental to progress. 

        • Tony_Hall

          That is what I said about the Nats having to overpay.  If they pay market value, you can get that in July, as well.

          Please no Koyie.  

      • Chadaudio

        Yeah, I’ve lost a lot of faith in Castillo recently.  His call-up last year was bad, but all the scouts kepts saying how much he was improved this spring training.  Boy, I’m just not seeing it.  He looks lost on defense and offense.  Because of this, I think I’d almost rather hold on to Soto (as bad as that sounds).

        There also isn’t a guarantee that Clevenger will be the same when he does return.

        • Texcubnut

          You guys are talking like Soto is an all star. Bad defensive catcher and below the Mendoza line hitting. Desperate teams that believe they can get to post season with a fix or two here and there will overpay. It doesn’t hurt to talk deal with the Natinals….you never know!

        • Tony_Hall

          Clevenger will be just fine, and I think Castillo can keep working and improving.   Soto needs to go whenever possible.

      • Zonk

        I would hold-off on Soto.  He has been very unlucky this year, keeping his BA down.  He is starting to heat-up some, and decent catchers don’t grow on trees.

        Plus, after Clevenger and Castillo, we have absolutely nobody fit to play in the majors at the catcher position.  We would need to pick-up a FA or something, or get a catcher back in trade.

        • Texcubnut

          He’s been unlucky since the end of his rookie season!

    • Zonk

      Bourjous is a young CF with well-rounded tools, but nothing that really stands out.  He has some pop and some speed, but does strike out alot and struggle to make contact.  Sound like anyone we know?

      It would be very weird if that rumor were true

  • Steve Rock-Vegas

    Sometimes we all just have to believe we’re not the smartest guy in the room….and don’t earn our living as pretend GM’s.  No one believed Camp belong on this rebuilding Cubs roster, but the guy takes the ball every day and is starting to become a valuable asset on a bullpen that desperately needs stability and reliability.  To quote Dale.. “Thank God we’ve got Camp,” manager Dale Sveum said. “That was a great pickup by Theo (Epstein) and Jed (Hoyer) at the end of spring training

    • Ripsnorter1

      Camp was released by Seattle just one month after being signed. (Signed Feb, 2012…released March 21 in ST when he couldn’t pitch well enough to make the team).

      That guy–Seattle’s GM–makes his living as a GM. 

      Probably the change in leagues–where nobody knows him–has helped him a great deal. If you look at his career splits, LH batters in 2011 slugged .500 off him and hit .347. Thus far in 2012, they have hit just .242 and slugged .424. That’s still pretty hefty slugging, but it is being offset by his increased K rate. Last year he fanned just 4.3 per 9 IP, but this year 6.9.

      I think that is due to the change in leagues.

      • Texcubnut

        Agree , Rip. And it won’t be too long before the league catches up and starts lighting him up.

    • J Daniel

      And I can’t believe how many said they were going to lose 100 games easily.  Those are some of the same people now on to much Kool Aid.  Don’t believe, go back and read the posts.

      This team is better, even with lesser players, due to preperation, fundamentals, and accountability.  They have a long way to go but they are a lot more enjoyable to watch.

      This is a long way from Q ball!

    • Zonk

      When you pick up a guy that another major league team cut, especially when that team isn’t exactly rich in pitching, it should be greeted with skepticism.  I wasn’t a fan of signing Camp, but I also didn’t advocate cutting him until we had a clearly better option, which we didnt’ even in April.

      Cubs brass obviously saw something, and it’s working out.  Camp’s main attribute besides being OK is that he is cheap, and very cuttable eventually if we need the 40-man slot

  • Bryan
    • J Daniel

      Very nice article.  Hope the kid is a superstar!  Hope the fans will be PATIENT!

  • paulcatanese

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that 5 stolen bases in the last 3 games for Campana against the Cardinals and Molina?Molina didn’t get him even with two pitchouts in that span.

    • Ripsnorter1

      That double-clutch by Molina saved Campana’s hide last night. Nevertheless, Campana shook the Cards up.

      Like I said, the recent Cubs’ turnaround, imo, is entirely due to Campana getting on base before Castro and LaHair. 

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Rip, and that was the problem in the earlier two games with Molina, rushed throws, couldn’t get the handle on the ball. For some reason Molina has had trouble with Campana and is not taking his time. As probably the premire arm in Baseball he must feel he has to rush, and he dosent, hope he continues to feel that way. Should have had Campana at least three out of the last five attempts.

  • CubsTalk

    People….K.Hill’s days with the Cubs are done….. next question….

    Cubs will wait to trade Soto when Clevenger returns after a stint in the minors on a rehab assignment………next question.

    Tampa lost one of their starters for several months……Tampa might look to us for Volstad……anyone objects?

    If Paul Maholm keeps up his pitching, MANY playoff bound teams will need a guy like this who is a left handed starter by July trading deadline……any objections?

    Angels Bourjos NOT coming to the Cubs….Angels need him after Tori Hunter left the team over his son’s arrest in Texas… question.

    Camp & Bowden are okay stop gaps now for this team….don’t drink too much Cubs Kool-Aid on these guys yet…..

    Even though Soriano has not hit HR’s yet….his bat has had several key hits this season for the Cubs……doing better I believe than what Aramis Ramirez has done up in Milwaukee… Soriano is a plus in the clubhouse…….I would still love to dump his contract off to a A.L. GM who can be fooled.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Volstad…you asked, Does anyone object?

      Answer: yes. Every single fan of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

      • Ripsnorter1

        Let’s Compare Soriano at MR. Aramis Rameriz

        Soriano vs Aram….2012 versions….
        Soriano, outfielder extraordinaire….
        116 AB….6 BB

        Aram, 3B…..
        129 AB….11BB
        **Advantage ARAM

        Soriano…speed demon…
        1 SB…1 CS

        2 SB….0 CS
        **Advantage ARAM

        Soriano, slugger extraordinaire
        6 2B….0 3B….0 HR……302 slugging

        Aram, weak hitter….
        11 2B….2  3B…2 HR…..395 slugging

        Alfonso Soriano, RBI Machine:
        17 RBI
        Aram, Mr. Clutch…less
        19 RBI

        Soriano. Mr. Batting Champion
        .250 with 27 K

        .233 with 23 K
        Advantage…..almost even, but Soriano. 

        Hefty Contracts
        Mr. Alfonso Soriano, Multi-millionaire
        $54 million over the next 3 years

        Mr. Aram
        $32 million over the next 3 years.

        Now who would you rather be?

        • paulcatanese

          Classic post Rip, I may frame it and put it on the wall:)

      • John_CC

         And most likely their GM, too.

    • John_CC


      The Rays are NOT interested in Volstad. Come on.

      Next question: Why do think you know everything?

    • Tony_Hall

      Do you think Tampa has to look to the Cubs to fill a rotation spot?  How about they just keep bringing up young starters, for the league minimum, like they have been doing for years.  

      Volstad to the Rays….that has zero chance.

      Soriano has not been productive, no matter how much Cubbie Kool-Aide anyone drinks.

  • Texcubnut

    How about a package of Soto and Soriano and cash relief for a package of prospects (preferably pitching/third base)? Washington needs both a catcher and some outfield help.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Good for Soriano. Finally, a timely hit by the Cub left fielder to break a 4-4 tie and bring Campana home from second base. Hurray! I always knew Soriano is a good Cub ball player. And happy baseball to all Cub fans from another fan ( Go Cubs Go!