Garza Departs Early … Cubs Blown Out Late – Cubs 0, Cardinals 12

Game Ninety-Three – Cubs 0, Cardinals 12
WP – Jake Westbrook (8-8) LP – Justin Germano (0-1) Save – None

Saturday night’s game was actually scoreless going into the bottom of the seventh. The Cardinals scored 12 runs on 10 hits and three walks in the seventh and turned what was a well-pitched game into a blowout. Eight of the Cardinals’ nine hits off James Russell, Manny Corpas and Rafael Dolis went for extra bases and the Cardinals tied a Major League record with seven doubles in the seventh (Boston Bees, 1936). The Cardinals sent 17 to the plate in the seventh and Sveum’s relievers threw 60 pitches in a half inning that took more than 45 minutes to complete.

The 12-run inning tied records for both teams. The 12 runs tied the most allowed by a Cubs’ team in a single frame and the 12 runs scored by the Redbirds tied a club record set in 1926 for the most runs scored in a single inning.

Matt Garza lasted just three innings on Saturday night. Garza was sharp, as well as efficient, but left after three innings with cramping in his right triceps. X-rays were negative and Garza is listed as day to day. Garza allowed two hits and no runs with a pair of walks and three strikeouts on 33 pitches, 22 for strikes.

Justin Germano made his Cubs’ debut in the fourth inning. Germano took the loss after being charged with one run on four hits with no walks and a strikeout in three-plus innings. Germano left with no score in the game and a runner on first base. Germano picked up where Garza left off and did a good job in emergency situation.

Outside of Justin Germano, it was a bad night for the Cubs’ pen. James Russell and Manny Corpas had their worst outings of the season. Russell was charged with six runs on four hits with two walks and no strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning. Russell also allowed an inherited runner to score. Corpas gave up three runs on four hits and a walk without recording an out. Corpas allowed three inherited runners to score that were charged to Russell. Rafael Dolis allowed two more inherited runners to score and he was charged with one run of his own on three hits with two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.

The Cubs offense was non-existent. After letting Jake Westbrook out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning, the Cubs managed only two other hits and two walks over the last eight innings. Starlin Castro (1-for-4), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4), David DeJesus (1-for-3) and Bryan LaHair (1-for-3 with a walk) recorded the only hits.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 38-55 on the season …

The Cubs had Jake Westbrook on the ropes in the first inning … but let him off. David DeJesus worked the count full to start the game. DeJesus’ long at bat ended with a routine grounder to second. Starlin Castro followed with a single to center (0-1 pitch). Anthony Rizzo drove Westbrook’s first pitch into left … and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out.

Alfonso Soriano rolled over a 1-1 pitch. David Freese fielded the chopper in the hole, threw to second but Soriano beat Schumaker’s throw to first. Bryan LaHair walked to load the bases. Geovany Soto jumped ahead 3-0 before rolling a 3-2 pitch out to Furcal to end the inning. Westbrook threw 24 pitches in the first, 13 for strikes.

Matt Garza retired Rafael Furcal (groundout to short) and Skip Schumaker (groundout to short) on four pitches to start his night. Garza then issued a four-pitch walk to Matt Holliday. Carlos Beltran hit a 0-1 pitch to the right of the second base bag. Barney fielded and tossed to Castro for the third out … 10 pitches, six strikes, for Garza in the first.

The Cubs went down in order in the second. Westbrook needed 34 pitches, 21 strikes, to get through two innings.

Matt Garza was sharp in the second and made quick work of Yadier Molina (lineout to center) and Lance Berkman (swinging strikeout). Garza fell behind David Freese 2-0. Freese drove Garza’s next pitch into the right field corner for a two-out double. Garza issued the unintentional-intentional walk to Jon Jay. With runners on first and second with two down, Westbrook looked at a 1-2 pitch for the third out. Garza threw 27 pitches in the first two innings, 16 for strikes.

David DeJesus lined a 3-2 pitch into center to start the third. Sveum called for a hit and run on a 2-1 pitch to Castro. Starlin Castro flied out to deep right for the first out. Anthony Rizzo grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning … 50 pitches for Westbrook after three, 31 for strikes.

Rafael Furcal led off the third with a single to left on Garza’s first pitch. Skip Schumaker bunted the first pitch to Rizzo, who called off Garza from the play. Rizzo tossed to Barney just ahead of Schumaker stepping on the bag. With no one covering third, Furcal tried to advance on the play. Barney threw toward the base, Luis Valbuena made a diving stop then reached around and tagged Furcal. Garza stuck out Holliday on four pitches to end the third. After throwing six pitches in the third, Garza’s pitch count was an efficient 33, 22 for strikes, after three.

Jake Westbrook set down the Cubs in order on 11 pitches in the fourth (61 total, 38 for strikes) … then the game changed.

Matt Garza did not start the bottom of the fourth. As trade and injury speculation ran rampant, Justin Germano made his way to the hill and started warming up. Germano retired Beltran on a flyout to right center (2-2 pitch) and Molina hit the first pitch he saw off the end of his bat out to Soriano in left field for the second out. Lance Berkman singled to center (1-2 pitch) then stole second on a 0-1 pitch to Freese. Germano did not pay any attention to Berkman and he got a running lead. Freese struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Luis Valbuena worked a one out walk in the fifth. Justin Germano bunted him to second but David DeJesus hit a 2-2 pitch right to Skip Schumaker to end the inning.

Justin Germano stayed in and started the fifth by retiring Jon Jay on a grounder to second. Jake Westbrook singled to center but Furcal flied out to center (2-0 pitch) and Darwin Barney made a sensational diving stop on a ball ticketed for right field to take a hit away from Schumaker to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.

Matt Holliday reached on a throwing error by Starlin Castro to start the sixth. Castro made a good play getting to a ball hit up the middle but he rushed his throw (did not square up) and Rizzo had to leave the bag to keep the throw from getting past him. Carlos Beltran followed and drove a 2-2 pitch into left. Matheny started the runners on a 1-1 pitch to Molina. The Cardinals’ catcher hit a fly to medium depth center for the first out. Lance Berkman hit a 0-1 pitch back to Germano … 1-6-3 double play.

After six, the game remained scoreless.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh.

David Freese led off the seventh with a swinging bunt up the third baseline. Valbuena made an excellent attempt, barehanded the ball and made a strong throw … but Freese just beat it out. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and replaced Justin Germano with James Russell.

Jon Jay popped up a bunt toward third. Luis Valbuena made an excellent diving catch for the first out … then it got ugly quick.

Allen Craig hit for Westbrook and drove a double into the right field corner. Freese held at third with one out. Rafael Furcal drove a 1-0 pitch into left. Freese scored on the single, 1-0 Cardinals. Skip Schumaker pulled a 3-2 pitch to deep right center. DeJesus could not catch up with the ball. Schumaker ended up at third and the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead. Holliday walked. Carlos Beltran drove Russell’s first pitch to right for a ground rule double. Schumaker scored, 4-0 Cardinals. With runners on second and third and one down, Russell intentionally walked Molina to load the bases.

Lance Berkman popped out to Barney for the second out. Dale Sveum went to his pen again and brought in Manny Corpas to face David Freese.

David Freese reached out and popped a 0-2 pitch into right for a double. Holliday and Beltran scored, 6-0. Jon Jay placed a 1-1 pitch down the left field line. Molina and Freese scored, 8-0. Allen Craig hit for the second time in the inning and blooped a 0-1 pitch into right for a double. Jay scored, 9-0. Corpas walked Furcal and Sveum went to his pen for the fourth pitcher of the inning.

Rafael Dolis took over on the hill, Joe Mather entered the game at third and Valbuena moved from third to second on the double switch.

Skip Schumaker ripped Dolis’ first pitch down the left field line. Craig scored, 10-0. Matt Holliday then drove a 3-2 pitch into the right field corner, the Cardinals’ seventh double of the inning plated Furcal and Schumaker and gave the Cardinals a 12-0 lead. To add insult to bad pitching, Carlos Beltran swung and missed a 0-2 pitch in the dirt. The ball rolled to the backstop and Soto fumbled it before trying to throw out Beltran at first. Beltran reached and the inning continued. Tony Cruz could not check his swing and mercifully struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cardinals scored 12 runs on 10 hits with three walks in a 60-pitch seventh inning. The Cardinals pounded out eight extra base hits in the inning, seven doubles.

Other than a two out walk by Tony Campana, the Cubs did nothing against two Cardinals’ pitchers in the eighth … Brian Browning and Victor Marte. For some unknown reason, Mike Matheny used two relievers in one inning with a 12-run lead.

Lance Berkman recorded the Cardinals’ 16th hit in the bottom of the eight, surprisingly another opposite field double. Berkman did not score and Dolis retired the next three batters he faced.

The Cubs did nothing against Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth … 1-2-3 on 10 pitches.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Lance Lynn in Sunday’s finale.

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