Cardinals Smoked Wood and Shutout the Cubs – Cubs 0, Cardinals 7

Game Ninety-Four – Cubs 0, Cardinals 7
WP – Lance Lynn (12-4) LP – Travis Wood (4-5) Save – None

The Cubs began Friday night’s game in St. Louis in the middle of their best stretch of the season … and the Cardinals brought Dale Sveum’s team back down to earth over the weekend. Not only did the Redbirds complete the three-game sweep but the Cardinals outscored the Cubs 23-1 in the process. The Cubs only run of the series scored on a sac fly off by Darwin Barney in the second inning of Friday’s game.

After being shutout Saturday night on four hits with three walks, the Cubs managed only five hits and three walks on Sunday afternoon … and no runs over their last 25 innings.

The lone highlight from Sunday’s game was when the team clicked their heels in honor of Ron Santo as they took the field.

Travis Wood followed his miserable outing against the Marlins (eight runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings) with a horrible start and the first loss of his career to the Cardinals. The Redbirds came out swinging on Sunday afternoon and rode three doubles in the first inning to four runs … and basically ending the game. Wood completed six innings of work but that is the only positive that can be taken from his outing. Wood gave up seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Five of the nine hits off Wood went for extra bases and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran went back-to-back on consecutive pitches from Wood in the fifth.

Jeff Beliveau made his big league debut in the seventh and pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Beliveau surrendered three hits, walked a batter and recorded his first strikeout. Scott Maine recorded the final out in the eighth.

The Cubs offense was non-existent for the second time in less than 24 hours despite putting the leadoff hitter on base in five of the first seven innings of the game. After managing four hits and three walks on Saturday night, the Cubs notched only five hits and three walks on Sunday. Bryan LaHair (2-for-4), Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double), Anthony Rizzo (1-4 with a walk) and Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a walk) were able to get on but the team finished the afternoon 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.

With Sunday’s loss (8-8 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs are 38-56 on the season …

The Cubs could not capitalize on a leadoff walk by David DeJesus and came away empty again in the first inning. DeJesus took off for second on the first pitch to Castro and made it easily. Lance Lynn did not pay any attention to him. Castro did not advance DeJesus. Castro grounded out to short for the first out. Anthony Rizzo hit a 2-1 pitch off the end of his bat into center for the second out and Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cardinals picked up in the bottom of the first where they left off in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. The Redbirds hit three more doubles and scored four runs.

Tyler Greene popped out to Rizzo to begin the inning. Allen Craig singled to right center and should have scored on Matt Holliday’s ringing double off the left field wall. Craig stumbled on the third base bag and could not score. Carlos Beltran popped a 1-2 pitch into right for the second out.

Travis Wood intentionally walked David Freese to load the bases for lefty Jon Jay. Jay lined a 2-2 pitch down the left field line that hit the chalk. Craig and Holliday scored on Jay’s double. Wood fell behind back-up catcher Tony Cruz 3-0. Cruz drove a 3-2 pitch to the opposite field. LaHair fielded the ball in right as both Freese and Jay scored … 4-0 Cardinals. Daniel Descalso lined out to third for the final out of the first. Wood threw 37 pitches in the first, 22 for strikes.

At the end of one, the Cubs trailed 4-0.

Bryan LaHair blooped a single into center to begin the second. LaHair then swiped second on a 2-0 pitch to Clevenger. Lynn did not pay any attention to him. Cruz did not throw to second either and it confused LaHair to the point he started walking back to first before he was told to get back on the bag. Clevenger struck out swinging, Barney grounded out to third and Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning.

Travis Wood retired the Cardinals in order in the second … 45 pitches for Wood after two, 28 for strikes.

The Cubs wasted another chance to get back into the game in the third. Lance Lynn retired Travis Wood (pop out to first) and David DeJesus (groundout to second) to start the inning. Starlin Castro took two out of the zone before pulling a 2-1 pitch into the left field corner. Castro ended up at second with a two-out double. Anthony Rizzo walked. With two on and two down, Alfonso Soriano grounded out to third.

Travis Wood fell behind Matt Holliday 3-1 before striking out Holliday to begin the inning. Beltran grounded out to third but Wood issued a four-pitch walk to David Freese. Jon Jay blooped his second hit of the game into left, but it was only a single. Tony Cruz popped out to right on Wood’s 69th pitch of the game (41 strikes) to end the inning.

Bryan LaHair led off the fourth with a broken bat single to center (2-1 pitch). Steve Clevenger smoked the first pitch toward third. Freese made an excellent diving stop and started a 5-4-3 double play. Darwin Barney walked but Valbuena grounded out to second for the third out.

The Cubs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five on base in their first four at bats.

The Cardinals played small ball and tacked on to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Daniel Descalso reached on a bunt single to start the inning. Descalso could not have rolled the ball any better. Clevenger let one go off the top of his glove on the first pitch to Lynn. Descalso advanced to second on the passed ball. Greene lifted Wood’s first pitch to Soriano. Descalso scored, 5-0 Cardinals. Craig flied out to center to end the inning. Wood threw 75 pitches over the first four innings, 46 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran went back-to-back on consecutive pitches (Wood’s first two pitches of the inning) to start the fifth … and put the Cardinals up 7-0. Wood finally pitched to Freese and struck him out. Jon Jay lined Wood’s first pitch into left … third hit of the game for Jay off Wood all to the opposite field. Tony Cruz lined out to right and Descalso lined out to center to end the inning.

Travis Wood threw 90 pitches, 57 for strikes, over five innings … and allowed seven runs on nine hits with two walks. Five of the nine hits off Wood went for extra bases.

Anthony Rizzo led off the sixth with the Cubs’ fourth hit of the game, a single to center … but the Cubs’ offense once again could not capitalize. Soriano struck out, LaHair flied out to the track in right and Clevenger was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch for the third out.

Travis Wood retired the Cardinals in order in the sixth. Alfonso Soriano made an excellent leaping catch at the wall in left center to take away another hit from Allen Craig for the third out.

For the fifth time in seven innings, the Cubs put the leadoff hitter on base. Darwin Barney started the seventh with a single to left center off Fernando Salas … but Valbuena struck out swinging, Joe Mather hit for Wood and flied out to deep center for the second out. DeJesus flied out to center for the last out in the seventh.

Jeff Beliveau made his big league debut in the seventh … and retired Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran on three pitches. David Freese singled to right (1-2 pitch) and Jon Jay floated his fourth hit of the game into left field. With runners on first and second with two down, Tony Cruz grounded out to third.

The Cubs did nothing against Fernando Salas in the eighth.

Daniel Descalso led off the eighth with a single to left (3-2 pitch) off Jeff Beliveau. Matt Carpenter fouled out to Valbuena and Beliveau caught Tyler Greene looking at a 1-2 pitch for his first big league strikeouts. Skip Schumaker hit for Salas and worked a two-out walk. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Scott Maine.

Maine walked Holliday to load the bases for Carlos Beltran … but Beltran popped out to Barney to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Marc Rzepczynski in the ninth, game and series over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Monday night … Jeff Samardzija against Erik Bedard in game one.

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