Game Ninety-Eight – Cubs 6, Cardinals 9
WP – Lance Lynn (13-4) LP – Travis Wood (4-6) Save – Jason Motte (23)
The Cubs dropped their fifth straight game to the Cardinals on Friday afternoon. The Cubs offense showed up and pounded Lance Lynn for the first time this season. But the Cardinals beat up Travis Wood again and the Cubs could not mount a comeback against the Redbirds’ pen. While the Cardinals were busy teeing off on Wood, Lance Lynn survived long enough to beat the Cubs for the fourth time in four tries this season.
The Cubs actually came from behind twice on Friday thanks to Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto and the game was tied at six after three innings … but Travis Wood could not keep the ball in the yard.
Travis Wood ended up in the history books with Friday’s performance. Wood became the first starter in Major League Baseball history to allow a home run in each of the first five innings of a game. Five different Cardinals took Wood deep … Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig. And not one of the five was a cheap shot. Wood allowed eight runs on seven hits (five home runs) with two walks and two strikeouts.
Travis Wood has allowed nine home runs in his last three starts after allowing just two home runs in his previous seven outings (June 3 – July 6).
Jeff Beliveau made his Wrigley Field debut and kept the Cardinals off the board in the sixth. Manny Corpas surrendered the ninth run of the game in the seventh after a hit batsman, a stolen base, an error and a RBI single from Matt Holliday. James Russell struck out the side in the eighth and Shawn Camp faced the minimum in the ninth. At the end of the day, Friday’s game came down to the fact the offense could not outhit Travis Wood’s mistakes.
The Cubs scored all six of their runs in the first three innings. Dale Sveum’s team hit for the cycle in the first inning and took a brief 3-1 lead. David DeJesus (1-for-5 with a triple and a run scored) led off with a triple and scored on a single to center off the bat of Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a triple, a RBI and two runs scored). Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored) put the Cubs up by two with a two-run shot off Lance Lynn.
The Cubs tied the game at six in the third after Starlin Castro led off the third with his eighth triple of the season. Anthony Rizzo singled him in and scored on a double to left off the bat of Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored). Geovany Soto (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) tied the game with a single to center … but that would be the Cubs’ final hit until the eighth inning.
The Cubs totaled just as many hits as the Cardinals (10) on Friday but the Cardinals outslugged them. Six of the Redbirds ten hits went for extra bases and only one run scored on a single. The Cubs finished the afternoon 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left four on base.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 40-58 on the season … Travis Wood made quick work of Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay to begin the game. Wood then fell behind Matt Holliday and the former Rockie made him pay. Holliday hit a towering home run to deep left center on a 3-1 pitch. The ball almost made it onto Waveland. Wood struck out Allen Craig swinging (1-2 pitch) for the third out.
It was obvious in the first inning that Travis Wood would not be around too long on Friday afternoon. Wood threw 17 pitches in the first, 10 for strikes.
The Cubs came out swinging in the bottom of the first and scored more runs in one frame than they did all last weekend.
David DeJesus pulled a 0-1 pitch into the right field corner for a triple. Starlin Castro ripped a 3-2 pitch back up the middle (eighth pitch of the at bat) and singled in DeJesus with the tying run.
Anthony Rizzo stepped in and crushed a 0-1 pitch. Rizzo hit a laser-shot to the back of the party deck in right. Rizzo’s sixth longball since his call-up put the Cubs up 3-1. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging for the first out. Bryan LaHair followed with a walk but broke too early with Soto at the plate. Lynn stepped off and tossed to Daniel Descalso for the second out … and it likely cost the Cubs a run. Geovany Soto pulled a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner. Soto ended up at second with a two-out double. Barney tried to check his swing on Lynn’s first offering but grounded out to Furcal to end the inning.
The Cubs had an excellent approach against Lynn in the first inning. Sveum’s offense worked the count (32 pitches for Lynn in the first) and made excellent contact at the end of the long at bats. The Cubs hit for the cycle in the first and gave Travis Wood a 3-1 lead after one complete.
Travis Wood’s struggles continued in the second.
Lance Berkman pulled a single into left (3-2 pitch) to start the second. Yadier Molina crushed Wood’s first pitch. The ball ended up on Waveland and appeared to hit the building across the street … and just like that the game was tied at three. Wood walked lefty Matt Carpenter then left a 1-1 pitch out over the plate that Daniel Descalso pulled into right field. Carpenter scored on Descalso’s triple and gave the Redbirds a 4-3 lead. Lance Lynn helped himself. Lynn lifted Wood’s first pitch into right center. LaHair caught the ball but Descalso tagged and scored the Cardinals’ fifth run. Wood retired Furcal and Jay on grounders to Darwin Barney to end the inning. Wood threw 41 pitches in first two innings, 23 for strikes.
The Cubs continued to work deep counts against Lynn in the second but the burley right-hander set down the Cubs in order in the second frame.
Travis Wood retired Matt Holliday on a pop out to center for the first out in the third. Allen Craig popped out to shallow left (1-1 pitch) for the second out … but Lance Berkman crushed a 1-1 pitch and added to the Cardinals lead. The third homer of the day served by Wood gave the Cardinals a 6-3 lead. Wood struck out Yadier Molina swinging to end the third … 57 pitches for Wood after three, 33 for strikes.
Starlin Castro led off the third with a triple to left center. Castro drove a 2-1 pitch that hit off the top of the wall. Jon Jay misplayed the ball and Castro ended up at third. Anthony Rizzo delivered a single to left (3-1 pitch) and Castro scampered home with the Cubs’ fourth run.
Alfonso Soriano reached down and pulled a 0-1 pitch to the well in left. Rizzo scored all the way from first and Soriano advanced to third on Furcal’s relay to the plate. Bryan LaHair popped out to shallow left for the first out. Soriano had to hold.
Geovany Soto ripped a 1-1 pitch into center and plated Soriano with the tying run. Darwin Barney rapped into a 6-3 double play … but the Cubs battled back and tied the game.
Matt Carpenter pulled Travis Wood’s first pitch of the fourth into the bleachers in right. The fourth straight inning the Cardinals took Wood deep. Wood retired Descalso on a pop out to short before walking Lance Lynn … another walk to the opposing pitcher by the Cubs’ staff. The free pass did not hurt Wood. Furcal popped out to left and Jay grounded out to short for the third out.
Four home runs off Wood in four innings and it took the lefty 74 pitches to complete four innings, 43 for strikes.
Luis Valbuena led off the Cubs’ fourth with a walk … the third time in four innings the Cubs put the leadoff hitter on against Lance Lynn. Valbuena broke for second on a 1-0 pitch to Wood. Wood let the ball go and Valbuena was out by a mile. Wood appeared to miss a sign as Valbuena looked back at the plate as he ran toward second. Wood struck out looking and DeJesus struck out swinging to end the inning.
Matt Holliday popped a 0-2 pitch to LaHair in shallow right to begin the fifth. Allen Craig stepped in and launched a 1-0 pitch into the bleachers in left … the fifth homer allowed by Wood in five innings. Lance Berkman flied out to right and Wood retired Molina on a flyout to right to end the inning … and his outing.
The Cubs did nothing against Lynn in the fifth … with a little help from a misplay then a recovery in center by Jon Jay that took away extra bases from Anthony Rizzo.
Jeff Beliveau made his Wrigley debut in the sixth. Matt Carpenter flied out left for the first out. Beliveau then walked Daniel Descalso. Tyler Greene and Rafael Furcal struck out swinging to end the inning. Beliveau tossed 18 pitches in the sixth, 12 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing against newly acquired Brian Fuentes in the sixth.
Manny Corpas plunked Jon Jay on his second pitch of the seventh. Jay took off for second on a 2-1 pitch to Holliday. Soto’s throw got past Barney, ended up in center and Jay advanced to third on Soto’s error. Holliday ripped a 3-1 pitch back up the middle that just missed hitting Corpas. Jay scored and the Cardinals took a 9-6 lead. Craig flied out to right for the first out. Lance Berkman popped out to Castro in shallow left and Molina flied out to center to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against lefty Barret Browning in the seventh.
James Russell struck out Matt Carpenter swinging (3-2 pitch) to start his outing. Daniel Descalso blooped a single into right. After Russell struck out pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker, Descalso stole second on the first pitch to Furcal. Russell ended up striking out Furcal (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Starlin Castro singled to left off Fernando Salas to start the eighth … the Cubs’ first hit since the third inning. Anthony Rizzo lined a 0-1 pitch to center for the first out. Rizzo got all of it just ripped the ball right to Jon Jay. Alfonso Soriano worked a walk and Mike Matheny went to his pen for lefty Marc Rzepczynski.
Instead of Bryan LaHair, Dale Sveum went with Reed Johnson. Johnson flied out to deep center for the second out. Castro advanced to third on the play. Geovany Soto flied out to center (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.
Shawn Camp ended up facing the minimum in the ninth after giving up a walk and a hit. Jon Jay walked to start the inning but he was leaning after a 1-0 pitch to Holliday. Camp picked off Jay from first base. Holliday ended up with his third hit of the game, a single to center. Allen Craig grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Jason Motte made his way to the hill in the ninth. Barney grounded out to Furcal for the first out. Luis Valbuena reached on a single to right but pinch-hitter Joe Mather could not check his swing on a 2-2 pitch. Valbuena took second on defensive indifference with DeJesus at the plate. DeJesus flied out to left six pitches later to end the game.
Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Joe Kelly on Saturday afternoon.
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