Cubs Offense Shut Down in St. Louis – Cubs 1, Cardinals 6

Game Seventy-One – Cubs 1, Cardinals 6

WP – Lance Lynn (10-1) LP – Scott Feldman (6-6) Save – None

Scott Feldman could not work his magic in St. Louis and the Cubs dropped the series finale to the Cardinals on Thursday night.

The Cubs offense continued to struggle on Thursday against Cardinals pitching and managed only five hits on the night. Welington Castillo (3-for-4 with a home run) recorded three of the Cubs’ five hits and hit his second homer of the season leading off the third that tied the game at one. Castillo had been showing improvement at the plate of late and hit his first home run since April 8 on Thursday night.

Darwin Barney (1-for-3) and Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) were the only other Cubs to hit safely on Thursday while Luis Valbuena (0-for-2 with two walks) reached base twice with the Cubs only two free passes.

The Cubs managed only eight runs and 20 hits over the four-game series in St. Louis.

The Cardinals broke open a close game in the sixth inning and turned a 2-1 advantage into a comfortable 6-1 lead. Scott Feldman pitched his way in and out of jams early in the game and was able to limit the damage until the sixth. The Cardinals scored four runs, knocked Feldman out of the game and cruised to another easy victory.

Scott Feldman struggled against another deep lineup and labored through a 32-pitch third inning. Feldman was charged with five runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Feldman threw 105 pitches, 60 for strikes.

Hector Rondon could not keep the game close as he allowed two inherited runners to score in relief of Feldman before giving up a run of his own in the four-run sixth inning.

Henry Rodriguez hit triple digits with fastball in the seventh inning and retired all three batters he faced. The Cardinals squared up Rodriguez pretty good but he threw strikes (20 pitches, 12 strikes) in his second outing with the Cubs. Carlos Marmol allowed a hit in the eighth but did not allow the Cardinals to add to their lead. Marmol recorded three out on 11 pitches, nine for strikes.

Ryan Sweeney (0-for-3) made two excellent catches to take hits away on Thursday and the Cubs defense put together another solid effort.

Starlin Castro (0-for-4 with two strikeouts and four left on base) continues to look lost at the plate. Castro struck out two times on Thursday and fouled out to Yadier Molina with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning … with the Cubs down 2-1 at the time.

With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs finished the seven-game trip with a 3-4 record and dropped to 29-42 on the season.

Both Lance Lynn and Scott Feldman pitched a 1-2-3 first inning. The Cubs went down in order in the second and it took Lynn 28 pitches, 20 for strikes, to retire the first six batters he faced on Thursday night.

Scott Feldman issued a four-pitch walk to Yadier Molina to start the second … and it cost him a run. Matt Adams lined a 0-1 pitch over Sweeney’s head in center for a double. Molina stopped at third with no outs. Feldman then fell behind Freese 3-0. David Freese smoked Feldman’s next pitch toward short. Castro made a good pick and threw out Freese at first as Molina scored the game’s first run. Jay grounded out to first, Adams advanced to third but was stranded when Kozma flied out to left to end the inning. Feldman needed 28 pitches, 14 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

Welington Castillo led off the third and launched Lynn’s first offering to deep center. The ball ended up in the stands just to the left of straight away center and Castillo’s second official longball of the season tied the game at one. Lynn retired Barney and Feldman before issuing a two-out walk to Luis Valbuena. Starlin Castro’s struggles continued as he struck out swinging to end the third.

The Cardinals took the lead right back in the bottom of the third. Feldman struck out Lynn to start the inning. Matt Carpenter pulled a double into right center. Feldman then walked Beltran and put runners on first and second with one out.

Matt Holliday hit a slow roller to the hole at short. Valbuena could not get to the ball. Castro was in position to make a play but the ball hit off his glove and rolled into shallow left. Carpenter scored and the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead.

Yadier Molina stepped in with two on and one down. Molina tried to check his swing on a 3-2 offering. With the runners moving on the pitch, Molina appeared to swing and Castillo threw to Valbuena, who appeared to tag Beltran in the helmet before he touched third. But the umpire who did not make the call on Monday night when Travis Wood applied the tag before Molina touched home then kicked Sveum out of the game, said Molina checked his swing. So instead of a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play, Molina was awarded first base on another bad call by D.J. Reyburn. Chris Bosio made his way to the mound to talk to Feldman before he faced Adams with the bases loaded. Bosio voiced his displeasure with the call all the way to the mound without looking directly at the umpire. Feldman got out of the bases loaded one out jam by inducing a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Matt Adams to end the inning.

At the end of three, the Cardinals had a 2-1 lead.

The game remained 2-1 Redbirds until the bottom of the sixth as both Feldman and Lynn put up zeros.

After the Cubs went down in order in the sixth, the Cardinals broke the game open in the home half. Matt Holliday led off the sixth and launched Feldman’s first pitch over the wall in straight away center. Yadier Molina followed with a double to left center on a 2-2 pitch. Matt Adams then cranked a 2-0 pitch to deep center. Ryan Sweeney made an excellent leaping catch at the wall to take away extra bases from Adams … replays showed the ball would not have left the park. Molina returned to second with one down. Feldman walked Freese and Dale Sveum went to his bullpen.

Hector Rondon replaced Feldman and Jon Jay greeted him by driving his first pitch to the hole at short. Castro made an excellent diving stop to save a run. With the bases loaded and one down, Pete Kozma popped the first pitch to Valbuena.

Mike Matheny went to his bench with the bases loaded, two out and the Cardinals up 3-1. Allen Craig hit for Lynn and laced a 3-2 pitch into right. Molina and Freese scored, 5-1 Cardinals. Matt Carpenter followed with a single to left. Jay scored and the Cardinals increase their lead to 6-1. Beltran fouled out to Valbuena to finally end the inning.

After six, the Cardinals had a commanding 6-1 lead.

The Cubs managed just an Anthony Rizzo single in the ninth over their last three at bats while both Henry Rodriguez and Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning.

The Cubs open a three-game series against the Houston Astros at Wrigley on Friday afternoon. Matt Garza faces Dallas Keuchel and the red-hot Astros in game one.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe