Cubs Strikeout and Shutout in St. Louis – Cubs 0, Cardinals 7

Game One Hundred Sixty – Cubs 0, Cardinals 7

WP – Lance Lynn (15-10) LP – Travis Wood (9-12) Save – None

The Cubs watched the third different team celebrate in the last five days as they were shutout for the 15th time on the season on Friday night in St. Louis. The Cardinals beat the Cubs and won their first NL Central crown since 2009.

The Cubs played a sloppy game and did not provide any competition for the Cardinals. The Cubs were charged with only one error but they made several other miscues while the pitching staff had problems finding the strike zone.

While the Cubs offense made very little contact on Friday night, the Cardinals pounded Cubs’ pitching and put runners on base in seven of their eight at bats.

Travis Wood started the game and was left in for only one inning. It was announced shortly before game time that Wood would pitch only one inning in order to reach the 200-inning mark for the season. A misplayed ball with two outs by Brian Bogusevic in left field opened the door to a three-run first inning for the Cardinals and Wood was hung with the loss. Wood was charged with three runs, all earned, on four hits with two walks and a strikeout. Wood threw 37 pitches, 22 for strikes.

With Wood only planned for one inning, it turned into a bullpen game for the Cubs and the Cardinals took advantage. Brooks Raley gave up three runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in three innings. And Blake Parker served up a solo homer to Matt Holliday in the sixth that capped the scoring for the Cardinals. Alberto Cabrera and Chang-Yong Lim survived shaky innings without allowing any runs. Hector Rondon put together the Cubs only 1-2-3 inning in the seventh and was very good once again.

Cubs’ pitching allowed seven runs on 10 hits with eight walks and a hit batsman. The Cardinals put 19 runners on base, 15 of those were in the first five innings, and struck out only six times.

Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a double) had a good night at the plate and in the field. Castro collected three of the Cubs’ seven hits. The Cubs put only two runners on second base and only one runner reached third base on Friday night. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4), Dioner Navarro (1-for-3, HBP), Brian Bogusevic (1-for-4) and Donnie Murphy (1-for-4) collected the other four hits.

The Cubs’ offense struck out 13 times on Friday and did not work a single free pass. The Cubs were 0-for-4 with RISP and left eight men on base.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 66-94 on the season with two games left to play.

Starlin Castro started the game with a single to right. After Murphy struck out, Rizzo lined out to right center and Navarro struck out swinging. Lance Lynn threw 17 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes.

Travis Wood took the hill in the first with two goals … reaching 200 innings while keeping his ERA under 3.00 and he was able to accomplish one of the two. Wood retired Carpenter on a pop out to Castro (1-2 pitch) then Wood ran into foul ground and caught a pop up off the bat of Carlos Beltran for the second out. Wood appeared to be out of the inning when Matt Holliday lined a 1-1 pitch into left. But Brian Bogusevic misplayed the sinking liner into a single. Matt Adams followed with a bloop single to left center (2-2 pitch) and all of the sudden Wood was in trouble with runners on the corners and two down.

Yadier Molina pulled a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner. Holliday and Adams scored, 2-0 Cardinals. Molina stopped at second with a double. Wood walked David Freese. Jon Jay then ripped the first pitch he saw into center. Molina lumbered around third and headed for the plate. Sweeney’s throw to the plate was offline. Molina scored and both Freese and Jay moved up ninety feet. Wood intentionally walked Kozma. With the bases loaded and two outs, Wood struck out Lance Lynn swinging to end the inning.

Travis Wood threw 37 pitches, 22 for strikes, in his final inning of the season.

Lance Lynn struck out the side in order in the second. Lynn struck out five of the first seven batters he faced and needed only 31 pitches, 22 for strikes, to record six outs on Friday night.

Brooks Raley replaced Wood for the second inning. Matt Carpenter tried to stretch a single into a double to start the second and Bogusevic threw him out. Raley issued a four-pitch walk to Beltran and hit Holliday with a 0-2 pitch. With runners on first and second with one out, Raley struck out Adams swinging and Molina flied out to deep center to end the inning.

At the end of two, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

Starlin Castro singled to center with two outs in the third, but that was all. Lynn struck out the side (Barney, Raley and Murphy) and eight of the first 11 Cubs that faced Lynn on Friday night struck out.

David Freese made it 4-0 Cardinals when he led off the third with a home run to right center. Raley retired Jay (grounder to short), Kozma (pop out to short) and Lynn (swinging strikeout) to end the third inning. Raley needed 36 pitches, 23 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

Anthony Rizzo led off the fourth with a bloop single to right, but that was all. Lynn retired Navarro, Schierholtz and Sweeney in order to end the fourth. Lynn’s pitch count started to elevate as he needed 64 pitches, 43 for strikes, to complete four innings.

The second time through the Cardinals’ lineup was a rough one for Brooks Raley. Matt Carpenter walked to start the fourth. Beltran followed with a single to left center. Matt Holliday worked a 3-2 count and Matheny started the runners. Dioner Navarro caught a ball that was well out of the strike zone and for some reason threw toward third. The ball sailed over Murphy and into left field. Carpenter scored, Beltran took third and the Cardinals took a 5-0 lead. Raley struck out Adams for the first out with runners on the corners then appeared to get out of the inning when Molina hit a routine grounder toward short. Starlin Castro fielded the ball and threw to Barney, but Barney dropped the ball in the exchange. Beltran scored, 6-0 Cardinals. Starlin Castro made a sensational diving catch toward the hole at short on a liner off the bat of Freese to end the inning.

The Cubs were being hammered 6-0 after four innings.

Lance Lynn retired the Cubs in order in the fifth and Alberto Cabrera replaced Raley for the fifth.

Jon Jay led off the fifth with a double to right. Cabrera walked Pete Kozma. With runners on first and second and no outs, Lynn bunted back to the mound. Cabrera threw to second and forced Kozma for the first out. Carpenter rapped into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Starlin Castro led off the sixth with a ground rule double to right. The first time the Cubs put a runner in scoring position on Friday night. Murphy flied out to left center and Rizzo flied out to right center. Castro advanced to third. Lance Lynn hit Dioner Navarro with a high fastball. Navarro stayed in the game after blocking the ball with his elbow to keep it from hitting him in the head. Both benches were warned. Schierholtz rolled the first pitch he saw to first base to end the inning.

Blake Parker took over in the sixth and was very hitterish again. Parker retired Robinson with a flyout to right. Matt Holliday then made it 7-0 Cardinals with a long home run to left. Adams flied out left for the second out. Yadier Molina drove a 0-2 pitch into right. The inning finally came to an end when Parker struck out Freese swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Kevin Siegrist and Edward Mujica in the seventh.

Donnie Murphy singled to center with two down in the eighth off of Carlos Martinez. But the Cubs could not capitalize on their fifth hit of the game. Martinez retired Rizzo on a grounder to second for the third out.

Chang-Yong Lim was able to work around walking two batters in the eighth without allowing any runs.

The Cubs put two runners on base in the ninth against Trevor Rosenthal after Dioner Navarro led off with a single to right. Rosenthal struck out Schierholtz and Sweeney swinging. Brian Bogusevic reached on an infield single to the hole at short. But Darwin Barney popped a 0-1 pitch to Matt Carpenter to end the game.

Saturday’s start time was moved up from 6:15pm CDT to 3:15pm CDT and Edwin Jackson will face Adam Wainwright, and not Joe Kelly, in game two of the three game series in St. Louis.

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