Game Thirty-Six – Cubs 1 Cardinals 9
WP – Jaime Garcia (5-0) LP – Casey Coleman (1-3) Save – None
Less than 12 hours after scoring 11 runs on 17 hits, the Cubs overpaid and inconsistent offense managed only one run on nine hits in the series finale against the Cardinals. Once again the Cubs had chances to at least make the game interesting but they could not come through with runners in scoring position. The offense finished the game 1-for-9 with RISP and left eight on base.
With the offense struggling on a daily basis scoring runs, Thursday’s game was basically over after the Cardinals put up a five-spot against Casey Coleman in the second inning. Coleman could not throw strikes again and when he did find the strike zone, the Cardinals offense did not miss.
Coleman could not complete five innings of work. Quade pulled him with one out in the fifth after allowing six runs on nine hits with four walks and not a single strikeout. Coleman labored through his outing and pitched from behind in the count for a majority of his afternoon. Coleman tossed 82 pitches, 41 for strikes.
After Coleman departed the Cardinals tacked on three runs against Justin Berg and John Grabow.
The Cardinals pounded out 16 hits off Q’s pitching staff with a lineup that did not include Lance Berkman or Ryan Theriot.
The Cubs lone RBI came off the bat of Jeff Baker in the sixth. The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but could not plate another run. Marlon Byrd extended his hitting streak to 13 games but once again the Cubs showed little to no power at the plate. Seven of the Cubs nine hits were singles … and with the wind blowing out, they did not hit a ball out of the park.
Starlin Castro and Reed Johnson both doubled … and neither one of them scored.
The Cubs could not close out another series with a win. After Thursday’s pounding at the hands of the Cardinals, Q’s squad is just 2-10 in the final game of a series … and a pathetic 2-6 in rubber games.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to four games under .500 with a 16-20 mark … Thursday’s game basically ended after the top of the second. Casey Coleman faced the minimum on 10 pitches in the first but gave up five runs in a 25-pitch second inning.
Matt Holliday led off the second with a home run to Waveland. Colby Rasmus followed with a single and advanced to third on a double to right by Yadier Molina.
Daniel Descalso grounded out to first and both runners held. Quade decided to intentionally walk Tyler Greene to load the bases with one out. But Coleman could not retire Jaime Garcia. The Cardinals pitcher singled to center and drove in Rasmus with the game’s second run.
With the bases still loaded, Coleman fell behind Jon Jay. Jay ripped his next pitch into right. Jay’s double plated Molina and Greene … and gave the Redbirds a commanding 4-0 lead. Allen Craig stepped in with runners on second and third with one out.
The Cardinals know how to plate a runner from third with less than two outs and Allen Craig proved it with a sac fly to right. Garcia tagged and scored the Cardinals fifth run.
Albert Pujols flied out to deep center to end the inning.
Coleman settled down and faced the minimum in the third. Coleman got himself into trouble in the fourth after issuing a two-out walk to Jaime Garcia. Jon Jay singled and Coleman walked Allen Craig to load the bases. Albert Pujols tapped back to Coleman to end the inning.
The Cardinals last run off Coleman came in the fifth. Colby Rasmus doubled to right center with one out. Yadier Molina singled to center and Rasmus scored … 6-0 Cardinals.
James Russell came in and retired Daniel Descalso before intentionally walking Tyler Greene. Russell retired Garcia on a fly out to left to end the inning.
The Cubs only run came in the sixth after a one-out single by Marlon Byrd. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to right. Jeff Baker came through with a single to center that plated Byrd. Carlos Pena walked to load the bases with one-out.
Alfonso Soriano popped out to Nick Punto (infield fly rule) on a 1-0 pitch and Welington Castillo, who had a rough 2011 debut, struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cardinals put the game well out of reach in the top of the seventh.
Yadier Molina led off with a double to left off Justin Berg … on a ball that Soriano could have made a play on. Descalso grounded out to second and advanced Molina to third. Tyler Greene doubled to right and plated Molina with the Cardinals’ seventh run.
After Garcia flied out to center, Quade replaced Berg with John Grabow.
The Cardinals continued hitting and scored two more runs off of Grabow. Jon Jay and Nick Punto (both lefties) singled and doubled to close out the Cardinals scoring.
Carlos Marmol got in a little work Thursday and retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth, with three strikeouts … the only inning the Cardinals went down 1-2-3 Thursday afternoon.
The Cubs must figure out a way to win a series … or two in the coming weeks. The Cubs are just 2-4 after the first six games of the homestand.
The Cubs open a three-game series Friday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants. Ryan Dempster versus Madison Bumgarner in game one.