Game Fifty-Six – Cubs 4 Cardinals 5 – 12 innings
WP – Eduardo Sanchez (2-1) LP – Jeff Samardzija (3-2) Save – None
It took 12 innings but Albert Pujols finally beat Mike Quade and the Cubs on Saturday afternoon. Albert Pujols was a one-man wrecking crew and sent the Cubs to their fifth straight loss with a walk-off homer in the 12th … the 50th homer of Pujols’ career off Cubs’ pitching.
Albert Pujols drove in four of the Cardinals’ five runs and scored the fifth with a pair of home runs and a double (3-for-4 with two home runs, a walk, HBP, three runs scored and four RBI).
The Cubs offense was good over the first six innings … but non-existent after Kyle Lohse left the game. Q’s squad scored all of their runs and tallied half of their hits in the sixth inning.
Kosuke Fukudome (3-for-6 with two doubles and a run scored), Tony Campana (2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI) and Carlos Pena (2-for-5 with a home run, a run scored and two RBI) led the way early on in Saturday’s game.
The Cubs managed only one hit and one baserunner after Kyle Lohse was lifted with two outs in the sixth. The Cardinals’ pen retired 17 in a row and the Cubs’ hitters really helped them out. Q’s offense displayed no patience against the opposition’s pen once again. Over the last 6 1/3 innings of the game, Cardinals’ relievers threw only 61 pitches, 41 for strikes.
Randy Wells put together a better outing than his final line indicates. Wells was very aggressive and kept most of the Cardinals off balance, the only exception to his game plan, Albert Pujols. Pujols drove in three of the four runs Wells was credited with on a two-run homer in the fourth and a double in the sixth. Outside of Pujols, Wells allowed only one other hit, a single to Ryan Theriot in the sixth.
Wells received a no decision after pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Wells threw 75 pitches, 51 for strikes … and really made only two mistakes but they cost him three runs.
Sean Marshall gave up the hit to Lance Berkman that tied the game in the sixth. Outside of the Berkman RBI single, the Cubs pen was solid until the 12th, which was more on Mike Quade than Jeff Samardzija.
Kerry Wood, James Russell and Carlos Marmol did their job in relief of Marshall. The Redbirds managed only three hits and a walk while striking out five times against the trio.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs continue their slide and are now a season-low 10 games under .500 with a 23-33 record … The game began on a very positive note for the Cubs. The Cubs put runners on first and third with no outs after a leadoff double by Kosuke Fukudome and a beautiful bunt single by Darwin Barney. Starlin Castro reached out and hit a tapper back to Lohse. The Cardinals pitcher looked Kosuke back and threw to Theriot to force Barney at second.
With runners still on first and third but with one out, Carlos Pena struck out swinging and Blake DeWitt fouled out to Jon Jay in left to end the inning.
After the first inning, the Cubs offense managed single hits in the second, four and fifth but could not string any together against Kyle Lohse.
Randy Wells took a perfect game into the fourth (retired first 12 batters he faced on 31 pitches, 24 for strikes) but walked Ryan Theriot to start the inning. Only the 12th time all season Ryan Theriot has taken a free pass.
Tony LaRussa put the hit and run on with Jon Jay. Jay hit a one-hop liner to Barney at second. Barney knocked the ball down but could not make a play on Theriot at second. Randy Wells appeared to be very tentative against Albert Pujols and it cost him. Wells fell behind Pujols 2-0 before getting one over for a strike. Pujols launched Wells’ next offering into the stands in right center. The 49th homer of Pujols’ career off Cubs pitching gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead … and it was the Cardinals first hit of the game off Randy Wells.
Wells refocused, which has been one of his problems in the past, and retired Lance Berkman (fly out to left center) and Colby Rasmus on a pop out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs finally broke through against Kyle Lohse in the top of the sixth.
Starlin Castro showed rare patience and took three straight out of the zone to start his at bat. Castro ended up with a solid single to left on a 3-2 pitch. Carlos Pena tied the game with one swing of the bat. Pena ripped Lohse’s first pitch into the stands in right center. Pena’s eighth longball of the year tied the game at two … just the fourth homer served up by Lohse this season.
After Blake DeWitt struck out looking, Geovany Soto launched a 3-1 pitch into left center. Soto ended up with a double … and just missed a home run. Tyler Colvin lined out to shallow right for the second out.
With the game tied at two and the go ahead run in scoring position, Tony Campana fell behind 0-2 before blooping a single into shallow right center. Soto lumbered around third and slid in safe with the go ahead run.
Randy Wells kept the inning going with a single to right on a 0-1 pitch.
Kosuke Fukudome continued his big day and ripped the first pitch down the left field line. The ball hit and jumped sideways into the stands … and cost the Cubs a run. Campana scored from third but Wells had to stop at third.
Yadier Molina stalled for time and LaRussa eventually brought in Jason Motte to face Darwin Barney with two on and two out.
Barney grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs 4-2 lead evaporated rather quickly. Wells retired Skip Schumaker to start the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Theriot extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a solid single to right … just the Cardinals second hit of the game. Wells struck out Jon Jay for the second out.
Albert Pujols stepped to the plate and Wells changed his approach again.
Randy Wells was very aggressive all afternoon, except against Pujols. Wells missed on his first pitch to Pujols in the sixth … and Pujols did not miss his second. The Cardinals’ first baseman scorched a double into left center. Theriot scored and cut the Cubs lead to 4-3.
Quade went to his pen after the Pujols’ double to turn Lance Berkman around.
Sean Marshall jumped ahead of Berkman 0-2 before the veteran got just enough of a Marshall curve ball to bloop a single into left center. Campana charged the ball aggressively but bobbled it and Pujols scored the tying run without a throw.
Colby Rasmus grounded out to second to end the sixth.
At the end of six, the Cubs and Cardinals were tied at four.
The game remained tied after the ninth and Carlos Marmol did an excellent job in relief of James Russell. Marmol came in with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth and struck out Lance Berkman swinging and retired pinch-hitter Tony Cruz on a fly out to left to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol set a franchise record Saturday. Marmol ran his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 1/3 innings, longest mark by a Cubs’ reliever and broke the record of 24 set by Lee Smith and Warren Brusstar.
Another loss and another bad decision by the Cubs manager … It’s a Way of Life.
Carlos Zambrano and Chris Carpenter square off in game three on Sunday afternoon.