Game One Hundred Twenty-Three – Cubs 1, Cardinals 6
WP – Adam Wainwright (14-7) LP – Edwin Jackson (7-13) Save – None
Adam Wainwright predictably dominated the Cubs on Sunday and Dale Sveum’s team lost the series finale to the Cardinals. The Cubs dropped two of three to St. Louis and were outscored 10-8 over the three game series.
The Cubs managed only two infield singles over the first 5 2/3 innings of the game. Wainwright faced just one over the minimum before issuing a two-out walk to David DeJesus (0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored). Junior Lake (3-for-4 with a double and a RBI) cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-1 with a double off Wainwright that plated DeJesus. But the Cubs pen could not keep the Cardinals from tacking on in the seventh.
Carlos Villanueva (two runs on one hit with a walk in 1/3 of an inning) struggled again out of the pen. Villanueva issued a four pitch walk to Allen Craig then gave up a double to Yadier Molina. Dale Sveum went to the pen for his lefty to face Jon Jay. James Russell served up a three-run opposite field shot to Jon Jay (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and four RBI) that turned a two-run game into a 6-1 advantage for the Cardinals and put the game out of reach.
The Cubs offense was non-existent again. The Cubs struck out 14 times on Sunday and managed only one run on six hits with four walks. The Cubs were 0-for-6 with RISP and left seven men on base.
Edwin Jackson was not bad on Sunday, but he was not good either. Jackson completed six innings after it appeared he would not be long for the game after a 36-pitch second inning. The Cardinals had runners on base throughout Jackson’s outing. Jackson faced 29 batters in six innings and ended up needing 117 pitches, 70 for strikes, to make it through his start. Jackson was charged with three runs, one earned, on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
Michael Bowden and Kevin Gregg pitched scoreless innings.
The Cubs defense had a good day. Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo turned in excellent defensive plays in the fifth and Starlin Castro had one of his better over all games in the field. Castro went 1-for-3 with a walk at the plate.
Dale Sveum and James Russell were ejected in the seventh inning after homeplate umpire Phil Cuzzi called Donnie Murphy out on a check swing. Murphy did not offer at the 0-2 pitch and Sveum said after the game it was easily the worst check swing call he’s ever seen.
With Sunday’s loss (7-13 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs dropped to a season low 17 games under .500 with a 53-70 record.
After a very quick first inning in which both pitchers faced the minimum, Edwin Jackson struck out Allen Craig swinging (0-2 pitch) to start the inning. The Cubs pitched to Yadier Molina and he doubled down the left field line. Jon Jay followed with a double to left (2-1 pitch), Molina scored and the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead. Kolten Wong followed and lifted a 3-2 pitch to center. Junior Lake drifted back and seemed to have a play on the routine fly. Lake did not put himself into position to catch the ball in the sun, the ball hit off the side of his glove and the Cardinals had runners on second and third with one out. Jackson intentionally walked Daniel Descalso to load the bases.
Adam Wainwright stepped in with the bags loaded and one down … and popped Jackson’s first pitch to DeJesus in left for the second out. Matt Carpenter drove a 1-0 pitch back up the middle and past a diving Castro into center. Jay and Wong scored, 3-0 Cardinals. With runners on second and third, Carlos Beltran grounded out to second (3-2 pitch) to end the inning. Jackson needed 36 pitches to get through the second inning, and threw 49 pitches, 30 for strikes, over the first two innings.
The game remained 3-0 through the third, fourth and fifth innings. While the Cubs tried to get the ball out of the infield, the Cardinals put runners on base in every inning against Edwin Jackson. Jackson’s pitch count continued to mount with not having a clean inning.
The Cubs’ hitters offered very little resistance against Wainwright and he needed only 65 pitches, 49 for strikes, to complete five innings of work. The Cubs managed only two infield singles in the first five innings.
Edwin Jackson muddled through the sixth and kept the Cardinals off the board. Jackson gave up a two-out single to Adam Wainwright in the sixth and walked Matt Carpenter but Beltran flied out to center to end the inning.
Adam Wainwright made quick work of Barney (flyout to center) and pinch-hitter Logan Watkins (pop out to second) to begin the sixth. David DeJesus worked a walk and scored on a double to left center by Junior Lake … the Cubs first run since Friday. With the Cubs down 3-1 and Lake on second, Rizzo was caught looking at a low 2-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs trailed 3-1 after six innings.
Carlos Villanueva struggled again out of the pen. Matt Holliday smoked a line drive toward left center that Starlin Castro made an excellent leaping catch to take a hit away from Holliday for the first out. Villanueva then walked Craig on four pitches and could not put Molina away. Villanueva jumped ahead of Molina 1-2 but Molina worked a full count which started Craig from first. Molina hit the ball through the hole vacated by Barney. Craig held at third on Molina’s second double of the game. Sveum went to his pen for James Russell to face Jon Jay.
James Russell could not get the job done. Jay hit a towering homer to left and put the game out of reach with a three-run shot … 6-1 Cardinals on just the first homer given up to a lefty this year by James Russell. Russell retired Wong (flyout to right) and Descalso (swinging strikeout) to end the inning.
The Cubs appeared to have something going in the seventh against Wainwright before homeplate umpire Phil Cuzzi killed the possible rally. Schierholtz and Castillo reached on back-to-back singles to start the seventh. Donnie Murphy stepped in and checked his swing on a 0-2 offering. Murphy was called out by Cuzzi on a call that was not close. The Cubs bench yelled at Cuzzi because he did not ask for help. Dale Sveum and James Russell were ejected from the game. After the blown call, anything near the plate was called a strike. Wainwright struck out Castro and Barney swinging to end the inning.
At the end of seven, the Cubs were down 6-1.
Michael Bowden pitched a scoreless eighth and the Cubs could not cut into the Cardinals lead in the eighth.
David DeJesus worked a one out walk against Kevin Siegrist. Junior Lake followed with a bloop single to right center. DeJesus advanced to third with one out. Anthony Rizzo lifted a 1-1 pitch from Siegrist into left. Holliday caught the ball and DeJesus tagged from third. Holliday made a strong throw and DeJesus was called out to end the inning … replays showed that DeJesus was safe.
Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth and the Cubs put two runners on in the ninth. Murphy and Castro walked with two outs but Darwin Barney popped out to Jay in shallow right center to end the game.
The Cubs open a four-game series against the Nationals at Wrigley Field on Monday night … Jeff Samardzija versus Jordan Zimmermann in game one.