Game Twelve: Cubs 4, Cardinals 6
WP – Michael Wacha (2-0) LP – Edwin Jackson (0-1) Save – Trevor Rosenthal (4)
The Cubs needed for the good Edwin Jackson to show up on Sunday. Rick Renteria received the exact opposite before rain delayed the game for 46 minutes in the third inning. Edwin Jackson settled down after the delay but the Cardinals tacked on two runs in the eighth inning and beat the Cubs on getaway day.
Edwin Jackson was all over the place before the delay. Jackson had little to no command and it took him 56 pitches to complete two innings. The Cardinals scored three runs off Jackson in what turned out to be a 30-pitch second inning. Jackson looked like a different pitcher following the delay. And while he gave up the go ahead run in the bottom of the fourth after his teammates tied the game at three in the top half, Jackson appeared to follow the game plan over his last four innings. After throwing 56 pitches in two innings, Jackson threw 58 pitches over his last four innings of work.
Edwin Jackson allowed four runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Jackson threw 114 pitches, 71 for strikes, over six innings.
While the Cubs’ pen was not protecting a lead, the inability to throw strikes cost them two runs in the eighth inning. James Russell pitched a scoreless seven with one of his best outings in a long time. Blake Parker was officially recalled from Iowa prior to the game and gave up two runs on three hits in the eighth while recording only two outs. Parker nibbled, fell behind the hitters and it cost him and his team. Wesley Wright made his first appearance since April 4 and retired the only batter he faced to close out the eighth.
The Cubs offense put up four runs against a very good Cardinals’ staff on Sunday and had the tying runs on base in the ninth. But in the end, the Cubs could not come up with the big hit when they needed it late in the game. The Cubs finished the day 2-for-8 with RISP and left six men on base.
The positive to come out of another series loss was the young players on the roster contributed Sunday.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) put the Cubs up 2-0 in the first inning with a two-run homer off of Michael Wacha. Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a RBI and a HBP) singled in Junior Lake (2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored) with the tying run in the fourth inning. Mike Olt (2-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a HBP) singled in Lake with the Cubs’ fourth run in the ninth inning.
With Sunday’s loss (1-1 on Sundays in 2014), the Cubs dropped to 4-8 on the season.
Emilio Bonifacio and Justin Ruggiano put together excellent at bats against Michael Wacha to start the game. Bonifacio flied out to center on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Ruggiano also worked a full count before he singled to center. With Ruggiano on first base and one down, Anthony Rizzo pulled Wacha’s first pitch over the wall in right. And Rizzo’s second longball of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Wacha struck out Schierholtz and Castro swinging to end the inning. The Cubs made Wacha throw 22 pitches (16 strikes) in the first and put up two early runs.
Edwin Jackson, even with a lead, struggled with his command in the bottom of the first. And while the Cardinals did not put any runs on the board, it was evident in the first inning that it could be a short day for Edwin Jackson. Jackson gave up a hit and walked Matt Holliday in the first inning and needed 26 pitches, 14 for strikes, to record three outs.
The Cardinals took the lead in the bottom of the second as Jackson continued beating himself. Jackson walked Allen Craig to start the inning. Jackson fell behind Jhonny Peralta 3-1 before he served up a fastball right down the heart of the plate on a 3-2 pitch. Peralta ripped the ball into left for a single. Jackson struck out Peter Bourjos swinging. Michael Wacha dropped down a perfect bunt and advanced Craig and Peralta to second and third with two outs. Matt Carpenter ripped a 2-2 pitch past Jackson and into center. Craig and Peralta scored, game tied at two. Jackson then ignored Carpenter at first. Carpenter got a running lead and swiped second on the first pitch to Kolten Wong. Wong ripped a 1-2 pitch into right. Carpenter scored, 3-2 Cardinals. Matt Holliday singled to center on a 0-2 pitch. Wong advanced to third but was stranded when Matt Adams grounded out to Mike Olt to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson threw 30 pitches in the second inning while giving up more than the lead.
Yadier Molina led off the third with a single to center as the rain picked up at Busch Stadium. After Jackson missed with his first pitch to Allen Craig, the game was put in rain delay.
The game resumed 46 minutes later with Jackson behind 1-0 to Craig. Jackson paid a lot of attention to Molina at first base but still found a way to strikeout Craig swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Jhonny Peralta grounded Jackson’s first pitch to short … and Castro started a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Jackson needed 69 pitches, 44 for strikes, to complete three innings.
Junior Lake reached on a two-out single to center in the fourth inning. Mike Olt followed and was hit by a pitch. Wacha appeared to hit Olt on his left pinkie finger that he hangs over the knob of the bat. Welington Castillo pulled Wacha’s first pitch into left. Lake scored and tied the game at three. Edwin Jackson struck out swinging to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson took the hill for the fourth inning with the game tied at three. Jackson served up a meatball to Peter Bourjos on a 0-1 pitch. Bourjos drove the belt-high, outside fastball into the right field corner for a leadoff triple. Jackson struck out Wacha swinging for the first out. With the infield in, Jackson jumped ahead of Carpenter 0-2. Matt Carpenter worked the count back to even before lifting a ball into medium depth left field. Lake made a strong throw to the plate, but he had no shot of throwing out the speedy Bourjos … and the Cardinals took a 4-3 lead. Wong grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Jackson threw 86 pitches, 56 for strikes, in four innings.
The game remained 4-3 Cardinals until the bottom of the eighth when the game appeared to get out of hand.
Blake Parker took over for James Russell in the eighth. Russell tossed a scoreless seventh with one of his better outings in quite some time. Parker retired Matt Adams on a flyout to right for the first out in the eighth. Yadier Molina singled to right. Parker started nibbling again and fell behind Craig 2-0. Allen Craig ripped a 2-1 pitch into right center. Molina held at second with one out. Parker fell behind Peralta 3-1. Jhonny Peralta lined Parker’s next pitch into the left field corner. Molina scored, 5-3 Cardinals. Craig held at third with one out. Renteria brought his infield in with runners on second and third with one out. Peter Bourjos chopped a 0-2 pitch toward third. Olt tried to make a short-hop pick-up, but the ball hit off the heel of his glove. Craig scored on Olt’s error, 6-3 Cardinals. Jon Jay hit for Kevin Siegrist with runners on the corners and one out. Jay hit a blooper to Castro for the second out. Renteria went to his pen for lefty Wesley Wright. In his first appearance since April 4, he retired Carpenter on a liner to Rizzo to end the inning.
Trevor Rosenthal struck out Starlin Castro swinging on a 3-2 pitch to start the ninth inning. Junior Lake followed and drove a 0-2 pitch over Bourjos’ head in right center. Lake ended up at third with a one out triple. Mike Olt smoked a single into center. Lake scored and cut the Cardinals lead to 6-4. Rosenthal plunked Castillo with a 0-2 pitch and put runners on first and second with one out. John Baker ran for Castillo at first. Luis Valbuena popped a 2-2 pitch into center for the second out … and Emilio Bonifacio grounded out to second (0-2 pitch) to end the game.
The Cubs will spend Monday’s off day in New York before opening a two-game series in the Bronx against Alfonso Soriano and the Yankees on Tuesday night (6:05pm CDT). Jason Hammel faces Masahiro Tanaka in game one.