Okay, I’m sure the Cardinals will live, they walk away from today’s game with a loss but they also got a rather shiny ring to commemorate their World Championship last year that the Cubs had a huge hand in. Today, the Cubs got a small piece of revenge beating the Cardinals 9-5 at a soggy Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Adam Wainwright, who is returning from Tommy John this season was beat for the second time this year, while Jeff Samardzija earned his second win in as many starts for the Cubs. While the Cubs won by four runs it really could have been much more as it was a tale of two games.
After waiting out an hour and a half rain delay, and a ceremony to recognize the world champion Cardinals the Cubs were more than ready to get started, and they did with a bang. David DeJesus, who has been red-hot, lead the game off with a looping liner down the right field line good for a double. Darwin Barney followed with a sharp single to left field which advanced DeJesus to third to set the table for Castro, and he delivered. Starlin laced a single to left and just like that, three hitters, three hits, and a 1-0 lead for the Cubs. After Soriano flew out Ian Stewart jumped all over a Wainwright fastball driving one deep into the right field stands for a three run shot to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Sensing that Wainwright was on the ropes the Cubs went for the knockout punch in the third and they connected. With one out in the inning Castro worked a base on balls, Soriano singled, and then Ian Stewart walked which set the stage for LaHair, he didn’t disappoint. LaHair drove a Wainwright pitch deep to left center field that just kept going until in ended up in the Cubs bullpen for a grand slam, LaHair’s first of his career. LaHair’s drive gave the Cubs a seemingly insurmountable 8-0 lead in the 3rd inning. The Cubs would tack on another run in the fourth to make it 9-0, and it could have been more but Soriano grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no out, so the Cubs had to settle for one, they almost needed it.
If we have learned anything about the 2012 Cubs it’s that we never really know what is going to happen day in and day out, and the Cubs could lose anyway, anyhow. For a moment there in Cardinals half of the 5th inning it seemed like that had a real chance of happening. The Cardinals went on the attack, registering six hits in the inning including five singles and a big triple from Matt Carpenter. When it was all said and done Samardzija barely survived the inning and the Cardinals were right back in the game, which was now 9-5 in favor of the Cubs. As quick as the Cardinals turned it on, they went away again thanks to an outstanding performance from the Cubs bullpen, yes you read that right. Rafael Dolis entered the game for Samardzija in the sixth and immediately stopped the bleeding retiring the Cards quickly in the sixth and the seventh inning. James Russell and Kerry Wood combined to get through the 8th inning unscathed, and Carlos Marmol closed the game out in the ninth giving the Cubs a 9-5 victory amid the rain drops and brand new championship banner at Busch Stadium.
Born on Third’s Thoughts:
Don’t look now, but the Cubs offense is clicking on all cylinders right now scoring 17 runs in the last two games. Now I’m not going to confuse this bunch with the Bronx bombers, but the Cubs are slowly but surely finding an offensive groove. What I like most is that they have done all this damage off of two of the best pitchers in the Central Division, Greinke, and Wainwright. Ian Stewart looks confident at the plate, really confident, and that is a great sign in the early season as confidence is everything with him, if he gets going early he might not stop. Great job by LaHair to put the bat on the ball in that situation with the bases loaded and he was rewarded with it going out of the park, I was expecting him to be over-anxious but he did a great job. I’m taking Samardzija’s outing with a grain of salt, he was really good early then was just catching too much of the plate with a big league which will happen because he didn’t want to walk anyone and he didn’t. That’s two in a row, one more and that’s called a winning streak, it has happened before…..just not very often. Go Cubbies!
Thanks for reading,