It looked like a pitchers duel right from the start as Chris Volstad and Lance Lynn were dealing right from the word go. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the defense was not on the same level as the pitching. A big fourth inning for the Cardinals, that was started by a Castro error (his first of two on the day) was the difference as they plated four runs, three earned to take a 4-0 lead. The Cubs battled well enough down the stretch but could not get a clutch hit to get back in the game. Chris Volstad pitched well enough but took the loss to fall to 0-1, and Lance Lynn turned in his second straight solid outing for his second win on the young season. Full recap after the jump.
After three scoreless innings the Cardinals got to work in the fourth. After a Matt Holliday ground out, oops not a ground out, it should have been a ground out but Castro didn’t finish his throw and it sailed on him which pulled LaHair off the bag and the Cardinals were set to pounce. After a Beltran fly out Matt Carpenter got the first big hit of the inning lacing a line drop off the top of the right field wall just missing a two run homer. Holliday had to tread lightly on the base paths as he thought DeJesus might be able to make the grab, he didn’t, and Holliday had to stop at third. Apparently scoring runs is contagious to this Cardinals team, after exploding for five runs yesterday in one inning the Cards were out to follow the same script today. Molina, Descalso, and Green followed with rapid fire hits which included a Descalso triple and just like that it was 4-0 Cardinals. Jon Jay capped the Cardinals scoring with a solo home run in the seventh inning, but all the Cardinals needed was the fourth inning binge.
The Cubs didn’t go quietly, well sort of, more of a whimper than anything. The Cubs real shot came in the sixth inning which started promising with a lead-off walk from David DeJesus. Barney followed with a ground out that moved DeJesus to second, and Castro atoned for his error by smacking a base hit back up the box to get the Cubs on the board. Soriano followed with a looping single to center field, and Castro advanced to third on a great piece of base running to put the Cubs in business. J.C. Romero relieved Lance Lynn, and promptly put the Cubs out of business. Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair couldn’t get the bat on the ball against the tough lefty, so the Cubs had to settle for one run which is all they would get on the afternoon. A similar scenario took place in the 8th inning when the Cubs were able to get runners on 1st and 3rd with only one out, and much like the sixth inning the Cubs couldn’t put the bat on the ball and their fate was sealed.
Born on Third’s Thoughts:
Not really too upset with the outcome, the Cardinals are good, as much as it pains me to say that, they are. Very happy with a split at this point and a great opportunity to win the series tomorrow afternoon. As far as today goes it never really felt like the Cubs were in the game, not sure what it was as they were “in” it only being down by four with multiple baserunners, it just didn’t seem like a win was in the Cards, see what I did there? Tough at bats from Stewart and LaHair against Romero. That’s not an easy assignment, but I like that Sveum let Stewart and LaHair take those at bats, they are the starters they deserve to have a chance to make a difference in the game. Of course now that it failed, Jeff Baker would have been a much better option, just kidding. Looking forward to tomorrow, GO HAWKS – GO Cubs!
Thanks for reading,