Game Recap: Cardinals 7, Cubs 4, ugly loss
The Cardinals tagged Sean Marshall for 4 earned runs in his first start of the season, but he wasn't responsible for the loss as Kosuke Fukudome tied the game for the Cubs in the bottom of the 5th with a 3-run homer. Unfortunately the Cubs offense petered out and the Cubs bullpen got plowed over, and St. Louis dealt Chicago their 2nd straight loss in the series opener at Wrigley.
When you consider that the Cubs have at times left the bases loaded three times in a game without capitalizing, the fact that they scored 4 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks is pretty impressive. Fukudome is now more than 33% on his way toward Our Rob's projected final homerun figure and maybe Lou had the right idea by batting Fuku in the three-hole when Aramis was resting.
Other Cubs to record offensive contributions ... well, the list is limited. Geovany Soto went 0 for 4, with his average dropping to .071 on the season, yet shockingly nobody is calling for him to be replaced by Micah Hoffpauir - or Three Finger Hill for that matter.
Aramis recorded 2 hits and a walk, but the lineup behind him went 1 for 14 on the day leaving him with his proverbial thumb up his rhetorical ass. Oh, and like a good leadoff guy, Soriano walked twice and scored 2 of the Cubs' runs. Not bad.
Also, Milton Bradley displayed some of that fierce passion that gets him into so much trouble. He was ejected in the 6th for arguing balls and strikes. As Our Rob notes, Bradley was right for being pissed and the Cubs were boned by that call. Hell, Rob must mean business about Bradley being screwed over because he actually modified the url to reflect that fact. Any post in which Rob actually uses the html feature means he's serious.
Pitching-wise, while Marshall won't be penning a book for pitchers any time soon about how to dominate major league hitting, he did go 5 innings, left the game with the lead, and was just meh-diocre enough to warrant continued use in the rotation. Besides, like any hitter in the lineup, he deserves a couple of months before Lou's head explodes and he gets delegated to the bullpen or worse.
The problem - as Rob might point out - is that the bullpen turned into a revolving door of offensive enablers. Just when you thought the Cardinals had quit scoring runs for good, a Cubs reliever would come along flashing run-scoring opportunities and the Deadbird hitter would fall off the wagon and go ball-knocking. ("Ball-knocking" is the current slang for "ribbie-scoring," which is the old-time slang for "run scoring," which is the act of injecting offense into your baseball-playing veins.)
Between Heilman, Patton, Cotts, Guzman, and Vicaino, over the span of 4 innings the Cubs allowed 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs to score. That would be enough for them to collectively earn a loss.
Tomorrow should be a decent chance for REVENGE! The Cardinals are turning to the young PJ Walters, an incredibly talented Cardinals prospect who has yet to meet his potential. I figure that even if he is Kerry Wood reborn, it's hard to forget that, 5 games before he masterfully struck out 20 Astros, Wood was bouncing curveballs across home plate (and into the hind legs of the batters!) against the Expos.