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Cubs Struggle in Last Two Games as Cardinals Take Series

Posted By Brandyn Smith On Apr 15 2012 @ 9:19 pm In Chicago Cubs | 5 Comments

Game 1:  Jeff Samardzjia (2-0) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-2)

The World Series  ceremony was the only thing that was special Friday afternoon for the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Chicago Cubs spoiled the Cards rainy home opener with a 9-5 victory.  In the first inning Ian Stewart hit a three-run shot, and in the third inning Bryan LaHair hit his first grand slam to put the Cubbies up 8-0 through three.  Starlin Castro also contributed mightily with three hits, an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base.  Adam Wainwright couldn’t have asked for a worse start earning  a career worse eight runs through three innings. This was his first home start since September of 2010.  After two starts Wainwright has an ERA of 11.42. The champs tried to rally back by putting up five runs in the fifth with RBI’s from Carpenter, Jay, Freese, and Molina, but were unable to climb out of the 9 run deficit.

Game 2:  Chris Volstad (0-1)  vs. Lance Lynn (2-0)

The Cardinals were on a two game losing streak before Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Cubs.  The Cubs two game winning streak was snapped after having lost five of their first six games.  Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn pitched well for six innings and Yadier Molina contributed effectively with two hits and two RBI’s. Lynn pitched 5 1/3 innings, gave up four hits, had five strike outs, and two walks.  His ERA dropped to 1.50.  He has made the most of his starts after being put into the rotation after teammate Chris Carpenter was put on the disabled list before the season.  The game was scoreless until the Cardinals put up four runs in the fourth inning against Chicago pitcher Chris Volstad. Volstad  gave up six hits, three runs, no walks in six innings, but had a 13 pitch inning in the fourth.   A couple of errors from shortstop Starlin Castro led to the Cardinals getting four runs in the fourth inning.  John Jay hit his second homerun of the season in the seventh inning off Cubs reliever Shawn Camp.  The Cubs finally put their only score of the game up in the sixth inning, coming from a Starlin Castro RBI single.  World Series MVP David Freese did not play in the game due to soreness in his finger on his right hand and is listed as day-to-day.

Game 3: Paul Maholm (0-2) vs. Jake Westbrook (2-0)

The World Series champs made a statement Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of their three game series against the rival Chicago Cubs with a score of 10-3.  Cardinals rookie Matt Carpenter had a sensational game which include a homerun, a triple, and five RBI’s in the victory.  Carpenter is batting .409 with 10 RBI’s in 22 at bats. His homerun in Sunday’s game was the first of his career. Cubs pitcher Paul Maholm gave up six runs in four innings of work.  Maholm is 0-7 in his previous nine starts with a poor ERA of 7.03. His last win was in July of last year against the Chicago Cubs when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  His current ERA after is a miserable 13.50. The Cubs started off the second inning by hitting Carlos Beltran with a pitch and walking Yadier Molina, which lead to a Matt Carpenter RBI single. Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook had a solid start allowing only one earned run on four hits in seven innings of work.  After demolishing Wainwright in game one of the series, the Cubs have been outscored 15-4 in the last two games.

Series Reaction

On Sunday the Cubs were looking to win their first series of the young season.  Unfortunately because of less than stellar pitching,  and the lack of offense, the Cubs didn’t get what they hoped for.  With an off day on Monday and a series with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, the north siders look to bounce back and get going on the right track.  With Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster with ERA’s below 2.00 the rotation for the Cubs looks respectable until you get to the back half of that rotation. Samardjza at 3.95, Volstad at 4.91, and Maholm at 13.50, the back end of the rotation needs to carry their weight.  Volstad and Maholm combined are winless since July of 2011.  CF Marlon Byrd also needs to find his groove with only two hits in 28 attempts.  He reached base twice Sunday because of two errors that were made by the Cardinals.  This is definitely a team that is in the rebuilding process, but with that being said it’s important that the Cubs try to stay respectable and competitive throughout the entire season.


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