Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 4, Cubs 0
September, 29, 2013
By Jesse Rogers
ST. LOUIS -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the season finale on Sunday.
How it happened: The Cardinals scored three times in the first four innings and never looked back in sweeping the Cubs. Jon Jay singled home one run in the third while Daniel Descalso and Shane Robinson had run-scoring hits in the fourth. The Cardinals added one in the eighth on a double by Tony Cruz. Meanwhile, a patched-together pitching performance shut down the Cubs as starter Jake Westbrook pitched one inning followed by Joe Kelly’s 5 1/3. Three other relievers helped finish off the shutout. Jeff Samardzija went six innings for the Cubs, giving up eight hits, no walks and three runs.
What it means: The Cubs scored two runs in the entire series, in the ninth inning of a 6-2, Game 2 loss. There were a couple of positives down the stretch as Anthony Rizzo reached 40 doubles with a first-inning gapper and Starlin Castro was better at the plate in the final weeks than he was all season. Samardzija finished the season with a 4.34 ERA but actually was better in his final few starts, proving he can at least get through a full season as a starter.
Final numbers: The Cubs finished the season with a 66-96 record. Rizzo led them in home runs with 23, RBIs with 80 and walks with 76. Dioner Navarro had the highest batting average (.300) among players with 200 or more at-bats while Castro struck out one more time (128 to 127) than Rizzo to lead the team. On the mound, Travis Wood led with nine wins and the lowest ERA (3.11) among starters. Kevin Gregg had 33 saves.
What’s next: The Cubs will have meetings on Monday at Wrigley Field with manager Dale Sveum and the coaching staff. Some changes are expected, if not with the manager, then at least with his staff.