Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 5, Cubs 4
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday:
How it happened: The Cardinals scored lone runs in four of the last six innings to erase a 4-2 deficit with the winning tally scoring after a wild pitch by Michael Bowden got Yadier Molina to second and a single by Jon Jay got him home. The Cubs scored a run in the first on a double by Anthony Rizzo then added three more in the fourth on a two-run double by Nate Schierholtz and a ground out by Dioner Navarro. Carlos Villanueva battled through 6 2/3 innings but was removed after 101 pitches with two outs and no one on in the seventh and the Cubs leading by a run. James Russell promptly gave up a double to Matt Carpenter followed by a game-tying single to Carlos Beltran.
What it means: The bullpen blew another one and once again the relievers are making Dale Sveum look bad. With Villanueva getting two outs in the seventh did he need to be pulled after just 101 pitches? The Cardinals quickly jumped on the new pitcher Russell and never looked back. ... Schierholtz continues to be a find coming up with big hits seemingly on a daily basis and Cubs' hitters, overall, are having better at-bats. This one is on Bowden and Russell as the Cubs were credited with their ninth blown save of the season.
Key moment: With lefty specialist Randy Choate on the mound, Sveum elected to let Schierholtz hit for himself with runners on first and third and one out in the eighth down a run. With just eight at-bats all season against lefties, Schierholtz hit into a double play to end the threat. Alfonso Soriano was available to pinch-hit.
Outside the box: The teams combined to hit into eight double plays in the game, four for each side.
What's next: The 13-21 Cubs fly to Washington Wednesday night in advance of a weekend series starting on Friday against the Nationals. Jeff Samardzija takes on Ross Detwiler in Game 1 at 6:05 p.m. CT Friday.