The Cubs and the Cardinals split the two games they played in St. Louis with the Cubs taking game one and the Cardinals winning game two. Both teams brought out their big bats as the final scores were 6-4 and 7-6, respectively.
During game one, Ryan Dempster’s ERA was constantly displayed on the scoreboard behind him, something that doesn’t happen too often when Wrigley Field is your home park. Unfortunately, that also means that Dempster saw his ERA spike up during this game and that a big 0 still remains in his win column.
Normally when Dempster hasn’t gotten a win this season, it is because he could not get any run support from the rest of the Cubs. However, this time the Cubs gave Dempster a four-run cushion to work with going into the sixth, partially brought on by a two-run homer from Bryan LaHair. Dempster couldn’t capitalize and ended up giving a four-run inning back to the Cardinals. Dempster was pulled after that inning.
In the grand scheme of things, this is not a terrible thing. Dempster is allowed to have a bad game after the start he’s had this season. Those four runs he gave up in that game matched the total he had for the entire season up until this point. His ERA is still sitting at a very low 1.74. It’s just disappointing watching Dempster blow a chance at a well-deserved win.
After two more runs by the Cubs, including an RBI single from Soriano, the bullpen managed to hold on to a 6-4 win. Shaun Camp earned the win and Rafael Dolis earned his fourth save on the season, striking out two along the way.
While game one saw an off-day from Dempster, game two made up for it with an extremely important bat to break the slow start of Alfonso Soriano. Both offensives came to play early in this one as the Cubs were up 3-2 after the first inning. Both teams were battling back and forth until James Russell gave up the lead in the eighth on a Matt Carpenter home run.
Enter Soriano, who had yet to hit a home run this season. He blasted the ball the other way in the top of the ninth to tie the game at six. That’s a huge boost for Soriano’s confidence, who took a little strut from home after hitting that ball. Hopefully that will be the start of a hot streak for him.
As encouraging as that was, the game ultimately ended with a loss for Dolis as the potent offense of the Cardinals just couldn’t be stopped.
The Cubs will head back home tomorrow to play against the Philadelphia Phillies for two games before beginning the first round of the Cross Town Classic against the White Sox. Pitching has continued to be a problem for the Cubs, but their bats are highly active as of late. If the Cubs want to beat their cross-town rivals, they’ll need those bats to stay hot to make up for the holes the pitching dig themselves in to.
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