Things were looking up for the Cubs when they headed to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals this weekend. They had a relatively solid pitching rotation, a comfortable bullpen and more offensive production than ever. They are 5-3 in their last eight games, with each starting pitcher earning a win except Jeff Samardzija. However, the Cardinals had other plans for the Cubs, ending their hot streak and crushing our hope in the process.
Before Friday’s game, many signs pointed to a Ryan Dempster trade happening at the last minute. But unfortunately, the Cubs veteran ended up taking the mound and the Cards took away his scoreless innings streak. In six innings, Dempster gave up seven hits and four runs, striking out and walking two. It was a bit of a blow for the Cubs, as they may not have as much leverage as they once did in trade talks.
However, the Cubs didn’t do much to aid Dempster offensively. Six Cubs had a least one hit, but many went unanswered. Darwin Barney had the only RBI. The Cubs lost 4-1, and fans are still in the dark as to what will happen with Dempster.
Saturday night’s game was one I’m sure the Cubs and fans would like to soon forget. It began innocently enough, with both teams scoreless for two thirds of the game, but new Cub Justin Germano had to take over for Matt Garza in the third because of tricep cramping after three innings. Germano cruised until the seventh, when he gave up a hit and was pulled for James Russell. And once the Cardinals got started, they just couldn’t stop.
The Cards scored all 12 – yes, 12 – of their runs in that fateful seventh inning. Germano, Russell and Manuel Corpas faced 17 batters combined in that inning, which saw ten hits and seven doubles. Three Red Birds had two RBI, while Skip Schumaker had three. The Cubs simply had no answer to the seventh-inning beating and lost 12-0.
For Game 3 on Sunday, Cubs players donned #10 patches to honor Ron Santo on his Hall of Fame induction day. And for Cubs fans, the day was bittersweet in more ways than one. While family, friends and fans gathered in Cooperstown to celebrate Ron Santo’s memory and career, the Cubs were still in St. Louis, facing another lopsided matchup against the Cardinals.
Travis Wood, who had been successful in the past but struggled in his last start, faltered early, giving up three doubles in the first inning and allowing four to score. In the fifth, Wood gave up back-to-back leadoff homers to Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran. Cubs pitcher Jeff Beliveau made his MLB debut, giving up three hits, a walk and striking out one. But the Cubs offense couldn’t get going whatsoever, as the Cubs fell to the Cards 7-0.
Needless to say, St. Louis was an ugly trip for the Cubs. It was a complete lack of production from both the plate and the mound, and Cubs fans have another glimpse of the Cubs’ near future. The first few months of the season were grim, and things are looking to go back to black, especially if the Cubs make the trades they should. All fans can do is wait it out and see what comes next as the Cubs fly to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates.
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