It was a surprising series win for the Cubs over the Cards over the weekend in St. Louis. That makes 2 straight series wins for the Cubs over the 2nd place team in the NL Central (the Cubs took 2 of 3 from the Cards at Wrigley Field from July 24th through July 26th). Unfortunately, it’s still just too little too late for this underachieving 2010 Cubs squad.
Saturday 8/14/10 – Cubs 3, Cards 2 – The Cubs didn’t hit all that well against Chris Carpenter and a duo of relievers, but they did just enough to get Carlos Zambrano the win. Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits including a solo home run in the 2nd inning that tied the game at 1. Koyie Hill doubled in Marlon Byrd with a 2-out double later in the inning that gave the Cubs the lead for good. Derrek Lee also added a solo shot in the 3rd inning that increased the Cubs lead to 3-1. It was lee’s 2nd home run in as many days since returning from the bereavement list.
As for Big Z, Zambrano notched his 1st win in over 2 months, tossing 5 2/3 innings. He gave up 2 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. It wasn’t great, but anytime you beat the Cardinals it is a good thing. Sean Marshall worked an inning and a third of scoreless ball and then handed the ball off to Carlos Marmol with a man on and 1 out in the 8th inning. Marmol worked the 5-out outing for his 20th save of the season.
Sunday 8/15/10 – Cubs 9, Cards 7 – Derrek Lee led the way with solo home runs in the 1st and 3rd innings. A bigger day eluded the big man as he left the game in the 5th inning with lower back spasms. But it was his 4th home run in the weekend series.
The Cubs then blew the game open with a 6-run 4th inning off of Kyle Lohse and Mike McDougal. Koyie Hill had a 2-run double; Ryan Dempster helped his own cause with an RBI single; Fukudome had an RBI double; and Marlon Byrd had an RBI single – his 2nd hit of the inning. Byrd had 3 hits and also scored a run when he led off that frame with his 1st hit of the inning.
The Cubs did their best to try to hand the game back to the Cards in the 9th inning. Marcos Mateo recorded 2 straight outs in the 8th inning, but then self-destructed in the 9th inning. He gave up a lead-off home run and then a single and 2 hits before being replaced by James Russell. Russell walked in a run making the score 9-4, which forced Manager Lou Pinella to go with closer Carlos Marmol to save the day. Marmol gave up a 2-run single which cut the lead to 3 runs, and then he gave up a run-scoring ground out. But eventually he closed the door on the win for the Cubs, notching his 21st save in the process.
Ryan Dempster pitched well – 6 2/3 innings, 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks on a hot and humid St. Louis day. He picked up his 11th win on the season.
Now it’s back to Wrigley Field where the Cubs host the NL-West-leading San Diego Padres. Tom Gorzelanny looks to start the series off on a positive note tonight at the Friendly Confines.