After a rain delay and some sort of World Series ceremony, the game started late. So did Adam Wainright. And the Cubs took advantage by getting off to a 9-0 lead before
barely hanging on to win 9-5.
- Despite starting with 4 scoreless innings, Jeff Samardzija really struggled today. I was hoping he'd settle down but he was hanging sliders and didn't have control of the change-up that made him so effective his last time out. The fastball was there, peaking at 97 mph, but once Samardzija started getting tired, the Cardinals started teeing off. A 5 run 5th cut the lead to 9-5.
- Rafael Dolis came in and pitched 2 scoreless innings. He threw strikes but didn't strike anybody out and needed a couple of diving catches, one by DeJesus and another by Soriano to keep him out of trouble. For the most part, he did keep the ball down, though, and it was a solid outing with just 1 hit and no walks over 2 innings.
- James Russell and Kerry Wood combined to hold the Cardinals down in the 8th inning.
- Carlos Marmol came in to pitch the 9th and closed the game on a 1-2-3 inning with 2 strikeouts. That is not a typo. That's a 1-2-3 inning. He showed flashes of his good slider and used it effectively to get a couple of back door strikes.
- David DeJesus played a nice game apart from the catch. He had a hit and a walk, but also did one of those smart veteran things that often go unnoticed. After Samardzija struggled the inning before, Marlon Byrd made an out on the first pitch, and then Samardzija had to run out a slow grounder. DeJesus worked the count, took some pitches and put up a 7 pitch AB to give Shark a breather.
- Ian Stewart hit a 3-run HR to put the Cubs up 4-0. He also drew a pair of walks and scored a couple of runs. So far he looks like a real nice acquisition. For one thing, I'm grateful I don't have to hold my breath every time the ball is hit to 3rd.
- Alfonso Soriano made a diving catch and had an RBI single to the right side for the second straight day. Who is this guy?
- Bryan LaHair hit a grand slam that barely cleared the wall (and Matt Holiday's glove) to put the Cubs up 8-0.
- Starlin Castro had 3 hits and a walk with an RBI and 2 runs scored. He also stole his league leading (for now) 6th base.