After a hustle double by ex Cub Ryan Theriot and a walk to Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman broke out of a mini slump by smoking a Ryan Dempster mistake up in the zone into the right center field seats for a three run home run. With Jaime Garcia dealing for St Louis, the Cardinals never looked back, crusing to another win as they lead the NL Central. After a solid month of May, Dempster could not continue the success in his first start of June, looking more like the Dempster we saw in April. His ugly box score line included eight hits, six earned runs, and three walks in just five innings of work.
At least the bullpen kept the Cardinals off the board for the rest of the night. James Russell continues to show that he belongs in the pen and not in the starting rotation, chipping in a solid inning of work. Spot starter Rodrigo Lopez also got an inning of work after getting beat up by the Astros on Memorial Day.
As mentioned earlier, Jaime Garcia was dealing last night. He is one tough lefty to face as it is, but with all the injuries, Cubs manager Mike Quade had to trot out a weakened line up that included three left handed hitters. The only scoring highlight came when Lou Montanez hit a double to cash in on a Carlos Pena walk ahead of him. Other than that, the only other positive note was that DJ LeMahieu got his first Major League hit, an infield single in the top of the 8th inning.
Things against the division leaders and hated rivals will not get any easier tonight as the Cubs line up goes against Kyle Lohse this afternoon. In this stretch the Cubs have 16 straight games against playoff contending teams, including match ups against the Phillies and Yankees. With this depleted line up, things are not looking bright, and the Cubs may find themselves officially as sellers this summer before we even hit the first Crosstown Series with the White Sox.