Cubs Fail to Put Cards on Life Support


On Saturday the Cubs were one out away from pushing hated rival St Louis one step closer to missing out on playoff baseball. But bad Carlos Marmol reared his ugly head once again, issuing walks with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the last of which forced in the tying run. If that was not enough for him to show you the definition of wild, he uncorked a wild pitch to allow the winning run to score.

Marmol’s 10th blown save of the season was the complete opposite of what the rest of the Cubs pitching staff’s efforts. Spot starter Rodrigo Lopez held the Cardinals to four hits over six innings of shut out ball, and that was backed up by perfect frames by Andrew Cashner and Sean Marshall.

The Cubs offense was able to scratch across their lone run in the first inning, but for the rest of the night they were held in check by Kyle Lohse despite collecting six hits, including a 2 for 4 effort by Bryan LaHair out of the three spot in the order.

The visitors from Chicago had started the series off well, beating the Cardinals 5-1 highlighted by a three run homer by Alfonso Soriano in the eighth inning that sealed the game, his 25th in 2011. Despite issuing six walks, starter Ryan Dempster was able to grind through his start and keep the home team to one run in his six inning effort.

But all that was overshadowed by sophomore Starlin Castro collecting his 200th hit of the season. He has been one of the few bright spots in what has been a lost season, regardless of the occasional mental lapse on the field. He got the milestone out of the way right of the bat in the first, and became the youngest Cub to ever achieve the feat.

On Sunday afternoon the Cubs were not able to close out the series win and spoil what may possibly be Albert Pujols’ last home game in St Louis, barring the Cardinals sneaking into the playoffs at the last minute. Randy Wells bounced back from a streak of two bad starts to go a complete eight inning game. He did allow six hits, but scattered single runs in the fifth, seventh, and eighth innings.

Unfortunately for him, that third run was the one that cost him and the Cubs the game. To be fair, his teammates did not do much for him on offense despite creeping out to one run leads twice in the game. The RBI were compliments of Castro and Geo Soto, but it was otherwise another quiet effort from the Cubs offense.

The Cubs were right there to take the series and knock St Louis steps back from the playoffs in one sweep, but they just were not able to do enough to be on the winning side of a weekend full of closely contested games. Cubs fans will have to hope from some help from the lowly Astros to avoid having to hear Cards fans trash talk about going to the playoffs while the Cubs go home for the fall.