Cubs vs Cardinals Series Recap
By Joe Han
On Tuesday the Cubs and Cardinals renewed their rivalry for the 2013 edition with a short two game set. Coming into the series at Wrigley, the Cardinals were in first place after their amazing run to the 2012 NLCS last October as a Wild Card team. The pair of contests saw the typical mix of red and blue clad fans always seen at Wrigley and in St. Louis for these match ups. Considering the sweep at the hands of the contending Reds the weekend prior, it may have been a favor for the Cubs to be only hosting the Red Birds for two games.
May 7, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) steals second base as Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (13) tags him during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Travis Wood continued his solid start to the 2013 campaign, picking up the win in game one by going 6 2/3 innings with eight Ks and one run allowed. That set the stage for Carlos Marmol to earn a hold, which he did, and Kevin Gregg picked up his fifth save in as many chances. In doing so, the Cubs accomplished a rare feat against Lance Lynn, who has had the Cubs number so far in his career.
There was also a bit of line up shuffling for game two that saw Luis Valbuena bat third in the order. The left handed third baseman responded with a 1 for 2 effort with two walks and two runs scored. Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano were given the day off, sliding Anthony Rizzo into the clean up spot and seeing Ryan Sweeney get a start.
David DeJesus was held to 0 for 4 on Tuesday and Starlin Castro was held to 0 for 4 on Wednesday. While neither player has been in a prolonged slump worthy of criticism so far this season, it is tough to consistently win when the table is not being set for the meat of the order.
James Russell got hit with his first earned run of the season and was unfortunately hit with the blown save as well. Michael Bowden then came in to let the visitors go ahead and suffered his second loss of the season.
While many were quick to hang the Cubs loss on the bullpen Wednesday, in reality the Cubs offense hit into four rally killing double plays, with three of those coming in the late innings. A couple more runs and just one less twin killing would certainly have altered the outcome of this game. The Team RISP was 1 for 9 despite 11 base hits in the series finale.