Cubs Jump Wainwright Early, Hang On Late vs Cardinals
After dropping the series opener for tough luck loser Travis Wood due in part to a lack of offense, the Cubs came out swinging in the top of the first against the Red Birds and their 10 game winner Adam Wainwright. Amazingly, all of the hits and scoring occurred after Wainwright got the first two outs. Nate Schierholtz and Alfonso Soriano hit back to back doubles to put the Cubs up 1-0. Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom then one upped their teammates by hitting back to back jacks. Sweeney’s was to right field and drove in Soriano. Ransom’s was a 392 foot bomb to left field and just like that the Cubs were ahead 4-0.
Jun 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Ryan Sweeney (6) is congratulated after hitting a 2 run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately for the Cubs offense, they would not muster up any further run production the rest of the night. Other than two more doubles scattered the rest of the evening, Wainwright settled down from the ambush in the first. Thankfully for the Cubs, Jeff Samardzija was able to make the early four run lead hold up. He basically cruised through the first five innings, with the help of three double play ground outs along the way. Carlos Beltran finally got to The Shark in the sixth to put the home team on the board and cut the lead to 4-1. With the way the bullpen has blown leads and saves over the course of the 2013 season, Samardzija made a bid to finish off what he started and avoid getting burned by his pen mates. He got the first out of the ninth but then proceeded to give up a pair of singles.
That set the stage for Cubs closer Kevin Gregg to try to nail down the final two outs. The veteran right handed reliever allowed a single to Yadier Molina to make it 4-2, but he was able to get World Series MVP David Freese to ground into an inning ending double play to save both the game and the collective health of Cubs fans everywhere from another blood boiling heartbreak. Gregg is now a perfect 10 for 10 in the save department and features a 0.81 ERA that is surely to draw some trade interest as we near the end of June.