Losing to the Cubs is annoying. Especially on the heels of sweeping the Brewers and that six-game winning streak. Not to mention, Lance Lynn’s perfect win-loss record was on the line. Against the Cubs. And, no matter how good of a game it was, Cubs fans will take great pride in rubbing this in. At least for a day, they will.
So yes, losing to the Cubs is annoying. But, it’s not devastating. It’s still just one game.
Rivalries are tough, no matter the opponent. Wrigley is tough, no matter the strength of the visiting team. And, if the Cubbies have had one thing going for them this season, it’s starting pitching. So, getting to Travis Wood wasn’t going to be the easiest of ventures.
Allen Craig made Wood pay for a mistake early, launching a line-drive home run to the bleachers in center field. The Redbirds created a few opportunities here and there after that. Every time there were runners on base, though, they stayed there. No one could bring them on home.
Lance Lynn pitched a beauty of a game. Did you realize he didn’t throw a single pitch with a runner in scoring position? Unfortunately, after Alfonso Soriano looped an ankle-high slider over Craig’s head for a single, Lynn made his only mistake of the night — a 91 mph fastball that caught too much of the plate … and then caught a lot of air as it sailed over the still-brown ivy. Cubs lead, 2-1. This game was probably going to lower Lynn’s average run support, too.
Carlos Marmol tried to give the Cardinals a chance later in the game. In the eighth inning, with chances for the Cardinals running out, Yadier Molina singled off of Marmol with two outs, then proceeded to (barely) steal second on an awkward, good-thing-he-missed-the-tag play. Safe, nonetheless. And, Jon Jay walked. Two on. Two outs. Cardinal Nation’s favorite Cub on the mound. Perfect set up, right?
Except that it was Pete Kozma at the plate, and, whether that inspired Yadi to take things into his own hands, or if he was just feeling spontaneously aggressive, Molina tried to steal third. And … yeah. Well, it was an interesting idea. Too bad Marmol knew it was coming and had him picked off by the time Molina even looked up.
So, Trevor Rosenthal got some work in for the bottom of the eighth. Oh, hey! Matt Adams is back! Boy, did he want that ninth inning pinch hit home run. But, it wasn’t to be. And that was that.
The Cardinals dropped game one to the Cubs.
… still annoying.
But, there’s not a whole lot to be upset about, to be honest. It was a good game between long-time rivals. Those games are never easy. Never. Even against the Cubs.
The Cards will look to right the ship today with an afternoon matchup in the final game of this short, two-game series. It’ll be Jake Westbrook against Carlos Villanueva. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m.