Game 147 Recap: Cubs 5, Cardinals 3

Nail, Meet Coffin.

GameCenter, Box Score, Play by Play, Photos

W- Zambrano(16-12), Industrial-size antacid bottles, sparing the life of a perfectly good wooden bat, quick games, clutch pinch-hits.

L- Wainwright (13-11), closers in non-save situations, defending your World Series title. S - Howry (8), Ward, Zambrano's "ace" reputation, the season? Things to Take from the Game 1. A quickie. Before Isringhausen and Dempster stumbled through the ninth, this game was on pace to finish in just over two hours. Zambrano and Wainwright just mowed 'em down, each walking just two and striking out just three. A very, very effective game by Z. 2. The biggest pinch-hit of the year? With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth in a 2-1 game, the Cubs took down Zambrano for pinch-hitter Daryle Ward. Ward cleared the bases with a double, and some insurance runs that we wound up needing, because.... 3. A Very Scary Finish Dempster gave up solo HRs to Edmonds and Ludwick, bringing the game to 5-3, then a single to Molina, and exited the game for Howry, who then loaded the bases with two more singles. Miles grounded out on a very softly hit, slow roller towards the second base bag, which Theriot fielded for the out at first. The Reds have just beaten the Brewers, putting the Cubs 1.5 up on Milwaukee, and 6 up on the cards, with just over two weeks left in the season. Your first-place details, below. Inning 1
  • Getting the Cardinals TV broadcast where I live, and game begins with one of them saying that he didn't like Wainwright's warmups and first few pitches to Soriano. That he didn't appear to look comfortable. And indeed, he walks Soriano to begin the game.
  • Ankiel makes a nice running, shoe-string catch on a sinking line-drive by Theriot to right. Soriano scurries back to first.
  • Molina gets Soriano dead to rights on a steal of second. Soriano looked in at the batter, but Lee didn't swing.
  • Lee also walks. Again, Cards broadcaster (Hrabowsky?) states his worry that Wainwright didn't look comfortable while warming up.
  • Ramirez singles softly to right. Not sure if Soriano would have been able to test Ankiel's arm on that one, had he not been thrown out at second already.
  • 3-2 count, Floyd flies out to right. That's two walks and a single against a struggling pitcher in the 1st, and nothing to show for it.
  • Miles grounds out, Ankiel strikes out, looking pretty weak, as Z. starts the first. Theriot bobbles a Pujols grounder, but recovers in time to get him, ending the 1st. 0-0.
Inning 2
  • Wainwright with an easy top of the second.
  • Z. walks Edmonds to start the bottom of the second. Two groundouts later, and he's on third. Molina bounces to second to end the inning.
Inning 3
  • Cards broadcastesr with a rather vague update on Encarnacion - can't reveal much in part due to privacy laws, they say. Nothing too encouraging to report, sadly. Cubs go quietly in the third. Hope we don't regret not getting to Wainwright in the first.
  • Wainwright hits a chopper back at Zambrano, who raises his glove above his head to catch it. It deflects high up in the air, landing behind the mound, and Wainwright beats it out to start the bottom of the third.. Z. comes back to get the next three, easily.
Inning 4
  • Ramirez lofts one down the RF line, Ankiel dives head-first for it, pretty close to the side wall. Misses, bounces into the stands. If it had stayed in play it would have been a triple, perhaps even more. Floyd then bounces to Ryan at short, who thinks about trying to get Ramirez at third, but goes to first for the second out of the inning.
  • Derosa with a little floater into right-field for a two-out RBI. 1-0 Cubs.
  • Pujols with a high bouncer to Ramirez, which Ramirez totally butchers into the most generous "single" of the year. He sort of made an awkward one-leg slide while rotating away from the ball and trying to knock it down. In any case, Edmonds immediately GIDPs. No harm to the inning.
Inning 5
  • Cubs go 1-2-3 in the fifth. Game just cruising along. Lots and lots of balls in play, not many walks or K's to go around. Taken about an hour flat to play half the game.
  • Speizio walks, and otherwise, nothing doing in the bottom half.
Inning 6
  • Edmonds with a nice running, diving catch to his right, into left-field, on Theriot. Not full stretch-out, but more of a just-stooped-over-far-enough-where-i-need-to. That's two fine running catches on Theriot line-drives, tonight.
  • Ramirez lines out to deep right field, with Ankiel making an awkward, twisting catch after slightly misreading the ball. 1-2-3, again.
  • With the game just sailing along and two outs in the sixth, Pujols hits one out just to the right of dead-center field. Game tied at 1. Edmonds grounds out to end the inning on the next pitch. Looks like it was a fastball out over the plate to Pujols.
Inning 7
  • F loyd leads off the top of the seventh with a big HR to RF. Fastball that drifted out over the plate again, and a few inches up above the belt. Into the Cards bullpen. 2-1 lead, Cubs.
  • Kendall singles to left, and Schumaker sort of soft-tosses the throw in, which long-hops Miles, going straight through his legs. Kendall is hustling and makes second base. Very nice. 2 outs with Z. up.
  • Z strikes out, but the most interesting moment comes after the at bat, when a clearly frustrated Z. takes the bat above his head, appearing ready to bring it down over his thigh and break it in half. He slows down, thinks better of it, and casually brings his arms back down, again. Bat lives to fight another day. Still 2-1 Cubs.
  • Schumaker leads off bottom of the 7th, hits the ball off the first base bag. Lee gloves it, tosses to Z who gets to the bag almost the same moment as Schumaker's head-first slide. Slo-mo replay shows that Z had to stutter-step to the bag, and as a result Schumaker beat the play. Called out, however. Shouldn't have slid. Side retired in order.
Inning 8
  • Wainwright out, Franklin in. Yet another 1-2-3 inning.
  • Pie in, Jones to Right, Floyd out. Z. with only 89 pitches thrown at the start of the 8th.
  • Two outs in the 8th, and Miles slaps a base hit to left. Z's been cruising, hopefully this is not the end to it. Ankiel up. Flies out to not-quite-warning-track right-center, end of the 8th.
Inning 9
  • Isringhausen in. Ludwick in at left, Schumaker over to right with Ankiel out.
  • Pie throws a bat into the stands on a swing and miss. Eventually rips one off of the right-field wall. Ball hits hard off the wall, caroms to Schumaker, who makes a strong throw in. Pie has to really hustle to get into second. Would be great to get an insurance run, with Pujols leading off the bottom of the inning.
  • Theriot advances Pie to third on a bouncer to SS. 2 outs. Jones intentionally walked, so Isringhausen faces Kendall.
  • Molina blocks a 55 foot bouncer from Isringhausen, saving a run. Pace of game suddenly crawling along, after having been almost on a 2-hour flat pace. Kendall walks.
  • Z. taken down for a pinch hitter. Ward up with the bases loaded, two outs, 2-1 game.
  • Daryle Ward effectively ends the Cardinals' season with a bases-clearing double, just beyond Edmonds' reach in left-center field, landing a few feet before the warning track. Ward with a big smile on his face. After Soriano strikes out to end inning, can hear Cards fans booing - not sure the last time I've heard that....
  • Dempster in. Non-save situation, suddenly, as it's 5-1. Pujols grounds out to short.
  • Busch stadium is almost completely silent. Could hear the Sprint pin from the 1980s commercials drop.
  • And of course as I say that, Edmonds hits a bomb to right. 5-2. Fans still seem pretty uninspired. Schumaker flies to Soriano for the second out.
  • Ludwick drives one out to dead-center. 5-3. Fans, Cardinals dugout, suddenly back into the game.
  • Molina singles through the hole to left. Dempster out, Howry in, tying run at bat. Now, it's the Cubs fans you can hear booing THEIR closer!
  • Cairo up, Howry in. Branyan pinch-hitting for Cairo. Branyan lines it to right, 1st and 2nd, So Taguchi now up
  • Taguchi singles to center. Bases loaded. Still 5-3, two outs.
  • Miles hits a little bleeder that dies in front of the second base bag. Theriot fields, throws to first for the final out. Thank god.
Parachat Recap Inning 1 Our feelings towards Rick Ankiel. Knee-high baseball socks. Early Brewers game updates. Fantasy teams. Is Baseball Prospectus still good? The Trachsel trade. Inning 2 The Dontrelle Willis trade. Wainwright's quoatation about being in the middle of a pennant race. Scott Moore. The Bellichick press conference. Wishing the Patriots ill. (Why does Parachat hate America?) Perma-muting the sportsline gamecenter ads. Inning 3 Daric Barton or Mischa Barton? How great is this weekend going to be for sports on tv? Fun with the word "caromed" Inning 4 Baseball trivia. Who catches the double-header tomorrow? Old-man names and activities. Old-man terminology for different technologies. Speizio doing coke lines off of Larussa's......... Stripping. Inning 5 Fast game time. Aflac trivia. Speizio. The intellectual barrenness of Tony Larussa's batting the pitcher 8th "idea." Inning 6 Brewers/Reds game updates. Edmonds over or under-rated? Injury news on Angel Guzman. Latest news from MVN. The Pujols HR. Inning 7 The Floyd HR. Getting our Cliff Floyd and Matt Murton nicknames confused. Learning to appreciate Kendall. Z NOT going crazy. Mixing sabrmetrics with 80s hair-metal bands. Hendry for executive of the year? (In jest, I think???) . OJ. "I shot the sheriff." Inning 8 More on OJ. Pot and College. The socks-scrappiness equation. God, the White Sox suck this year. Setting up the rotation for the next week. Milwaukee updates. Formula 1 racing scandle. Inning 9 Walk Pujols to start off the bottom of the ninth, if we're still up only by a run? (Dear God, No.) Where would the Cubs be without Jacque Jones? Imaging Z's reaction when he's taken down for a pinch-hitter. Z's crazy/hour rate down tonight. Massive celebration after the Ward double. A "Jim Palmer pitch." Getting sick to our stomachs. Enormous relief.
Return to Homepage

Comments

Ho-ly crap....
The win is good and all, but my god, once in a while can we have a normal 9th inning?
Please?
I know that we're not s'posed to diss Dempster, but yeesh...

Sounds like this one was just agonizing. Glad I wasn't there and that it ended in a Cubs win.

Off to St. Louis for the games tomorrow. Not sure what to expect with the Cards having lost 8 in a row.

Fkn Dempster.

Glah! The "One game for the season. Who starts?" poll on chicagosports.com. Check this:

60.2% Lilly
34.2% Z
2.0% Hill
1.7% TRACHSEL ?!?!?!
1.4% Marquis
0.6% Marshall
7646 votes total

Marquis and Marshall should feel really insulted. :-)

/I blame Sox fans

Be careful not to blow Dempster's performance out of proportion. With a 4-run lead, I don't care who you put in there, their #1 goal is to throw strikes. As the lead shrunk, he started throwing a little bit better pitches, but by that time he was already rattled. Bottom line, I don't have any less confidence in Demp based on tonight's appearance.

SO GLAD the Cubs pulled that off. But wow, I hope Dempster has all the bad outings out of his system...I wasn't even in a celebratory mood as I left Busch, I was so worked up about that lousy bullpen performance. But the standings are looking good, and a doubleheader sweep tomorrow would likely erase all bad memories of the bottom of the 9th.

Andrew, have fun at the games tomorrow!

What I really liked about tonight's game is that after the Edmonds HR, Lou got Howry up in the pen right away.........tell me Dusty would ever have done that. You could tell Lou was not going to let this game get away from them tonight. With 15 games to go, there's not much Lou can do but keep running Dempster out there for the save. However, there was a clear message to Dempster tonight that the team comes first. I also liked that he made the first mound visit to Dempster and not Rothschild. For the first time maybe ever, I don't feel like our manager is getting 'out-managed' by a Cox, LaRussa, Leyland, etc.

Another brilliant performance by Dempster. What was the excuse last year cuz he wasnt getting enough work thats why he sucked? And now he is getting lots of work and he still sucks.

Hmmm yay no lead is safe with him on the mound, no team fears him, every team thinks they have a chance when he steps in.

And wow Zambrano....people still want Marquis, Rich Hill over him in an all or nothing game? You would be pretty F'in stupid to not pick Zambrano.

actually he could probably put Howry out there starting tomorrow...

Just saw on my CNN report that the Marlins-Nats game had just under 400 in attendance. Yowwww.

3/44/400?

My stupid rule has always been, try not to use your closer in non-save situtations. Dempster has been particularly awful in those situations. Not saying at all...read that please...that lou made a mistake, but think many of these guys--Demp--don't concentrate the same way. Remember that game at Shea? What does scare me is he is shaking in save situations too lately, but I think he does better in a real save situation? I;d be curious to see the numbers of his both in save and non-save. THe point, of course, is that a pitcher is a pitcher. But, that has often been my theory...tie games? Well, Demp screwed that up...I don't know what to say. IF he can't close, I don't want him as a set up man, do I?

dumpster has sucked in sept, period.

its stinking of rob beck 1998 only dumpster's not mysteriously lost 5+mph on his fastball.

he's his own usual wild self...only now he's more hittable and giving up homers...two things he generally stays away from.

granted, his game is still mostly on the ground, but some of the mistakes that used to turn to Ks or BB's are turning into solid contact his past many outtings since the end of aug/beginning of sept.

Tonight, for the first time all year, I feel like we are in charge of this division.

With 15 games to go -- the same number the Bears have left -- every game is as huge as an NFL game. No more listening to Pat and Ron while sipping lemonade on the porch in the heat of summer; every inning, every at bat, every pitch is huge now.

And two games tomorrow.

Meh, Dempster is fine. Three blown saves in 5 months -- 147 games -- of baseball. More importantly, he is our closer and that's not going to change, so no use spending much time worrying about him IMO.

this is a bit off the wall

but i'm trying to figure out if anyone knows what the signal is that some of the cubs have started doing after they reach base.....kinda like a "cowboy" pistol hands extended up and shaking your wrists......not a great explanation but if you watch a lot i think you know what i mean. jones does it a lot, then ward did it tonight, and there's this pic that makes it seem like it's a bit of a team thing.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

anyone hear about this? anyone even know what i'm talking about? this is the kind of thing that will come have some weird catch phrase that the national media will play up if (when) the cubs make the playoffs.

mark grace relating a story about how a fan threw a crutch at him (in philly, imagine that) between innings in a game where grace had made some key plays/hits.

ha.

evidently bynes was being heckled earlier in the game between innings and someone threw a bag of peanuts at him (not hitting him). he picked the bag up, opened it, ate one, thanked the fans and walked away...fans loved it, cheered.

"Meh, Dempster is fine." He maybe our closer, and it is what it is for the rest of the year...but he is simply not fine.

9 appearances (17% of his season), 8.2IP, 13H, 10ER...getting scored upon in 6 of last 9 games. Those are really, really, bad numbers over a notable period of time. That's not just an off day, that's not just a result of non save situations, it's a problem...likely a problem with no good solution at this point in the season.

OF COURSE there's a solution to the closer problem ... you use someone else to close out games. Is there a risk to that? Of course.

If, as the manager, you decide the risk of the unknown outweighs the present, then you make the change. If not you don't. That's why managers get second-guessed.

Let's just not pretend that Pinella's hands are tied, and he has no options.

"OF COURSE there’s a solution to the closer problem"

Umm, I said no "GOOD" solution, at this point in the season. Didn't say there was "NO" solution at all.

Say what you want about Dempster's #'s, he shouldn't have ever been in there last night. I said it at the time and I haven't changed my mind after sleeping on it.

If Lou can think far enough ahead to getting Ward ready in case Z comes to the plate, he can think far enough ahead to have Wuertz or Howry up if we break it open. There's no reason to put your closer out there in a non-save when you play 4 in the 3 days. The only things you're going to do are A) limit his availability and B) potentially dick his confidence because he's trying to throw strikes and not put guys on with a 4 run lead, Which is what he was doing. He was laying in there and they crushed it.

Then you gotta go out there and pull him for the guy you shoulda put in there in the first place. It's very rare that I'm critical of Lou, but he really screwed that one up last night.

Also, 22 pitches, 16 fastballs for Dempster, VA Phil. I'd say that wasn't so effective.

The problem with Dempster is his ERA always wants to go back to his career average ..an astronomical 4.80

It did it last year (right on the nose) and it's headed there now.

Wes, he didn't really go in there throwing strikes. He fell behind guys, went to 3 balls on Pujols and Edmonds, threw first pitch balls to 4 of 5 guys he faced. I'm not so sure he was hitting his locations. I'm not saying Lou was wise to put the guy in, but how different should his approach be with four run lead, anyhow? Do you avoid throwing strikes and try to put guys on when you only have a one run lead? He just seems ineffective and perhaps not very mentally tough. That said, Marmol is excelling is his role right now, so I wouldn't mess with that and make him the closer.

Hey Az Phil

Just was wondering if you have went by Fitch Park to see our instructional league players? I know games start next week.

Dempster was shut down for a little while at the end of June for some reason or another -I cant remember what the reason was. (Strained oblique or some other non arm issue?)
I seem to recall that was effective for a while after that.
Maybe he is hurt?

How does the D. Ward signing look now. Clutch baby!

Dempster had a strained oblique.

I wouldn't mind seeing Marmol close one of the dh games today if possible.

Not Howry.

"The Reds have just beaten the Brewers, putting the Cubs 1.5 up on Milwaukee"

Woaaahh. Hold on there. That's only 1 game up in the loss column. Fear the loss column! Worship the loss column! Lovingly lick the loss column!!!!

Barking wrists? In this Sun-Times article supposedly Soriano's power outtage in july was related to wrist problems that he didn't tell the trainers about. I wonder if he told Oh-man?

how different should his approach be with four run lead, anyhow? Do you avoid throwing strikes and try to put guys on when you only have a one run lead?

Your objective is to walk no one. Period. I don't necessarily agree with the theory that with a big lead, giving up a solo homer is better than giving up a walk so the next guy can hit a two run donger. But, that's how your taught. That's what your told. Get your ass out and there and don't walk anybody. Make 'em put it in play. Well, Cards sure put it in play last night.

Here's the thing. And you folks might not agree with me, and that's fine. Just personal experience being and being around pitchers. The vast majority are so fragile mentally. They have a glass ego. Guys like Howry are keepers because they don't have that problem. Nothing bothers them. (Note: That's different than having a closer's mentality. We'll save that for another show.) Hope this doesn't offend anybody, but the bad ones kinda respond like Rain Man. Things have to be just right, or they freak out. If they don't get to watch Wapner, shit's hitting the fan. If you bring him in with direct instructions not to walk guys, shit's hitting the fan. Having said that, the closer is the only guy in your bullpen with a defined role. He's used to that role. Sure, Howry's the setup guy, but he'll probably be in there anywhere between the Cubs being up 4 or the Cubs being down 1. Same goes for Marmol.

You'd think that Dempster (and the VAST majority of closers, for that matter) could handle being thrown in a situation that they aren't used to (pitching with an even bigger lead), but a lot of them can't. Last I looked, Dempster's #'s in a save situation are a LOT different than his #'s when he wasn't in a save situation. Those may be a bit different now, but I'm too lazy to look.

Now, it's not that I wouldn't have put him in there for those reasons above. I wouldn't have put him in there because you've got September callups in your pen, you've got a four run lead, and you're playing two the next day. Put anybody else out there. If you still need Dempster, you still need him. But there's no reason that Wuertz or Eyre or Piggy or some combination thereof couldn't have pitched the ninth.

Worrying about the loss column only makes sense if you are behind. The .5 means worse-case, a tie. I feel very good about the Cubs' chances in a one-game playoff...would they even need one if they won the season series anyway?

yes, mike, if you're tied, you have a playoff game, only if the other team wouldn't be the wild card though (see yanks-red sox in 05)

a cubs-brewers playoff game would be at wrigley, which was decided via a coinflip. why at least the site of the game isn't decided by who won the season series i have no idea.

Mike, I was being snarky. I've noticed on certain occasions 'loss-column obsession' (LCO) even when we're in 1st place.

And I didn't know we won the coin flip. Where and when did this happen? Why wasn't that televised?

the coin flips were on Sept 6th

here is a link to what happened.

I agree bringing in Dempster is stupid there. Not only does he suck in non-saves situtions, but with the DH today if you dont use him yesterday you could use in him in both games today if nesscary and the same with Howry cause they have 2 days of rest then. Lou only trusts them and Marmol at this point to get outs now you cant use all 3 in the same game today (well you could in game 2 if game 1 is a laffer) because you have to play the other game short handed in the pen.

oddly enough it seems that they excluded the Braves from these coin flips. They are still 4.5 games out of the wild card and only a game behind the Cubs and Rockies (3.5 GB) in that race. I'd love to see them tie for the wild card just to make them look stupid.

iowaCub, I understand. Sounds like we have the same view on that.

Green Lantern, cubster, thanks for the info on the playoff/coin-toss. Happy to hear we won the toss.

I'm flying out to Chicago and will be at the last home game vs the Pirates. Would be cool if it sets up like the double header I was at in 2003 when they clinched.

For the Cubs to clinch at home next weekend would take a hell of a collapse by the Brewers. I'm all for it, I just doubt it.

Also, 22 pitches, 16 fastballs for Dempster, VA Phil. I’d say that wasn’t so effective.

I counted 15-8, fastballs versus sliders, but sometimes it's hard to tell. They don't always put the mph on the screen, and at the start of the inning Dempster was throwing 88-89 mph fastballs.

I thought last night was a step in the right direction for Dempster. He certainly needs two pitches that are different speeds, and he needs to reclaim his 94-95 mph fastball. I thought he went out there with a 4-run lead and a determination to get his fastball working for him again. I'm all in favor of that. But you can throw one too many of any pitch. He had Edmonds swinging and missing late on a fastball. Now the guy is set up for an offspeed pitch that never came. The 3-2 pitch was a fastball down main street that Dempster took a little off of.

He didn't walk anybody, which he does when he's in slider mode.

With the Cards down by 2, and Molino up, Dempster threw a slider low to Molina, and then another one that Molina hit for a single. So he may have been getting back in slider mode with the game getting close. It's probably true that the hanging sliders don't get hit as far. I don't remember too many home runs being hit in the Dempster meltdowns (except maybe Ethier's).

don’t remember too many home runs being hit in the Dempster meltdowns

Before last night Dempster had only given up 3 home runs all year.

Thanks for the insight, Wes.

Soriano 7
Theriot 6
DLee 3
Ward 9
Jones 8
DeRosa 5
Soto 2
Fontenot 4
Lilly 1

vs.

Miles 4
Taguchi 7
Pujols 3
Ludwick 9
Edmonds 8
Molina 2
Cairo 5
Looper 1
Ryan 6

"We’ll save that for another show.) Hope this doesn’t offend anybody, but the bad ones kinda respond like Rain Man. Things have to be just right, or they freak out."

especially at the lower levels this pops up REALLY noticeably.

you got kids who...well, too many are used to being "the man" at their highschools and a lot that went into college programs at notable schools also had nice highschool careers that let them letter in college on their teams.

you got determined kids who skipped the big programs to go to comm. colleges so they can get drafted in 1-2 years after highschool and "island kids" who have been doing this nearly 1/2 their lives.

success is pre-determined before they get to the professional leagues and some really can't handle no longer being able to just dominate without trying much...people who will never hit a slider with regularity, much less their slider....people who see a curve ball worth a damn maybe one game a month....etc.

"He didn’t walk anybody, which he does when he’s in slider mode."

dude, his problem isnt walking people lately as much as it is his FASTBALL *and* SLIDER is being put into play instead of fooling people. hey, he's not walking people either...that stuff that used to go wild and/or fool people is being sit on and hit.

btw, dumpster's been throwing his fastball...and its been getting hit. time to look for another flaw in his game, dude. the whole "owns on the fastball" "gets owned on the breaking stuff" just isnt working.

dumpster's got a serious problem lately with how hitters are seeing his stuff and how well they're responding that k.hill can't fix.

soto lives...blanco...well, maybe he's getting his tats touched up.

btw...i bet blanco could vastly improve his CS ratio if he got some racing stripes tatoo'd on his arm...he can take kendall with him to get inked.

The cards brocasters suck I have to listen to them also. Wood River Il

game on WGN, fwiw...at least game 1.

dumpster file...

before sept - 1 HR, 6 multi-hit games in 51 games

after sept - 4 HR, 3 multi-hit games in 8 games (4-5 bad games, 3-4 decent games (depending on how you wanna mix it up))

around mid-august dumpster's stuff started to level off and more balls being put into play. moving into sept, not only were more balls being put into play, but they were being put into play more effectively.

no, he's not falling apart out there (well he did last night), but he's not got the same stuff and people are definitely seeing what he's throwing better.

hurt? tipping his stuff? lost a bit of strength to fatigue?

i dunno...wish someone would and i hope its just a fluke, honestly.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter