6/18 Cubs 4, Cardinals 2

Jeff Samardzija had studied film of the Cardinals for days, and couldn’t find any weaknesses, so he focused on what he could do best, and it worked. Samardzija picked up his first win since May 27 as the Cubs beat the Cardinals, 4-2, on Tuesday night to even the series.

“It’s a rivalry game, and with that aside, you have a respect for [the Cardinals] and how they play the game and how they set their lineup up, one through nine,” Samardzija said. “You know you’ve got to come at it. I’m watching film five days before, and trying to find some weaknesses, and you can look as hard as you want and you’re not going to find it. You just know your margin of error against this team is real small and you’ve just got to deal with it.”

Besides having to face the best offense in the NL and the team with the best record in the Majors, he also was up against 10-game winner Adam Wainwright, who entered with a 2.18 ERA. But Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back home runs in the first off the right-hander to back Samardzija.

Samardzija was efficient and effective, giving up seven hits, including a solo home run to Carlos Beltran in the sixth, and striking out six over 8 1/3 innings. He exited after serving up two singles in the ninth. Kevin Gregg took over, and gave up a RBI single to unstoppable Yadier Molina. David Freese then hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who flipped to shortstop Starlin Castro for the force at second. Pinch-runner Shane Robinson, who was on first, slid hard into Castro and well off the bag, and second base umpire Fieldin Culbreth called interference on the play. The game was over.

“[Robinson] wasn’t even close to the base and he had his cleats up,” Castro said. “I understand that you can try to break up the double play in that kind of situation but not like that. … I couldn’t throw the ball because he tried to kill me.”

Samardzija kept the Cubs infielders busy. There was only one flyout in the game, and that was when Matt Carpenter ended the eighth with a fly ball to right fielder Nate Schierholtz. The Cubs right-hander credited a tweak in his mechanics, which helped his fastball be more effective.

“I really wanted to kick this June bugaboo,” he said. “I’ve been working real hard and I just like where I’m at right now.”

In his career, he’s 2-8 with a 7.14 ERA in June, which includes an 0-4 record and 10.41 ERA in five starts last year in the month.

“The movement he had on his ball tonight and keeping hitters off balance and still throwing 96, 97 [mph] in the ninth inning, that’s huge, especially with how hot it is,” Sweeney said. “He kept the ball down and had his sinker going. Whenever you keep the ball down, that’s a plus for the defense.”

No Rizzo? No problem. The Cubs’ lineup was without Anthony Rizzo, who was given his first game off this season. Sveum didn’t say how long the first baseman would sit, just that he needed a “breather” after batting .157 this month. Rizzo is 3-for-6 against Jake Westbrook, who starts Wednesday.

– Carrie Muskat

23 Comments

Great Game <3 :)

Yes Isabel and another great defensive performance by our GOLD GLOVE second baseman Barney who’s steady and dependable defense can be counted on EVERY DAY helping the team in a way that matters…strong defense up the middle!!

YES! Barney is was doing great :)

soriano with a RBI double…… sounds like production to me……. where was the scrub Barney for his meaningless production??? O wait he didn’t have any……..

Hurrah for Soriano!!! Otherwise known as the “Blind Squirrel” He found his nut last night with that awesome rbi double. Still being outperformed by Sweeney who should be the regular leftfielder. Know if only Sveum would find his nuts and treat Soriano as he is treating Rizzo and Castro…reach deep Sveum, keep looking for them!!

ya he’s found 30 nuts (rbis) to only post the 2nd highest BA on the team…… that qualifies for consideration… i don’t know if you have ever heard of or can comprehend what a small sample size means but as of right now thats what sweeney is ….

I have a great idea! With the trade deadline coming up why don’t we trade Petrey for a kinder, nicer blogger? Don’t know who would want him or what we could get for him but it would be worth the try. Any thoughts on this transaction?

Any thoughts??? ANY THOUGHTS??? HA!!! FUNNY! Too obscene to put in writing…only HWSRN can do that…kind of sad, poor thing can’t seem to understand what production is kind of like Soriano not understanding what the strike zone is. GOOD STUFF WHITE. HAVING FUN NOW KID!!! THANKS!!

I don’t know what production is??? You can’t even subtract or write a post without bashing someone in the organization… you act like we should be winning the division with this shithole of a team

I would love to be traded away from this ignorance…. i will even waive my no trade clause

I don’t understand why, if you hate it so much you’re still commenting to joey and them about how they don’t know anything about the Cubs or baseball. Is there someone making you stay and support this team because I believe their are 49 other states and the have teams. Either Triple A or the MLB. Sorry to tell you petrey but I don’t think we are telling you to come back and comment some ignorant stuff. Last time I checked we are Cubs fans here. And if you want to say, “you act like we should be winning the division with this shithole of a team” then that’s not a fan. I’m sorry but that isn’t one. We are suppose to be supporting them not telling them they suck. And even if they might be playing bad, at least we can look for something positive.

Isabel, you are a ray of light. I have said before you should WRITE. You are special kid!!!

Thank you Joey. :)

how is bashing players by other people than me looking for something positive?

Pet, seeking attention through negative behavior qualifies for an illness. Why don’t you leave the rest of us in our Cubs hole and go pick on someone your size. The smurfs don’t have anyone against them at the moment. Joey, Isabel, White, Mama, and many more would like you to go away mad; because in more than one way you are.

Am surprised no one has commented on the way last night`s game ended. Was highly unusual. I give that umpire much credit. You rarely see an umpire assume a double play, and that is what happened in that instance. The runner going toward Castro traveled out of the baseline in order to disrupt the ss`s throw, and the umpire aggressively ruled double play. I`ve never seen that in all my years observing baseball games. Any thoughts?

I have never seen anything like that either jhosk but did read that the Cardinal’s manager agreed with the call. Looking at the replay it was pretty clear that the runner was aiming for Castro and not the base.

Yeah that’s what I was telling my dad the same thing. And I was also looking at the replay. (:

First thing I said out loud was “That’s interference!” Good job by ump, we’ll take them anyway we can right guys?

Yeah he was like a foot off the base line! That was crazy! Then the great play by Valbuena when he almost missed the ball but then barehanded it! Wow, amazing. And then to still be able to get to his feet and throw the ball across the field!? Great play!

With all due respect, I do not think you all are addressing my main point. The umpire at second base called out the runner at second due to interference, but the unusual thing he didwas call the batter who hit the ball out also, despite fact that Castro did not throw the ball to first; Yhe umpire assumed the double play. We have been told for decades that umpires cannot assume a double play. But that`s exactly what Culbreth did last night, and it was a bold decision and one long overdue. I commend the umpire.

I really didn’t think it was more than interference. I did not think the runner was trying to hurt Castro at all. It was a bad attempt at breaking up the double play and fortunately he got nailed by an astute official. Payback Is not in order, not like head hunting while in the batter’s box. “He tried to kill me” is a little too much, but it is Castro talking….

Do our players have any padded vests for tonight’s game? Just kidding BUT I sure would watch out for more of same. Molina is not on my nice guy list in this series. Took Wood down hard the other night and took Barney down hard twice last night. But he did get hit by a pitch after that. Coincidence? Perhaps not

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