6/19 Cardinals 4, Cubs 1

Yadier Molina guessed right. He belted a tie-breaking two-run home run in the sixth to lift the Cardinals and Jake Westbrook to a 4-1 victory over the Cubs. Edwin Jackson took the loss, ending a brief two-game win streak. The right-hander, who appeared in 13 games (12 starts) for the Cardinals in 2011, gave up six hits over 5 1/3 innings.

“It was a good outing against the best hitting team in the league — he did a good job,” Dale Sveum said of Jackson. “We scored one earned run on two hits. Jackson was going to have to basically pitch a shutout [to beat Westbrook].”

And it was one pitch, a two-seam fastball, that cost Jackson the game.

“I felt like it wasn’t a super bad outing tonight,” Jackson said. “I thought it was a pretty good pitch but either he was looking for it or he guessed right. It was right in his zone. I threw my pitch with conviction, the pitch I wanted to throw. Sometimes that happens.”

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Allen Craig’s RBI single. The Cubs answered in the second. Anthony Rizzo singled with one out in the second, and was then safe on an error by Matt Carpenter, who threw a potential double play ball by Ryan Sweeney into shallow left. Welington Castillo walked to load the bases, and Rizzo scored on Darwin Barney’s sacrifice fly to center. John Jay fired a strike to Molina, but Rizzo was able to dance around the catcher, who muffed the throw, and was safe.

St. Louis had a runner at first with one out in the sixth when Molina connected on his fifth home run, launching a 1-2 fastball into the left field bleachers. Jackson then plunked Jay with a pitch, and was pulled. Carlos Villanueva entered and gave up back to back singles, including a RBI single to Pete Kozma. Before the game, Sveum said the Cardinals catcher may be MVP of the league.

“Right now, we’re hoping he hits the ball at somebody — he’s that locked in,” Sveum said of Molina.

Westbrook combined with two other pitchers on a two-hitter. Besides Rizzo’s single in the first, Luis Valbuena singled to open the third but was caught stealing.

On the plus side, Jackson had his third straight solid outing.

“Earlier, I felt I was kind of mechanical, kind of too much in a bubble, and I had to go back to having fun,” Jackson said. “We know it’s a job but at the end of the day, it’s a game, and we have to go out there and have fun doing so.”

The right-hander was 1-8 before these last three starts. Was he thinking too much?

“Just kind of over-analyzing everything,” he said. “I won’t say I was trying to be too perfect, but it was just too robotic. You have to sometimes allow yourself to do what your body does and allow your athleticism to take over. We’re going to make mistakes, we’re human. Some balls come back over the plate, some times they won’t.”

— Carrie Muskat


Not to be critical, but is it? The Cubs can’t win a ball game now days. How can you get 25 guys to go out and enjoy the game baseball when they lose constantly. That is the question. Losing puts a negative demeanor in their way of thinking. The Cubs have the talent no doubt about it. Theo needs to get this team turned around quick. Firing the Coaching Staff is not it nor is it the answer. The Cubs shouldn’t be 16 games back in the division this early in the season. What a hole to dig out of. It is true that a team needs Veterans to help bring the young players along. But when is the chemistry going to start to come together. It is time to consder cutting lose players that are always on the DL and get those who are capable of making a difference and that can contribute toward the goal of a World Series Title. Please consider this suggestion. A DIE HARD CUBS FAN.

the cubs do NOT have the talent to compete in this division…. seriously not even CLOSE!!!!!!

Marc, Glad to hear that you are a DIE HARD CUBS FAN! I also love the Cubs. I agree that it is hard to keep team morale high when they have lost so many games. I do believe that we have alot of talented players and that we should have a lot more wins under our belt. IF Sveum had not continually put Marmol in as our closer we would likely have at least 9 more games in our win column. That is huge! I also question why all the bats have gone dead. Batting coach? Coincidence? Let’s hope things will improve from this day forward. Confidence can bring success faster than any negative thinking.

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