Walton's Game Observations – Sunday – Cubs 7-4

The Cardinals fell to the Chicago Cubs by a 7-4 mark Sunday afternoon as Chris Carpenter did not win his 22nd game again.

The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Chicago Cubs by a 7-4 score at Wrigley Field Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals' best record in baseball is now 95-56 as they split the four-game weekend series.

Chris Carpenter failed in his second chance to win his 22nd game of the season, allowing four runs in four innings. He faced Carlos Zambrano, who pitched a ten-hit complete game to take the victory. Anthony Reyes took his first major league loss in relief. Cal Eldred also struggled.

Albert Pujols was the only Cards hitter with more than one safety. His two singles were harmless. So Taguchi had a double and an RBI. John Rodriguez had a solo homer.

Walker, Texas Ranger?
Or am I right in thinking that Cubs second baseman Todd Walker bears a resemblance to Chuck Norris?

Sunday's lineup
Eckstein, Taguchi (cf), Pujols, Mabry (rf), Rodriguez (lf), Nunez (3b), Molina, Luna (2b) and Carpenter. Jim Edmonds was a late scratch, replaced by So Taguchi as was John Mabry for Larry Walker.

On to the game…

Cards first – Leadoff man wasted
Eckstein was nicked by an up-and-in pitch leading off. Albert lined to Todd Walker. Mabry also stung the ball, but it was right to Derrek Lee.

Cards second – Lead taken
John Rodriguez led off with an opposite field homer to left. Cards 1-0.

Cubs second – Bottom of the order hurts Carp
Nomar singled and moved up when Burnitz was hit in the leg by on an 0-2 pitch. With one out, struggling Corey Patterson doubled into the right field corner, scoring one. Carpenter walked over to Dusty Baker in the Cubs dugout, likely arguing about Burnitz getting hit. Molina and Eckstein got Carp out of there, as La Russa came out to discuss it with the umpires. Catcher Henry Blanco's single to right center was a killer, scoring two more. Then Zambrano singled past first on a hit-and-run, putting runners on the corners. It looks like Baker was getting to Carpenter. Perez' sac fly brought the fourth run home. Cubs 4-1.

Cards third – Doubled up
Eckstein singled with one out, beating out a single to deep second, but was erased in a double play off the bat of So.

Cubs third – Three up and three down unconventionally
Lee walked leading off. Nomar took his place on a fielders' choice and was erased in an inning-ending double play off Burnitz' bat.

Cards fourth – Ended quickly
Pujols singled to start the inning, a liner off Nomar at third, but Mabry ground into a double play. That is three in four innings so far.

Cubs fourth – Nada
Carp retired the Cubs in order for the second consecutive inning.

Cards fifth – Tied
Nunez led off with a double into the ivy in left center. He scored on a single by Molina. The battery changed as Mahoney pinch-ran for Molina and Skip Schumaker surprisingly pinch hit for Carpenter, who departed after four innings and 60 pitches. Schu doubled. Mahoney scored on a ground out by Eckstein. So doubled to right, tying the game. Tie 4-4.

Cubs fifth – Rookie has wild ride
Anthony Reyes took over. Zambrano doubled off the ivy in left center and took third when Mabry was given an error on a hard-hit ball by Perez. Lee was walked intentionally to load the bases. Reyes stepped up and fanned both Nomar and Burnitz.

Cards sixth – RISP not collected
Lee made a nice catch and throw play to nab Mabry. J-Rod walked and moved up on a ground out, but did not advance further.

Cubs sixth – Reyes has another busy inning
Matt Murton led off with a home run to deep left center to break the deadlock. Patterson walked and took second on a stolen base. Reyes fanned two more before getting the final out on a fly ball. Cubs 5-4.

Cards seventh – Not another!
Schumaker singled with one out, but Chris Duncan, hitting for Reyes, ground into a double play.

Cubs seventh – Slipping away
Cal Eldred allowed a leadoff homer to Todd Walker that just cleared the wall in right. Lee doubled and took third on an out. Ray King took over and allowed a sac fly by Burnitz to score the run. Cubs 7-4.

Cards eighth – Albert hits again
Albert singled with one out but left for a pinch runner, Scott Seabol. Two fly balls later, the inning was over.

Cubs eighth – RISP, but no run
Leading off against Randy Flores, Patterson doubled. He was sacrificed to third, but neither Zambrano nor Perez could get him home.

Cards ninth – Complete game for Zambrano
John Gall led off with a pinch single. Luna singled, too, but that was all.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Monday: Open day
Tuesday @ Reds: Jeff Suppan vs. Randy Keisler 6:10pm FSNM
Wednesday @ Reds: Jason Marquis vs. Ramon Ortiz 6:10pm FSNM
Thursday @ Reds: Matt Morris vs. Brandon Claussen 6:10pm FSNM
Friday @ Brewers: Chris Carpenter vs. Wes Obermueller 7:05pm FSNM
Saturday @ Brewers: Mark Mulder vs. Chris Capuano 6:05pm WB11
Sunday @ Brewers: Jeff Suppan vs. Doug Davis 1:05pm WB11

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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