Whew. The Cubs took a huge lead, blew a huge lead, but then took the game back for good late. Screw you, Cardinals.
Ryan Dempster was cruising until he ran into some trouble in the sixth, when the Cards loaded the bases (and a Yadier Molina double would have unloaded them if not for a great relay throw by Starlin Castro to nail David Freese at the plate). But a healthy chunk of damage was done, and he’d given up four before the frame was over – as many earned runs as he’d given up all season before tonight.
The Cubs easily could have blown a prime chance to score late when Dale Sveum made what may have been one of the worst managerial calls I’ve ever seen.
The game is tied in the 8th, and the Cubs are in business, with men on first and second, and nobody out. Better still, Starlin Castro is up with Bryan LaHair behind him. And Castro … sacrifice bunts into a double play. I mean … what? WHAT?
The decision to have Castro bunt in that situation is beyond defensible. Even if he succeeds, the Cubs have men at second and third with one out, and the Cards would just walk LaHair intentionally. It was a criminally stupid decision, and I’ll expect Sveum to have a hell of a good explanation or to fall on his sword.
Or, we won’t hear much about it, because Soriano bailed Sveum out thereafter with a two-out, run-scoring single, and the Cubs won the game.
Bryan LaHair had another huge night, which easily could have been a 4 for 4 night if the Cardinals’ scorekeeper wasn’t a pud.