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Adam Wainwright dominated the Cubs after the first inning, but A-HA, the first inning counts, too, Adam! That inning featured back-to-back homers from Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom – both in-season pick-ups – and that was enough for the Cubs.

Jeff Samardzija was great tonight all the way into the 9th inning. Dale Sveum gave Samardzija a chance to finish it, but he couldn’t quite get it done in the 9th. Thankfully, Kevin Gregg was once again available, and he locked things down after allowing a single to Yadier Molina, courtesy of a rarely-called out-of-the-base-paths double play (the pinch runner for Molina slid about 15 feet wide of the bag to take out Starlin Castro on the turn).

One Cardinals was save a little ignominy by that interference call, but we’ll make sure he knows.

june 18 box

Full box.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    At least the wide slide was called this time.

    • Internet Random

      At long last.

  • Jon

    What’s with Dusty Svuem letting Shark go over 115 pitches ?

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      If Shark is looking good, and feeling good I have no problem with it. There is nothing magic about the number 115 that makes a persons arm fall off.

      • Matt D

        agreed, i mean seriously. how many times have people on here gone to town on sveum for taking out the starter and not letting them go one more and the bullpen imploding? shark is a work horse. he didnt have many high stress innings. no problem giving him that opportunity.

        • cub2014

          not to nit pick svuem but 4-1 lead in 9th
          take Soriano out for defense please!
          shark prob gets complete game with anyone
          else in left field in the 9th

          • Jay

            I for one have ragged on Dale alot for being a robot of a manager and a slave to pitch counts. Babying rookies is one thing…..a 28 year old horse like Smardj should be pitching as long as he’s still getting outs, particularly given our bullpen.

    • King Jeff

      Damned if he does, damned if he don’t.

      • Internet Random

        WhyTF didn’t he put in Marmol?

        • hansman1982

          GFY

          • DarthHater

            Please, let’s not institutionalize that. :-P

    • Deacon

      Shark is always able to tell Sveum when he’s ready to come out of the game and not vice versa. Remember Sveum`s comment earlier in the year that the game belongs to the pitcher? Dusty Baker says hello.

  • curt

    can’t believe tht slide was called in st.louis. Good win though.

    • pete

      In a crowded bar 2 blocks from Busch when the slide was called. It just does not get any better.

      • DarthHater

        Be careful not to celebrate too much. You might enrage the mulleted multitude.

      • Cubbie Blues

        You have to go that far to find bush?

  • Hansman1982

    Most satisfying win in my lifetime

    • Cubbie Blues

      Hyperbole at its finest.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        Worst. Hyperbole. Ever.

  • Matt D

    who woulda thought Sweeney and Ransom? these are guys i hope stick around, strictly as bench players next year. though, ransom is getting kinda old i believe. but a good win!

  • corey costello

    You know, I don’t get this freeze obsession. He got hot at the right time, yes, in the World Series, but there’s nothing amazing about him in my opinion.

    • baldtaxguy

      Well, the term “amazing” gets used so much that a simple commute into work can be “amazing.” So who the hell knows what is amazing anymore. (btw my commute this morning involved an on-time train – so it was in a word, “amazing.”)

      He is a consistent, decent option at 3B. Strikes out a bit, but 20 hrs and 80 rbi a season is just as good as an on-time train to me.

  • Tim

    Kevin LIGHTS OUT Gregg!

  • J Wilson

    Look at the numbers. Look at the player. Trade Castro. ‘Nuff Said.

    • cubbie blue thru n thru

      Most kids his age haven’t sniffed major league success let alone amass over 500 hits

      • hansman1982

        you forgot to say ‘Nuff Said.

      • Rcleven

        “Most kids his age haven’t sniffed major league success let alone amass over 500 hits”
        Argument is getting old.
        It is not a decision to jump at. This is a time in his career that he should be getting better and not regressing. Questions have to be ask why has he regressed/will he get better, is there another option, what is he worth.
        No player on this current team should be concidered untouchable. Castro, Rizzo, Wood or whoever.

        • preacherman86

          Have you ever been privvy to witness the concept in action of getting worse to get better? As he works on his batting eye and tries to focus on getting pitches to drive, he is gonna have a learning curve. On a positive note, I think that learning curves peak is behind him. The last 3-5 games, last night included, I saw him swinging at the pitch he wanted. That doesn’t always result in hits, but opposed to taking the first two pitches and then battling as his method of a patient approach it is obvious he has learned something. I saw him in at least two at bats lay off close first pitches because they weren’t his pitch. On another at bat I saw him swing first pitch at a belt high fastball and then take the next pitch close but outside. That is stuff he never did before. He used to come up guns blazing and only take a real bad pitch. Is it perfect? No, not yet. Are the signs of improvement starting to show up, yeh!! Results will start coming soon IMO. And I wasn’t sure of that a week or two ago, but there is definite progress in pitch selection!! And swinging at his pitch early, and not the pitchers pitch. Next fix, pitch recognition, he still fights that pretty glaringly at times.

          • Jp3

            I was actually being facetious, he’s been actually very good as of late. it’s only one game and like I said he took a walk.

            • Jay

              Only an organization like the Cubs would look at a 20-year old kid who hits .300 and gets 200 hits in a season and tell him his approach is wrong and he needs to “see more pitches”. Dumbfucks.

    • Cyranojoe

      Oh heck yeah, let’s trade him just as his value’s dropping. You’re great at the stock market, too, I bet.

      • Cubbie Blues

        LArF

  • cub2014

    Castro is in a month long slump. Career .290 hitter
    show me your replacement for him “nuff said”

    • J Wilson

      A month-long slump won’t have you batting .238/.277. That’s a season long slump, in fact it’s more than that. Look at his OPS+, look at all his numbers. The guy has 3 HRs and 11BB. All the numbers are trending down and have been for quite some time. How can you say “month-long slump”? That is ludicrous.

      • cub2014

        actually Castro was hitting .290 before the
        last 30 days where he has hit only .180 so out
        of 21/2 years you want to get rid of him for
        30 days of poor performance?

        • J Wilson

          I wish Castro was improving, I wish he looked good in the box, I wish he made his way to 1st base once in a while. I wish he would stop guessing. Yes, I do know baseball-reference.com and yes, I do look at more numbers than the BA you recite (forgot about all the other stats that reflect a decrease in offensive value–OBP, OPS, OPS+, oWAR, WAA, etc). I understand the Castro love, but if you take a step back and look at his performance…just look at his ABs from 2010 and 2011, then look at his ABs now. 2 different players. It’s not that I WANT to get rid of Castro, it’s just that I think he should be traded if top prospects are on the table.

          • King Jeff

            So you’re suggestion is to trade him when his value is at the lowest it’s been in years?

            • Rcleven

              That’s not fair assessment of what he just said. He just stated a regression over time.
              ” It’s not that I WANT to get rid of Castro, it’s just that I think he should be traded if top prospects are on the table.”
              Trade him tomorrow? No.
              This team sucks so bad that no one should be considered untouchable.

              • J Wilson

                Fair assessments of opinions are aberrations on the Internet, unfortunately. Generally speaking, everyone assumes they’re the only smart guy in the ‘room.’ And when someone takes another viewpoint, like the NRA rocks (true statement haha), then Castro lovers come out in droves and virtually attack, and that’s okay I guess. It’s only the internet. Glad to see some people interpret what I’m saying correctly. Hopefully the Cubs win today and Castro goes 4-4.

                • Rcleven

                  Jk is a valued contributor. I respect what what he has to say on this board.
                  People fall in love with their favorite players. Nobody wants their favorite player traded.
                  I am in the camp of no one should be untouchable.
                  We just disagree.

                  • Jay

                    Agree with the “no one is untouchable” part. Trading him now is ridiculous though, as has been pointed out his trade value now is as low as it’s ever been. The season is a lost cause and was on opening day. Cubs would do well to get out of his head and let him get back to his instinctual natural ability.

      • hansman1982

        Do you know how to operate baseball-reference.com’s game logs? If so, do it. If not, learn how.

        Jesus, the information is there and EASILY accessible.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I prefer FanGraphs

          • hansman1982

            I like the sum abilities BR has.

  • Bsteady

    alcantara…but this could be his “sophomore slump” if u will

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

    After the slide high with spikes up at the cub pitcher (wood), today a wide slide at Castro. How about sending a message pitch at the Cardinal Catcher’s chest. Hit him with a hard fastball please! Just because the Cubs suck does not mean they should lay down to these other more talented teams.

    • Cubbie Blues

      He’s used to prison rules. Just look at his neck tatoos.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I also didn’t appreciate the head pat on Castillo after getting nailed with a foul ball. Or, I just really dislike him.

    • Cardfan

      Relax Francis. Molina slid straight into the tag almost standing up. He should have been down to have a chance of being safe and should have been called out. Spikes up usually require the spikes to be at least as high as your shoulders (hence the word “up”) – good grief. As for the intimidating presence that is Shane Robinson, I can understand why you would want revenge. Dude is the size of a pre-pubescent junior high student. He looked like a Gumby doll in a Cardinal uniform heading towards Castro. Damn intimidating stuff. Ump made the right call. Enjoy a cocktail and the win. There are ass-kickings ahead, so at least enjoy what you have now.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I actually don’t remember ever seeing anyone here called Francis.

      • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

        Why are you on a Cub blog Cardfan?

        • willis

          Because he’s a dumb dick?

          My only regret about tonight is that the 83 mph that hit Molina, wasn’t 95 a little higher. Maybe tomorrow.

      • Jp3

        I’ll take this one, because there aren’t any good Cards blog forums?😝👎

  • cubfanincardinalland

    That’s the actual cardinal way. Dirty play and cheap shots. And they will whine nonstop when teams come back at them. This is a vastly overrated team, I am going to enjoy their swoon this summer.

  • cubmig

    Had to leave before the game ended today……I’m sure too everything’s been said that needs to be said, but I’ll add my 2 cents anyway. It’s this: when the deadbirds can’t win in a regular way, they resort to “dirty pool” ways. But…..they got caught and got bit in the ass because of it. Oh Happy Day…….

    • baldtaxguy

      I think most teams give that slide into Castro a go to avoid the last out. Odds are better that it does not get called, especially at home. Not sure I would consider Cards resorting to “dirty pool” – good teams make good plays and they gamble and lose just like bad teams do (e.g. Marmol in the 9th with 2 on against a .175 hitter).

      I hate the Cards but I liked the play.

      • jt

        Me thinks Molina “lined up” Barney in the first DP he was involved in. There were stutter steps and no hope of breaking up the play.
        Shark later had a “slipped” fork ball bounce off the Cards’ catcher’s shoulder. Meh, perhaps a reminder that Barney is the teammate of the former football player? Maybe the umps saw it that way also and decided to remind everyone who was in charge by calling the out of the baseline thing.
        … maybe not… but maybe.

      • cubmig

        Sliding to break up a play is secondary to sliding within reach of the base. Go off sliding in any direction you want to break up a DP and there may as well be no rule at all to protect a player in those situations. Hell, if targeting the DP defense was o.k.— one might even believe scratching-up a little dirt by a runner on first, to throw in the direction of the pivot man’s eyes is a “gamble” worth taking. Same difference; break up the DP in any way that gets the job done.

        Hmmm…..??……..yeah…… I think “dirty pool” is the right descriptor.

  • mudge

    Ryan Sweeney.

  • mick6x

    Did castro actually touch the bag for the final…errrr…. 2nd to final out??? I’m just curious if I’m the only one that saw it.

  • arta

    if you’re close to the bag with ball and the runner coming with a slide, they normally give you that call..

  • The Dude

    “back-to-back homers from Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom – both in-season pick-ups –”

    Love that quote because it’s both a dig on the Cardinals and a reminder that this FO continues to make plenty of nice little roster moves. Sure, some of the gambles like Vizcaino are proving to be quite risky but when Jed and Theo took over, Sean Marshall and Matt Garza were the only trade-able players. Now, once again, they have a few more lotto tickets to play this year.

    Not sure if it’s only because we beat the Cardinals, in such great fashion, in St. Louis, or the way you exposed every enjoyable nuance of the game, but that was the best EBS of the season, Brett. Great writing.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Dude.

    • bryan

      I agree dude the bigger picture is getting clear. A practically new team, a new GM, a new stadium, new facilities, new farm system….and all are or about to be much much improved, I bought into the complete rebuild and cant wait till im in the new Wrigley watching Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch of the World Series.

      Ahhh… *daydreams*

      For real though I think the cubs and even the fans owe it to bartman to have . I feel so bad for the dude, I just hope he is still a cub fan. Imagine the ovation he will get if he ever decides to come back to throw out a pitch or sing the 7th inning stretch or whatever.

      • Jay

        There were half a dozen other people besides Bartman all reaching for the ball. You can bet they wake up every day and praise Allah that they weren’t the ones that touched the ball.

      • King Jeff

        I don’t blame Bartman, and I’m not really angry. But I’d wait until opening day of the next season to let him throw a first pitch. Mostly for sanity and safety’s sake.

        • bryan

          you think he would get a negative reaction? Because I really really really don’t think that people are still caught up on him. But I wish the cubs would reach out to him in some way. and I agree jay those people are so lucky

          • Cubbie Blues

            I have heard that he won’t do it unless there is a charity involved.

  • Jp3

    Dang it Baez. Back to your old tricks1-5 with 2 Ks and grand slam. He did also have a walk though so I guess there’s that…

  • Ed Wiese

    The only thing that would have made that play even better was if it had clinched the NLCS!

  • Kyle

    Maybe the real Starlin Castro is in jail or something, and this is a double to keep anyone from knowing until he gets out?

    • cas-castro

      Meet starlin’s twin: Jose Castro.

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