Cubs Early Deficit Proves Too Much; Lose Badly To Cardinals 7-1

Friday afternoon's tilt is the first rivalry game of the 2010 season with the Cubs hosting the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

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Cubs Almost Tie Unusual Major League Record

Here’s something else remarkable about today’s game: since 1952 — the length of time that baseball-reference.com has play-by-play data — there have been 159 games in which a starting pitcher left after recording zero outs and giving up at least five runs. Only four of those games resulted in that team’s bullpen throwing nine scoreless innings and in only one of them — this White Sox 6-5 win over the Athletics on September 27, 1981 — did that team come back to win.

The Cubs fell two outs short of tying this mark when John Grabow gave up a meaningless HR to Ryan Ludwick with one out in the ninth.

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John Grabow Makes It Worse, Cubs Fail To Mount Comeback

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer and scored twice, while Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina knocked in two runs each as St. Louis downed Chicago, 7-1, in the opener of a three-game weekend set between these perennial rivals at Wrigley Field.

Colby Rasmus went 2-for-4 with a double and run batted in for the Cardinals, who have won two in a row.

Chris Carpenter (6-1) worked 6 2/3 innings for the win, scattering seven hits and one run with five strikeouts.

Tyler Colvin’s homer was the lone offense for the Cubs, who had won four of five.

Randy Wells (3-3) left the game without retiring a batter, charged in the loss with five runs and six hits.

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Tyler Colvin The Only Cubs Offense With Pinch Hit Solo Home Run

The Cubs bullpen has held the Cardinals scoreless after Randy Wells’ disastrous first inning. The trio of James Russell, Bob Howry, and Jeff Stevens have pitched 6 2/3 innings in relief of Wells, giving up just three hits to the Cards while walking one and striking out three.

Unfortunately the Cubs offense has failed to make use of the good performance by the pen, going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving five men on base through the last six innings. Tyler Colvin has provided the only offense as he hit a pinch hit solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Cubs have three innings to mount a comeback, as their lack of clutch hitting still has them down by four.

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Carrie Muskat On Wells' Early Troubles

On her official blog, Muskat Ramblings, Carrie Muskat discussed Randy Wells’ rough start this afternoon,

It’s his shortest start ever. Wells had trouble from the beginning, giving up a single to Felipe Lopez, a double to Ryan Ludwick, a two-run single to Pujols, a single to Matt Holliday, a RBI single to Colby Rasmus, and a two-run double to Yadier Molina. James Russell came in and retired the next three. Wells threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes.

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In Progress: Cubs Down Early To Cardinals As Wells Gives Up Five Without Recording An Out

For more on this game, please visit Bleed Cubbie Blue.

Randy Wells picked a bad day to bring absolutely nothing with him to the mound. In the first Cubs / Cardinals game of the 2010 season, Wells gave up five runs without recording an out. The second year starter was removed from the game and replaced by James Russell who managed to complete the inning and strand a Cardinals runner.

The game is heading into the bottom of the first inning with Chris Carpenter taking the mound for the Cardinals. Kosuke Fukudome and Ryan Theriot have led off with back to back singles as the top of the Cubs lineup attempts to dig the team out of the early five run hole they find themselves in.

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