It was the bottom of the first inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals found themselves scrambling to catch up to the Cubs six-run lead. Starting pitcher, Michael Wacha was smacked down by the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday at Busch Stadium, exploiting recent pitching problems the Cardinals are experiencing.
Jason Hammel pitched 7 1/3 stingy innings and had a two-run double in the Chicago’s six-run first as the Cubs went on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 12-3 on Tuesday night.
A compelling, last-at-bat victory Monday that the Cardinals hoped would catalyze the desired blitz of wins was quickly shut down Tuesday night, tripped up by a trend too familiar, too alarming to ignore.
Michael Wacha’s grope for the command that made him so formidable so early in his career continued as the Chicago Cubs exploited his uncertainty for six runs in the first inning, and then coasted for a 12-3 victory at Busch Stadium.
Manager Mike Matheny insisted that he saw enough in the waning innings of Wacha’s appearance to keep the rotation turning as scripted, and Wacha insisted health has not been a reason behind his prolonged malaise.
A leading reason the Cardinals have failed to generate a winning streak longer than two games at home is the erratic performance from the starters. Wacha’s start Tuesday was the fifth on this home stand that failed to provide an out in the sixth inning.
Subtract two scoreless outings from Mike Leake and Adam Wainwright and a quality start from Wainwright, and the other three starters have an 11.51 ERA in 20 1/3 innings over five games on this home stand.
Regardless of the hiccups and challenges we have face this early in the season, you can consistently count on the die-hard fans that line up to fill the stands and support their home team, rain or shine. Let’s go Cardinals!