Cheap Seats

Game 18: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

The Cardinals owned the Cubs all night Monday and lost. On Tuesday they trailed the whole game before taking the lead in the eighth... And then they blew the lead in the ninth and lost it in extra innings.

So at least there was some variety, right?

The Wee Bears scored in the bottom of the 10th when, with two on and two outs, Fernando Salas got a ground ball to second base and Tyler Greene couldn't handle it to allow the winning run to score in a 3-2 contest.

Of course it wasn't all Greene's fault. The runner should have even been there because Yadier Molina threw him out trying to steal. But the second base umpire called him safe.

It's sad that the bullpen and defense couldn't hold on because it looked like things were finally starting to turn around for a couple of struggling redbirds.

Matt Holliday, who is showing signs of life after a lengthy dry spell, hit a Carlos Marmol pitch into the left centerfield bleachers in their eighth to give the Cardinals the lead for the first time.

Adam Wainwright, who has struggled to regain his effectiveness since returning from Tommy John surgery, pitched six strong innings with only one run allowed on six hits and a walk. And that score shouldn't have counted. In the first inning, David DeJesus was on third with one out when Starlin Castro hit a fly ball to right. DeJesus was beaten to the plate by the throw from Carlos Beltran -- not to mention the fact that he never touched the plate as he tried, in vain, to avoid Yadier Molina's tag. But the plate umpire called him safe all the same.

In the fourth inning, Brian LaHair grounded a single past Rafael Furcal and Alfonso Soriano doubled to give the Wee Bears runners at second and third with no outs. But Wainwright flashed his old form when he struck out Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney before intentionally walking Gio soto and popping up pitcher Jeff Samardija to prevent further damage.

Marc Rzepczynski pitched a quiet eighth for the Cardinals. But he was unable to hold the fort in the ninth when he allowed a leadoff homer to LaHair to tie the game.

The Cardinals had a chance to pad their lead in the top of the ninth when they loaded the bases. But Skip Schumaker lined out to short with two outs to end the threat.

While Wainwright was long gone by the time the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run, he managed to shave more than two points off his ERA with his performance, lowering it to 7.32 for the season. The Redbirds hitters have not yet scored a run this season when Wainwright has been on the hill.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's eighth inning home run.

Lowlight: The poor defense and poorer officiating that created the difference in the game.