Redbirds zero in on Cubs

Monday, May 3, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- After Matt Morris and Carlos Zambrano matched zeros, the St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of the Chicago Cubs' bullpen again.

Scott Rolen capped a three-hit game by lining a bases-loaded single off Kyle Farnsworth to the warning track in the 10th inning, giving St. Louis a 1-0 victory Sunday.

The Cardinals have won two of three in the four-game series, both in their final at-bat and both times thanks to wild Cubs pitching. Mike Matheny drew a bases-loaded walk from LaTroy Hawkins in the ninth inning of a 4-3 victory Friday, one of four walks in that inning, and Farnsworth walked three in the 10th on Sunday.

"I'll take that every time, to pitch like that, keep your team in the game and for us to pull it out at the end," Morris said. "It's a little more demoralizing to the opponent to win a close ballgame like that."

Farnsworth also took the loss Friday, when he walked Albert Pujols to start the ninth.

"I guess he's on one of those streaks where the plate looks like it's moving," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "There were some near strikes but maybe he's trying to be too fine, that's all."

Pujols was ejected during the rally after twice confronting plate umpire Angel Hernandez during his walk in the 10th. Pujols tossed his bat and headed to first before Farnsworth's curveball was called a strike, then turned and said something to Hernandez on his way to first after taking a high pitch for ball four.

"I don't think he even heard me," Pujols said. "I don't want to talk about it."

Zambrano had a career-best 12 strikeouts for the Cubs, but reached 122 pitches after seven innings. Morris allowed four hits in nine scoreless innings for St. Louis.

"I felt good today and I couldn't do anything about it," Zambrano said. "No matter if it's against Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson or whoever is up there, you have to do your job and give the team the opportunity to win, and that's it."

The Cubs had only two runners in scoring position all day against Morris and Jason Isringhausen (2-0), who allowed one hit in a scoreless 10th. Chicago threatened only in the fifth when Derrek Lee and Alex Gonzalez singled with one out and Lee went to third on a grounder. But Morris retired Zambrano on an inning-ending groundout.

The Cardinals are 6-10 at home this year. Over the last five seasons, they're 27-6 at home against the Cubs.

St. Louis also is 3-0 in extra innings and 5-1 in one-run games this year. The last time the Cardinals won 1-0 in extra innings was July 4, 1992, at San Francisco.

Morris struck out four and walked one. He's 10-2 with a 3.18 ERA in his career against the Cubs.

Tony Womack walked on four pitches to start the 10th, then went to second on a sacrifice by So Taguchi. Pujols and Jim Edmonds walked on full counts to load the bases, and the outfield was drawn in when Rolen lined a 2-0 pitch to left.

Rolen leads the majors with 28 RBIs.

"When we loaded the bases, I knew it was over," Pujols said. "Scotty is a great hitter and he's locked in right now."

Zambrano, who scattered three hits and walked three, has allowed one earned run in 21 career innings at Busch Stadium, with 22 strikeouts.

Yet he's still waiting for his first victory over the Cardinals. Zambrano is 0-3 with a 3.32 ERA against St. Louis.

Both Morris and Zambrano rebounded from subpar efforts. Morris gave up five runs in six innings in a loss to the Phillies on Wednesday, and Zambrano allowed seven runs in 4 1-3 innings at Arizona on Tuesday.

Morris spent a lot of time with pitching coach Dave Duncan between starts.

"He really had me focusing on what allows me to get outs -- my preparation, my execution and things like that," Morris said. "He really had me lock in on fastballs down in the zone."

Notes: Zambrano's previous best for strikeouts was 10, accomplished twice. The last was Aug. 25, 2002, at Arizona. ... Edmonds has struck out 29 times in 90 at-bats, including all three trips against Zambrano. Edmonds was 0-for-3, ending a six-game hitting streak. ... The Cubs' bullpen has walked nine batters, two intentionally, in four innings during the series.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: