The Chicago Cubs weren't getting hits in clutch situations against the Astros earlier this week. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they did yesterday, just hours after the team fired their general manager.
Jim Hendry was shown the door by the Cubs on Friday after spending nine years as GM of the organization. He was replaced on an interim basis by assistant GM Randy Bush.
The Cubs made three postseason appearances under Hendry's leadership, including in 2003, when they advanced to the NL Championship Series before losing to the Florida Marlins. However, they haven't won a playoff game since that NLCS and are on track now to miss the postseason for a third consecutive year.
"I think he did a great job. We made the playoffs three times," Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez said about Hendry. "It's just that lately we haven't been getting it done."
Despite being 15 games under .500, the Cubs have played inspired baseball lately, winning six of their last nine games, including yesterday's 5-4 victory in 10 innings. Tyler Colvin's game-winning, pinch-hit single capped the comeback win.
The hit made a winner out of Sean Marshall (6-5), who tossed a perfect top of the inning to lead the streaking Cubs to a 12-5 record in August.
Octavio Dotel (0-2) allowed the game-deciding run in the Cardinals' fourth loss in six games.
The Cubs were just 4-for-38 with runners in scoring position in their three- game Houston series, including an 0-for-13 mark on Wednesday. They did go 3-for-10 with RISP Friday, but left 10 men on base.
Randy Wells went seven innings for Chicago, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five, and Jaime Garcia allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings in the start for St. Louis.
Yesterday's loss was another tough one for the Cardinals, in respect to their drive for the playoffs. They now stand 7 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
"They're playing really good," Garcia said of the Cubs. "They've got a good thing going on for them, but we feel comfortable with ourselves too. Today was a tough loss, but all we can do it put it behind us and go out tomorrow and try to win a ball game."
Matt Garza tries to continue Chicago's winning ways today. The right-hander has just one triumph over his last nine starts. He's coming off a no-decision at Atlanta on Sunday. Garza has struggled against the Cardinals with a 1-1 mark and a 7.80 ERA in three games.
Edwin Jackson gets the start for St. Louis. The righty, who has won four of his last five decisions, limited the Rockies to a pair of runs in 5 1/3 innings in a victory Sunday. He's 2-2 with a 6.21 ERA in five lifetime facing the Cubs.
St. Louis holds a 7-3 lead in the season series.