Friday’s result: Cubs 7, Cardinals 0
by kalyn kahler email@example.com August 16, 2013 6:41PM
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta falls to the ground fielding a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran during the second inning of a baseball game on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Chicago. Arrita was unable to make a throw to first. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: August 16, 2013 7:36PM
The Cubs shook off their home offensive woes Friday with a 7-0 shut out of the NL Central contender St. Louis Cardinals, one week after shutting out their division rivals in St. Louis.
The Cubs scored more runs on Friday than they had in the last six home games combined.
Pitcher Jake Arrieta, acquired in the July 2 Scott Feldman trade, struck out seven, allowed just two hits, and held the Cardinals scoreless over seven innings in his second start for the Cubs.
“I’ve commanded the ball well, mixed my pitches well,” Arrieta said. “[I] kept them off balance enough, off the heater enough to get some weak contact and that’s the goal.”
Arrieta (1-0) snapped Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday’s 12-game hitting streak.
“That’s the kind of stuff that the power arms can do- throwing strikes and making pitches,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Arrieta’s performance. “He made some really good pitches in key situations and counts.”
The Cubs dominated offensively from the first inning. Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook (7-8) walked the first three batters for the Cubs.
Right fielder Nate Schierholtz hit a single to center field, and drove in David DeJesus and Anthony Rizzo for the Cubs first two runs. Schierholtz has nine RBI in his last eight games.
“We had some big hits,” Sveum said. “I think the big one was Nate’s. We’ve got the bases loaded, which we’ve had a lot this year, and coming away with one, I think that was huge, coming away with a big hit there.”
The Cubs ended the first with another run after Donnie Murphy, who went 2-for-2 with one RBI, singled to left field and drove in Rizzo.
Since joining the Cubs Aug. 4, Murphy has hit four home runs, 11 RBI and recorded three multi-hit games.
“He’s been our best hitter ever since he’s been here,” Sveum said. “The home runs, played really good defense, he’s done a great job.”
The Cubs scored again in the fifth to go ahead 4-0. Schierholtz hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Lake scored his second run of the game.
St. Louis had its best chance at scoring in the sixth inning after Arrieta walked Westbrook and third baseman Matt Carpenter. Centerfielder Jon Jay grounded into a force-out, leaving Westbrook at third, with two outs and Holliday on deck. But Arrieta struck out Holliday to end the inning.
“It’s just a matter of commanding the ball and limiting my walks,” Arrieta said. “That’s really what’s gotten me in the past- too many free passes, letting guys get away when I am in favorable counts.”
Arrieta helped his own cause with a sacrifice bunt with to knock in second baseman Darwin Barney in the sixth inning for the Cubs sixth run.
“I feel like I have decent speed for a pitcher,” Arrieta said. ”But I wanted to just get it by the pitcher enough where Barney would have a good opportunity to be safe at the plate.”
The Cubs added a run by Rizzo off a wild-pitch by Cardinals reliever Sam Freeman in the seventh.
The Cubs are 7-7 against the St. Louis this season, and Sveum said the rivalry has brought out some of the team’s best ball.
“It’s our rivalry obviously,” Sveum said. “We’ve played some of our best baseball against them. Some of the ball games we’ve lost, we’ve actually played good ball and just come up on the short end.”