Cubs jump all over Wainwright early and often to sink Cardinals

Adam Wainwright's ERA against the Cubs is 7.50 this season compared to 0.97 against everyone else.  

Matt Marton/Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Adam Wainwright shouldn’t start clearing space in the trophy case for the NL Cy Young award just yet.

Wainwright’s 25-inning scoreless streak ended in the first inning and he never fully recovered on a chilly Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The outcome was a 6-5 loss to the Cubs that raised his ERA nearly a run and dropped the Cardinals to 15-15 for the season.

Wainwright encountered trouble right away. Cubs lead-off hitter Emilio Bonifacio singled and Luis Valbuena doubled on a disputed call that put runners on first and third. Valbuena hit a ball down the first-base line that hit the chalk well in front of the base but appeared to bend foul over the base. Manager Mike Matheny came out to argue but because the play was not eligible for review, the call stood after the umpires consulted.

"That was his call and that’s what he saw," Matheny said on the FOX Sports Midwest postgame show. "I had a feeling that was going to hurt, putting guys at second and third with one out."

It did. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single that scored Bonifacio and Valbuena to give the Cubs a lead. They would not trail the rest of the game.

3 UP

— Jhonny Peralta. He hit his team-leading seventh homer, a two-run blast to center field in the eighth, and had an RBI double as he lifted his batting average to .208, equaling his best of the season. The three RBIs upped his total to 15 for the season, second on the team.

GRADE 'EM

— Carpenter’s grinding. In four plate appearances, he had a hit, a walk, scored twice and, most impressively, saw 24 pitches. Carpenter worked a nine-pitch walk in the third after falling behind 0-2 that led to the Cardinals’ first run and he scored again after a lead-off walk in the eighth. Carpenter began the day three off the NL lead for runs scored.

— Randal Grichuk’s toughness. He didn’t quite pull off the catch on a drive by Wellington Castillo — it would have been highlight-worthy — but he shrugged off a near full-speed collision with the right-field wall at Wrigley Field. Because the ivy remains brown and thin, it offered little padding to soften Grichuk’s blow. Still, he got up and went about his business like it was no big deal.

3 DOWN

— Adam Wainwright. His first loss in 12 starts at Wrigley Field was about as bad an outing as the right-hander has had in his career anywhere. His ERA climbed nearly a run, to 2.16 from 1.20 and, of the season-high 10 hits he allowed, none were cheap. Four were doubles and one was a home run, the second he’s allowed this season. Wainwright’s ERA against the Cubs is 7.50 this season. Against everyone else, it’s 0.97.


"Very sloppy, a lot of balls in the middle of the plate," Wainwright said. "A bad day. I just didn’t give my team much of a chance.

— Jon Jay. Starting ahead of Peter Bourjos even though the Cubs started a lefty, Travis Wood, Jay failed to get the ball out of the infield in four at-bats. He has had two three-hit games in his past 10 games. In the other eight, he’s 2 for 23.

— Yadier Molina’s luck. He didn’t extend his streak of multi-hit games against the Cubs to nine but it hardly was his doing. Molina had a double off the wall that, on a day that wasn’t so cold and blustery, likely would have carried into the left-field bleachers. He also hit a fly to center that would have gone farther — like over the center-field fence — under better conditions.

You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.