|Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza delievers in the first inning of a baseball game against the against the St. Louis Cardinals, Saturday, July 21, 2012 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)|
Cardinals punish Cubs pen in 12-0 romp
ST. LOUIS—Matt Garza made such an early exit, there was speculation in the stands and on the Internet that he'd had been traded.
The right-hander is still with the Chicago Cubs, and plenty frustrated after witnessing a bullpen debacle from the dugout four innings after exiting with cramping in his triceps.
The St. Louis Cardinals scored all of their runs in the seventh, tying a major league record with seven doubles in a 12-0 victory Saturday night.
"If that's what they thought," Garza said of the rumors, "it'll take a lot more to pull me out of that game than a trade. They're going to have to wait `till I'm done."
The injury doesn't appear to be serious, but sure left him feeling guilty.
"You prep to go and you just can't," Garza said. "I feel like I let my guys down. I know they're going to say I didn't, but that's my job."
Garza felt tightness working his third scoreless inning, went straight to the indoor batting cage after the third out to try to loosen up, and started cramping. A team trainer told Garza it was "not worth the risk" trying to continue pitching.
The Cubs added to the intrigue by waiting until the bottom of the sixth to provide an injury update. Precautionary X-rays were negative to eliminate potential elbow woes and Garza, who didn't have the arm wrapped after the game and said it only felt tight, is hopeful of making his next start.
"Nothing was wrong, everything was fine," manager Dale Sveum said.
Like teammate Ryan Dempster, Garza is not sure who'll he'll be pitching for.
Garza said he was more concerned about his wife being home pregnant and due to deliver a son than changing teams.
"The trade thing, I'm not so concerned about that," Garza said. "I'd rather go out there and throw eight or nine (innings) than come in here and say `I can't throw the ball.
"I've got to get ready for the next one."
Jake Westbrook worked seven innings of three-hit ball and the Cardinals finally backed him -- and then some -- by matching a 76-year-old major league record with seven doubles in the seventh.
Rafael Furcal's go-ahead single in the seventh turned out to be a mere appetizer as the Cardinals also matched an 86-year-old franchise record for runs in an inning. St. Louis totaled 10 hits with multiple hits by three players including pinch-hitter Allen Craig, who doubled twice with an RBI.
The Cardinals managed five hits the first six innings before jumping on Justin Germano (0-1) and three other relievers. They tied the major record for doubles in an inning by the Boston Bees at St. Louis in the first inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader on Aug. 25, 1936.
They tied the franchise record for runs in an inning set Sept. 16, 1926, against the Phillies, in the third inning of the opener of a doubleheader in Philadelphia.
"You look at their lineup, nothing that extreme but that's a tough lineup to get through the switch hitters and quality hitters they've got," Sveum said.
Germano got unlimited warmups in the fourth, an indication he was entering because of an injury or ejection, although the rule book also allows for an unspecified sudden emergency. Germano allowed a run in three-plus innings before the roof caved in on the Cubs.
James Russell gave up six runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Manuel Corpas gave up four runs without getting an out, surrendering three doubles and a walk.
Previously, the Cubs hadn't allowed more than six runs in a single inning. The Cardinals topped their previous season best of eight runs April 27 against the Brewers.
Westbrook (8-8) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first, falling behind 3-0 in the count against Geovany Soto before inducing a groundout. The sinkerballer permitted only two baserunners his last six innings, a leadoff single by David DeJesus in the third and a walk by Luis Valbuena in the fifth, and neither of them made it second.
NOTES: Garza is 2 for 30 with 23 strikeouts after fanning in the second. ... Soto is 0 for 5 with the bases loaded. ... Bryan LaHair had two strikeouts and a walk against Westbrook after entering the game 3 for 3 with a homer against the right-hander. ... The Cubs have lost 12 of their last 16 in St. Louis. ... The first two games of the series were sold out, with attendance of 43,424 the Cardinals' 16th sellout overall.