Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cubs shutout 7-0 by Cardinals, but leave St. Louis as Super Heroes; Ron Santo is in the Hall of Fame

The Cubs lost 7-0 to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium this afternoon.  Travis Wood started for the Cubs and allowed seven runs (of which six were earned) on nine hits and walked two batters and struck out four over six innings pitched.

This was Wood's second straight loss after winning four games in a row.  He had given up just four runs in those four games he won, but has given up 15 runs over 10 2/3 innings in his last two games. 

Travis Wood started for the Cubs against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Sunday (photo from Chicago Tribune)
The Cubs wore ceremonial shoulder patches on their uniforms today in honor of Ron Santo's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Cubs position players also clicked their heels when they crossed the foul lines to take their positions on the field in the first inning.

Jeff Beliveau, who was just called up from Triple-A Iowa made his MLB debut and allowed no runs and three hits while walking one batter and striking out one over 1.2 innings pitched.  In a corresponding roster move, the Cubs optioned right-handed relief pitcher Rafael Dolis to Triple-A Iowa.

The Cubs were outscored 23-1 in the three-game series and were 3-for-29 (.077) with runners on base.  Ouch, that hurts, especially since it was against the Cardinals.

The best news of today was that Ron Santo was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  His long overdue induction into the HOF is bittersweet for many Cub fans, since Santo passed away in December of 2010 due to complications with bladder cancer.

Santo's widow, Vicki, gave an acceptance speech on behalf of Ron and said, "This is not a sad day.  This is a happy day, an incredible day for an incredible man.''

Santo had a career batting average of .277 and hit 342 home runs and drove in 1,331 runs.  Following is a link to the complete story from the Chicago Tribune.

Jeff Idelson, Vicki Santo, Jane Forbes Clark and Bud Selig with Ron Santo's plaque in Cooperstown (photo from Ben Platt/

Ron Santo's Hall of Fame plaque (photo from Ben Platt/
Even though the Cubs didn't have a good game on the field, they went ahead with their preplanned Super Hero Day and dressed in costumes for their flight from St. Louis to Pittsburgh.  Matt Garza came up with the idea of a hero theme to try to break up the season.  He might have gotten the idea from his former team, the Rays, who did a "whiteout" trip and wear all white on a trip to Miami.

"Guys can let it loose, have a little fun, take a little pressure off," Garza said.  "A little bit of embarrassment can go a long way.  It gets you out of your own skin a little bit.  I'm going to wear this thing all night -- I'm going to wear it to dinner.  You don't buy it for an hour, you wear it the whole time."

Following are photos of the players in their costumes that they picked out themselves:

Darwin Barney as Toad from Super Mario Bros.

Reed Johnson as Jed Hoyer and Jeff Baker as Theo Epstein

Tony Campana as Flash Gordon

David DeJesus as He-Man
Ryan Dempster as Captain America

Scott Maine, Steve Clevenger and Bryan LaHair as Super Mario Bros.

Carlos Marmol as Zorro

Geovany Soto as a Ghostbuster

More Cubs superheroes
Dale Sveum as Hellboy
Also, Anthony Rizzo dressed up as "Buzz Lightyear," James Russell was "Spiderman" and Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro teamed up to be "Batman and Robin", and Soriano was so proud of his costume that he had one of the clubhouse attendants iron the cape.  "We're always together, so that's why I picked Batman and Robin," Soriano said.  Awww, how sweet.

Tomorrow the Cubs will start a three-game series against the Pirates at 6:05pm CT in Pittsburgh.  Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs and try for his seventh win if he can keep his pitch count down.

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