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Cubs Score One Run Off Cardinals' Jaime Garcia

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You may not think that's much of a headline for a recap of a Cubs game, but in fact, it is.

Although last night's 6-1 Cubs loss to the Cardinals was essentially over when Lance Berkman hit a three-run homer off Ryan Dempster in the first inning, a couple of things remained to be seen Friday night.

First, Jaime Garcia was dealing for the first four innings; he put the first 13 Cubs down in order and in so doing, threw only 46 pitches -- less than four per batter. So that got the "no-hitter" or "perfect game" thinking going. But even after he walked Carlos Pena and gave up a double to Lou Montanez, eliminating the chances of history and making the score 3-1 Cardinals, it might as well have been 13-1.

There was essentially no way the Cubs were going to score any more runs off Garcia. And in scoring that run, the Cubs did something that the Padres, Phillies and Brewers had been unable to accomplish this season -- score an earned run off Garcia in St. Louis. Prior to last night, Garcia had thrown 31 innings in four starts in St. Louis -- that alone is impressive, averaging nearly eight innings per start at home -- and given up just one earned run, that scored by the Washington Nationals on April 20.

Last night's split-squad lineup -- the other half must have stayed behind in Mesa -- really had no chance against someone like Garcia, who is one of the top lefthanders in the National League. The Cubs are so shorthanded that they had to start three lefthanded hitters (Kosuke Fukudome, Pena and Tyler Colvin) against Garcia; they went a combined 1-for-11.

That's really all I've got this morning. Pretty sad, isn't it? They'll try it again this afternoon in a Fox-TV regional telecast. You might consider yourself fortunate if you're not in one of the areas carrying the game.