Every time the Cubs (24-27) take 2 steps forward, they always follow by taking 1 step back.

After an encouraging series win over the Dodgers, Chicago promptly fell back into a rut losing 2 out of 3 to their biggest rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals (29-22).

Before the game, the pitching matchup looked like it would be a pitchers dual between Ryan Dempster (3-5) and Adam Wainwright (7-3). The Cardinals didn’t make it much of a dual at all as Albert Pujols took Dempster deep in the 1st to make it 1-0.

Pujols would hit 2 more bombs off the Cubs’ pitching staff on Sunday.

Dempster ended up going 6.2 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits. Dempster struck out 7 but walked 3 Cardinal batters.

Chicago’s offense wasn’t able to do much against Wainwright. Wainwright pitched 7 innings allowing only a Geovany Soto solo shot in the 7th.

John Grabow showed why he is 1 of the worst relief pitchers in the league again Sunday. Grabow surrendered 3 runs on 4 hits in his 2 innings of work. His ERA now stands at 9.45

After the 9-1 loss, Chicago will head to Pittsburgh and hopes to turn it around against the Pirates (20-31), with whom they’ve struggled with all season (1-5). Randy Wells (3-3) will get the start on short rest, after throwing only 60 pitches on Friday, in which he failed to retire a single batter. Wells gave up 6 runs to the Pirates in only 2 innings earlier this year.

Extra Credit: Lou Piniella explained before Sunday’s game that Carlos Zambrano will return to the rotation and will start on Wednesday vs. the Pirates. With Zambrano’s return, Tom Gorzelanny is headed to the bullpen. Gorzelanny wasn’t happy but Piniella told him that they need his help and to look at the success of Sean Marshall. Piniella also divulged that the Cubs will call up Andrew Cashner from AAA Iowa. No word on who he will replace but speculation is Jeff Stevens.

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