ST. LOUIS—There was a hostile takeover of downtown St. Louis on Saturday night, with Cubs fans gathering en masse across the street from Busch Stadium to harass any red-clad bystanders.
Things were back to normal Monday afternoon.
So after Greg Maddux pitched the Cubs to a 7-3 win over the Cardinals in the series finale, most of the postgame celebrating was confined to the Cubs' clubhouse.
The Cubs wound up with a split in the emotional series, with Maddux earning his 291st career win. Though he's a longtime veteran of Cubs-Cardinals games, Maddux refuses to get jaded about the rivalry.
"It was cool," he said. "As a player, you appreciate itthe added excitement, the enthusiasm. It's always cool playing here, even as a Brave. With the Cubs it's a whole new level."
Even a newcomer to the rivalry like Todd Walker, who played in Boston last year, can see the intensity level going up a notch when the two teams meet.
"This little series here with the Cardinals ranks right up there with the Boston-New York series," Walker said. "This one is a little more mild-tempered than Boston and New York, where you've got people beating each other up in the stands."
Walker had three RBIs and a two-run home run off Jason Marquis (1-2) that gave the Cubs the lead for keeps in the sixth inning. Derrek Lee and Sammy Sosa added two-run shots to help the Cubs break out of their recent hitting malaise and give them a 15-10 record as they begin a six-game homestand against Arizona and Colorado.
Maddux (2-2) allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking no one. He also had his first hit since his return to the Cubs and stole his first base in two years.
Maddux helped his own cause in the Cubs' third after reaching on a fielder's-choice grounder on which Alex Gonzalez was thrown out at third.
With Marquis going into his stretch, Maddux took off for second and was halfway there before the ball left Marquis' hand. When the ball went to the backstop for a wild pitch, Maddux easily scampered to third. He scored on Walker's bloop single to left.
The stolen base was the sixth of Maddux's career and his first since July 12, 2002.
"It happens," Maddux said. "You don't really care if you get thrown out there with two outs and your leadoff hitter up."
Manager Dusty Baker wouldn't say if Maddux had the green light to run.
"Can't tell you that," he said. "They were playing behind him. He has done it before. He's a smart ballplayer. He knew what he was doing."
The Cardinals tied it in their half of the third when Mike Matheny led off with a double and went to third on Marquis' sacrifice. When Maddux briefly considered going to third after fielding the bunt, Marquis beat his throw to first for an infield hit. Tony Womack followed with a sacrifice fly, making it 1-1.
An infield hit by Maddux and Walker's two-run shot in the sixth gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead. After Albert Pujols hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning, Lee smacked a two-run homer off Mike Lincoln in the eighth to make it 5-2, and Sosa homered in the ninth.
"He's going to get going," Baker said of Lee. "Just keep your eyes open. You'll see."