The Cubs were looking for the series win against the Padres on Sunday, but San Diego rode the wind to a power surge and were able to beat back a late Chicago rally to earn the series split.
The Padres took a lead immediately on Jon Lester, Manuel Margot singled, advanced to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning. Lester had even more problems in the 2nd inning, when Freddy Galvis hit what normally would have been a pop up that flew out to left for a solo homer. After a single and a walk to starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi, Eric Hosmer lined a triple past Albert Almora in center to make it 4-0.
Javy Baez got a run back with a solo bomb to left in the 3rd inning. Has anyone noticed, he’s good.
Franmil Reyes answered right back with a 477-foot blast to dead center in the 4th inning. Chicago started to rally in the 5th inning against Lucchesi. After Tommy La Stella reached via catchers interference, Almora poked a single to center, Hunter Renfroe tried to throw La Stella out at third, but it went into the dugout allowing a run to score. Baez followed with a double to score Almora and close the gap to 5-3.
The Cubs tied the game in the 7th inning, Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ singled against Jose Castillo with one out. Almora singled to score Zobrist and Castillo was lifted for Craig Stammen. After getting Baez out on strikes, Stammen allowed a single to pinch-hitter Anthony Rizzo to score Happ and tie the game at 5-5.
The Padres answered back again off of Carl Edwards, Jr. in the 8th inning. Travis Jankowski walked and stole second base with two down in the inning. Cory Spangenberg followed with a double to right-center scoring Jankowski for the go-ahead run. San Diego padded their lead with 4 runs in the 9th against Randy Rosario. Zobrist homered in the bottom of the inning, but it was much too little at that point. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Padres took advantage of the favorable hitting conditions and the Cubs simply couldn’t. The bullpen wasn’t able to hold on to allow another late comeback, it’s hard to ask a ‘pen to have to make up for short starts on a regular basis.
The walk by Edwards Jr. to the light-hitting Jankowski was very costly, he was able to use his speed to get into scoring position for Spangenberg’s double.
Stats That Matter
- The regression monster has come for Lester: 5 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 1 K, and 2 BB. He has allowed at least 4 runs his last 3 starts, hopefully he can get back on track for the stretch run.
- Javy Baez had a double and a homer today, his aggressive mentality did cost him getting thrown out trying to steal third in the 5th inning. Still, while I didn’t like that, he was a big reason the Cubs were able to stage a late rally.
- Jesse Chavez looked good again allowing only two singles in two scoreless innings of work.
There is no other way to say it, splitting a series with the last-place Padres at home is not good. The Cubs didn’t look very good in any of the four games. The Brewers finally lost so the Cubs still have a one-game lead, but it’s hard to feel good about this series.