The Cubs eeked out a win and have the chance to sweep the Padres Sunay afternoon, as long as Chicago doesn’t melt into the lake overnight. Javy Báez started the scoring in the 1st by hitting a double, advancing to third on a Padres error, and scoring on an infield hit by Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs would go up 2-0 when Robel Garcia scored Kris Bryant with a triple.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a home run to put San Diego on the board in the 3rd, then Manny Machado hit a two-run homer to put the Padres ahead 3-2. But in the bottom of the inning, Báez scored again on sloppy infield play by the Padres, who failed to get Rizzo out on a routine single.
Tatis struck again in the 4th, scoring Luis Urias on a sacrifice fly to put the Padres up 4-3. Báez continued his performance with a three-run home run to put the Cubs up 6-4. San Diego tacked on another run in the 5th, but the bullpen combination of Brandon Kintzler, Pedro Strop, and Craig Kimbrel secured the win for the Cubs. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
In an afternoon of defensive fumbles and soft hits, the Cubs were just a little less sloppy than the Padres and their bullpen was just a little sharper. Both teams were miscommunicating in the outfield and booting the ball around the infield, but the Cubs’ ‘pen combined for several clean innings to close out the game to give José Quintana his fourth win in a row.
Most of the game was back-and-forth, but it didn’t feel “over” until David Bote rushed in on Tatis’s bunt attempt in the 9th. Kimbrel had one on and one out in the top of the inning, and Tatis popped a bunt down the left field line. With a one-run margin and a tough part of the order up, getting Tatis out was crucial. Bote went on to snag the final out of the game off Machado’s bat.
Stats that Matter
- Manny Machado‘s 3rd inning home run was the 200th of his career.
- Baez is propping up the Cubs’ middle infield and their batting order. He scored in the 1st and 3rd, then hit the go-ahead homer (24) in the 4th.
The Cubs are on a good streak since the All-Star Break, but there are plenty of flaws for a talented team to expose. Somebody in the organization needs to decide what to do about Addison Russell, who is performing poorly in the field, at the plate, and on the basepaths. The lack of a leadoff hitter is also a concern as the season heads towards the playoffs.
The Cubs close out their series against the Padres on Sunday at 1:20pm CT as Kyle Hendricks (7-7) takes the mound at Wrigley against Cal Quantrill (2-2). WGN has the television coverage and 670 The Score is the radio home for the game.