In a game where not much good happened offensively or defensively for the Cubs (77-68), the would-be contenders dropped a second straight game to the Padres (68-77) in San Diego, 4-0.
Cubs starter Cole Hamels was okay if not spectacular, giving up one run in just 4.1 IP. While that may not seem all that bad, his opponent on the mound, Chris Paddack, was busy disposing of hitters one by one over six shutout innings. The Sheriff was busy laying down the law while featuring a mid-90’s riding fastball to match his mid-90’s hair and a Vulcan changeup the Cubs couldn’t figure out.
There weren’t many bright spots in this contest, but the game may as well have ended after the 2nd inning. Anthony Rizzo chugged to third after leading off the inning with a triple, then managed to catch his breath standing there for the next three batters without scoring.
Kris Bryant hit a medium-deep fly ball to center that Rizzo could have tagged on, then Willson Contreras flailed at strike three above the strike zone with one out, and Jason Heyward grounded out to end the inning. While it was just one inning and one chance, it was really the only real opportunity to score and who knows how the game would have played out had the Cubs jumped out to the 1-0 early lead on the road.
Bryant and Nick Castellanos both had singles to round out the Cubs’ hitting display during the offensive offensive night. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They didn’t score a run. They only had three hits. They also threw the ball around at times. That’s not a winning recipe when your back’s against the wall and you need to win in September.
With the game still 0-0, Rizzo tripled to start the 2nd inning and did not score. This is unacceptable, especially when you have a guy who is dealing on the mound against you. Not that one run would have mattered in the final score, but it changes the game when you jump out to a lead in a low-scoring pitching duel.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs were 3-for-30 in the game. That’s, uh, not good.
- Hamels only gave up one earned run in this contest, but he also left the game without completing five innings.
- Paddack and his Vulcan changeup was the real deal for the Friars tonight, as he went six shutout innings and gave up just those three hits. When he wasn’t blowing hitters away with heaters up in the zone, he was changing speeds with that change and even a few curveballs.
- The Cubs dropped another road game and their record away from Wrigley now stands at an abysmal 30-44.
Once again, the Cubs missed a golden opportunity to gain ground on the Cardinals and climb back into the Central race. Worse yet, they’re now tied with the Christian Yelich-less Brewers for the Wild Card and will have a fight on their hands until the last day of the season.
The Cubs will finish up their four-game set in San Diego with Yu Darvish on the bump. Dinelson Lamet gets the ball for the Padres in the last game the Cubs play outside of the NL Central. The 2:40pm CT game will be aired on NBC Sports Chicago and 670 The Score.