Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (Simulated Game 25): Cubs 5, Padres 1 – Bryant Homers Twice in Win

After a brief setback with their loss on Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs (15-10) got back on track Thursday with a convincing 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres (12-12), via MLB The Show 20. Tyler Chatwood had his best start of the year, Kris Bryant homered twice, and that’s all the Cubs would need to take the finale of this three-game set at Wrigley Field.

Chatwood faced off against 31-year-old right-hander Garrett Richards, who made his fifth start of the simulated 2020 season after pitching just 147 1/3 innings over 31 starts the last four seasons combined. The Cubs right-hander tossed a clean top of the 1st and Bryant got his team on the board quickly against Richards, drilling a 2-0 pitch to deep left-center that put the Cubs in front 1-0.

The game stayed quiet offensively until the bottom of the 4th, when Victor Caratini and Ian Miller sandwiched walks around a groundout by Jason Kipnis. Chatwood bunted the runners over to second and third, bringing up Bryant. After giving up the earlier homer on a fastball, Richards decided to go to his changeup in this at-bat. The result was the same, except that this time it was a three-run shot to put the Cubs ahead 4-0.

Richards was able to get Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the inning, but that ended his day on the mound. The Padres starter went four innings, allowing four earned runs on only two hits – both of Bryant’s home runs – with six walks and three strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Chatwood was on cruise control. He went six shutout innings and gave up six hits, walking just one batter and striking out a season-high 11. Javier Báez hit a solo shot off of San Diego reliever Cal Quantrill in the 5th inning to extend the lead to 5-0, but by then the game was firmly in hand.

Danny Hultzen pitched two perfect innings in relief of Chatwood, striking out four batters. Rowan Wick did get into some trouble in the 9th, allowing four baserunners and letting one run score. With two outs and the bases loaded, now up 5-1, manager David Ross brought in Craig Kimbrel to get the final out. Kimbrel needed only three pitches to strike out Wil Myers, ending the game.

Notes: Chatwood has pitched well so far this year, compiling a 2.76 ERA in his five starts. Thursday’s win was his first decision of the season, however, because high pitch counts have prevented him from going deep into games … Hultzen has made a strong impression on Ross, who indicated that the left-hander may be earning more high-leverage situations … Rizzo had a tough series, going 1-for-12 with a walk against the Padres pitching staff.

Key Players:

Bryant – 2-for-3, BB, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Báez – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Chatwood – 6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 11 K
Hultzen – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 4 K
Profar – 2-for-4, RBI
Pham – 1-for-4, 2B
Mejia – 2-for-4, R

Winning Pitcher – Chatwood (1-0)
Losing Pitcher – Richards (3-2)
Save – Kimbrel (10)
Home Runs – Bryant 2 (9), Báez (4)

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