Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports

Cubs swept by Padres, losing streak reaches ten games


by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO - There is an old saying that Wrigley Field is the friendly confines. However, the 2022 season has been anything, but kind to the Chicago Cubs (23-40), who fell to the San Diego Padres (41-24) 6-4 on Thursday.

The loss makes it 10-straight losses for this team, who now has three losing streaks of at least 10-plus games in the last calendar year. That is not going to get it done as a franchise, and fans are starting to get restless for a team that claims this is not a complete rebuild.

Matt Swarmer was looking for a bounce-back outing after giving up six homers against the Yankees as he opposed the surprisingly good Joe Musgrove, who entered the game with a 7-0 record. For the first time all season, Swarmer failed to make it out of the fifth inning as walks played a massive role in that.

Across his 3 2/3 innings, Swarmer recorded four strikeouts, but walked five hitters and surrendered four earned runs on just four hits. That forced the bullpen to work overtime again, but they pitched much better, allowing just two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The four runs Swarmer allowed put the Cubs in a hole they couldn't climb out of as Musgrove continued to do his thing on the mound. The right-hander improved to 8-0 after giving up just two runs on five hits in seven innings while striking out nine. Musgrove also lowered his ERA to 1.59 on the season as he has to be part of the early season CY Young conversation.

Once again, the Cubs struck first, as that continues to be the trend despite the losses piling up. Christopher Morel continues to be the spark at the top of the lineup as he opened the game with his second career leadoff homer for the quick 1-0 lead.

That lead didn't last long for the Cubs, as the Padres needed just two batters in the second to take the lead from Chicago for good. After Swarmer walked Eric Hosmer to open the second, Nomar Mazara continued his strong series with his first homer of the season to put San Diego in front 2-1. Swarmer would walk two more hitters in the inning before Jake Cronenworth added an RBI double with the Padres on top 3-1.

One thing you have to credit David Ross and this team for during this skid is how much fight they have shown. Yes, the scoreboard doesn't always indicate that, but this team has battled for all 27 outs, and they were battling early on. With Nico Hoerner leading off the bottom of the second with a walk and then advancing to second on a fielder's choice, Andrelton Simmons pulled the Cubs within 3-2 as his RBI single with two outs did the trick.

That would be as close as the Cubs offense would get as the Padres scored the next three runs to open things up just a bit. With Swarmer continuing to struggle in the fourth, Manny Machado closed the book on his line as his RBI single in the fourth made things 4-2. With Brandon Hughes on to work the fifth, the left-hander allowed a Hosmer single and Mazara double to open the frame before the Austin Nola sacrifice fly made things 5-2.

Take that run away, and the Cubs bullpen pitched very well, with Mychal Givens pitching in and out of trouble while Daniel Norris gave the Cubs a rare scoreless frame. Ironically the lone run the Cubs gave up the rest of the way came off their best reliever, with David Robertson serving up a solo shot to Jurickson Profar in the eighth to make things 6-2.

With time running out in the game, the Cubs knew the time would have to be now if they wanted to win this game. A costly fielding error allowed Willson Contreras to reach with one out before he raced around to score on an Ian Happ double to pull the Cubs within 6-3.

Still trailing by that score in the ninth, it was up to Taylor Rogers to close things out as he was looking for save 20 on the season. Despite allowing a one-out triple to Jonathan Villar, who scored on the Frank Schwindel groundout, Rogers did what he has done 20 times this season as he slammed the door shut on the Friars 6-4 win to complete the four-game sweep at Wrigley.

The win also closes the season's series between the two teams as the Padres finished the year 5-2 against the Cubs. This was also the last time these teams will meet more than six times as the new balanced schedule comes into play next season. Morel stays hot at the top of the lineup picking up two more hits with two strikeouts.

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