Yu stay classy, San Diego: Yu Darvish dominates Padres


by - Senior Writer -
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish amassed 14 strikeouts as part of a dominant performance on the mound. (Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish amassed 14 strikeouts as part of a dominant performance on the mound. (Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

SAN DIEGO — Racking up the highest number of strikeouts that he has accrued in a single start since joining the Chicago Cubs (78-68), starting pitcher Yu Darvish dominated the San Diego Padres (68-78) in the final West Coast game of the regular season for the North Siders. Striking out 14 on Thursday, Darvish led the Cubs to a 4-1 victory, in which the Padres' lone run was scored in the bottom of the ninth. Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first at Petco Park and did not face much of a threat from San Diego the rest of the way.

19 of the 27 outs suffered by the Padres on the day were strikeouts, with Cubs relievers Kyle Ryan and Rowan Wick picking up where Darvish left off in the latter stage of the contest. Former Padre Anthony Rizzo hit leadoff for the Cubs, and he continued his reputation for effective first-inning plate appearances out of the leadoff spot by drawing a walk to start the game. A few at-bats later, Kyle Schwarber moved Rizzo to third base, and Kris Bryant then plated Rizzo on a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs increased their lead to three runs in the top of the fourth, thanks in large part to another leadoff walk. This time, Schwarber reached base via a base on balls, and Bryant then advanced him to second base with a single. Soon afterward, Schwarber barely avoided being tagged out at third base as part of a successful double steal for the Cubs, and Ian Happ proceeded to usher both baserunners across with a 2-out single to right-center.

Darvish gave up a leadoff triple in the bottom of the sixth but struck out three batters in a row after that, thus capping off his scoreless 6-inning outing in commanding fashion. An insurance run was scored by the Cubs in the top of the seventh. Jason Heyward swatted a leadoff double that bounced off the wall in right-center field, and Happ followed that up with a bunt single hit to the third-base side. Later in the inning, Ben Zobrist enabled Heyward to score by grounding into a fielder's choice.

Wick finished off the game by working through the final frame after giving up a leadoff ground-rule double to Nick Martini. Thereafter, Wil Myers was ejected in the midst of his at-bat for arguing a questionable strike call, and Travis Jankowski, who entered to finish the at-bat, whiffed at strike three, which was the only pitch that he faced. With two outs and the bases loaded, superstar Padres slugger Manny Machado pinch hit for the first time in his career and was hit by a pitch, thereby scoring a run.

However, Wick was able to corral himself and collect a game-ending strikeout five pitches later. In their 4-1 loss, the Padres went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. With the win in the books, the Cubs earned a series split against the Padres to finish off an 8-game road trip. The Cubs will next return to Wrigley Field for a 10-game homestand, which will begin with the Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers (78-68) tied for the second wild-card spot.

Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres
Sep 12, 2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago (78-68) 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 4 8 0
San Diego (68-78) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
W: Yu Darvish (6-6) L: Dinelson Lamet (2-5)

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