Padres rally to break Cubs 8-game winning streak
|Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 4:22 PM- -|
The San Diego Padres (14-20) defeated the Chicago Cubs (25-7) 7-4 in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader at Wrigley Field.
However, at 25-7, this is still the best start for the Cubs since the 1907 season.
The Padres got off to a fast start as Travis Jankowski scored on a Javier Baez throwing error and Matt Kemp had a RBI single to score Will Myers to make it 2-0. At the bottom of the inning, the Cubs struck right back with a RBI single by Anthony Rizzo that scored Ben Zobrist.
In the second inning, Zobrist hit a line drive to right field to score shortstop Addison Russell to tie the game at two. Zobrist has now reached safely in 19 straight games while teammate Anthony Rizzo has reached safely in an amazing 23 straight games. Zobrist's last nine plate appearances have been single, walk, single, single, single, single, single, single, and walk.
The Cubs are now 19-2 on the season when Ben Zobrist gets a hit. Another intriguing statistic is that Rizzo and Zobrist lead the major leagues as a duo with 57 RBIs. The Zobrist free-agent signing looks more and more like a homer run by the Cubs management led by Theo Epstein.
Russell doubled to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning and scored Javier Baez to put the Cubs up 3-2. Russell came into the game batting a sizzling .361 with men on base and a dismal .136 without runners on base. He currently has a 6-game hitting streak which includes a 4-game multi-hit streak.
Catcher Tim Federowicz kept the momentum going in the fourth inning with an RBI double to left field to score Russell to make it 4-2.
The Cubs squandered a real opportunity as they left the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
Kyle Hendricks had 82 pitches through five innings and retired eight in a row as he had a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. The Cubs starting pitchers have now pitched through the fifth inning in the last 40 regular season games dating back to last season. It is the second longest stretch of five innings or more streak by Cubs starters since 1910.
The Cubs left two base runners on without scoring in the sixth inning.
Hendricks had 93 pitches through six innings, and he continued to pitch to try to help save the Cubs bullpen. He retired ten straight batters until Travis Jankowski broke up his rhythm with a bunt single.
Hendricks heard a standing ovation by the partisan crowd as he was pulled by Joe Maddon after 102 pitches with two outs in the seventh inning. He finished the day going 6.2 innings giving up six hits, two earned runs with eight strikeouts and only one walk. His ERA is now an impressive 3.03 on the season.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop came in and the Padres scored on a throwing error by Javier Baez to make it 4-3. The Padres continued to hit Strop as he threw a back-door slider that was taken deep for a three-run homer to center field by Brett Wallace to make it 6-4 Padres. Strop threw 28 pitches and 14 of them were balls as Neil Ramirez came into the game for the final out as the Padres batting around in the seventh.
Bringing in Strop will be second-guessed by media pundits and fans as starter Kyle Hendricks was rolling along but he had a pitch count of 102. Strop's season ERA went from 1.98 to 3.95 after the miserable outing in which he did not record a single out.
The Cubs showed little resistance as they went down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Matt Kemp hit a sac fly with the bases loaded to increase the Padres lead to 7-4. Jason Heyward made an impressive diving catch to end the Padres offensive threat in the eighth inning.
Dexter Fowler led off the eighth inning with a single and Zobrist walked to put two runners on for the meat of the Cubs lineup. However, in non-dramatic fashion, Heyward struck out, Bryant popped up to the first baseman, and Rizzo flew out to center field.
The Cubs went down in order in the ninth inning. Interestingly, the Cubs had not given up more than six runs in a game all season, but the Padres have scored seven in back to back contests.
The Cubs don't have much time to sulk as they will face the Padres again tonight in the second game of the doubleheader. Veteran righty John Lackey (4-1, 4.02 ERA) will face lefty Drew Pomeranz (3-3, 2.12 ERA) at 7:05 CT