The Cubs were aiming for a three-game sweep of the Padres Sunday afternoon as they faced a pair of rookies on the last game of their homestand. They got a great performance from their starter, but the Friars pitchers were even better and the road team pulled out the victory.
The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes by a brief rain storm and the Cubs wasted no time getting on the board. Javy Báez singled off of opener Adrian Morejon, who was making his MLB debut, and Kris Bryant followed with a bloop double to put runners on second and third with one out. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to first to score Javy and give the Cubs a 1-0 lead after one.
Kyle Hendricks was excellent on Sunday and breezed through the first four innings before walk to Luis Urias spelled trouble in the 5th. He was bunted to second and scored on a Fernando Tatis Jr. single to right to tie the score.
Chicago’s offense was baffled by Morejon and then Cal Quantrill, who went from the 3rd through the 8th inning. Catcher Francisco Mejía jumped on the Professor’s other mistake in the 7th for a go-ahead solo homer to right.
Kyle Ryan allowed two baserunners in the 9th inning and was replaced by Carl Edwards Jr., who made his first appearance since June 9 after spending time on the IL with an upper thoracic strain. Things did not go well for him, as he issued a walk and hit a batter to push a run across, then gave up a Tatis single that increased the Padres lead to 5-1. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The offense was a complete non-factor on Sunday. After getting an early lead in the 1st inning, the Cubs didn’t put another runner on second base until the 9th inning.
With the wind blowing in hard, it seemed like nothing would make it over the wall. Unfortunately for the North Siders, Mejía’s homer just barely cleared the basket.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks’ effort was good enough for a win most days: 7 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 5 K, and 2 BB. He got a lot of outs on the ground, which bodes very well going forward.
- Rizzo had two of the Cubs’ six hits and continues to stay hot.
Well, that game wasn’t fun, but a 7-2 start out of the break is very much acceptable. Now a big road trip awaits, with a three-game set in San Francisco followed by six against the two teams chasing them in the standings. A good stretch here can really put the Cubs in control of the division.