Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Padres-Cubs: Early Lead Slips Away as Padres Fall to Cubs

Jake Peavy can't go into the clubhouse and spew his usual "I've pitched in these kinds of games my entire career," that we're used to hearing after he pitches a great game but gets no run support from his offense.

San Diego jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to a two run home run from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez his 11th of the year, in the first inning. That lead wouldn't hold as the Cubs scored six runs in the last four innings to beat the Padres, 6-2.

Peavy had the Cubs shut out for four innings and it looked like the Padres were finally going to break their losing streak and take the first of their three game set against the Cubs.

In the fifth, Peavy would issue a lead walk to catcher Geovany Soto, would would be sacrificed to second on a bunt from pitcher Rich Harden after Peavy struck out Aaron Miles. It looked like Peavy might just get out of a jam, but Alfonso Soriano would lace an RBI double to left center, scoring Soto from second to pull the Cubs to within 2-1.

In the top half of the sixth, the Padres had two on after back-to-back singles from David Eckstein and Adrian Gonzalez with just one out, but Chase Headley would ground into an inning ending double play to end the Padres' threat.

In the home half of the sixth, the Cubs would make the Padres pay for not pushing across a single run. Kosuke Fukudome, a player the Padres made a run at prior to the 2008 season, led off with a double to left and after a strikeout to Derek Lee, former Padre Milton Bradley would launch a two run shot to center off his former teammate, erasing the Padres' lead and giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead.

The Padres had a chance to at least tie the game in the top half of the seventh. Jody Gerut led off with a single and would steal second after Kevin Kouzmanoff popped out, but Henry Blanco would ground out and Luis Rodriguez flied out to end the inning.

It's been the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position that has given this Padres' team the most headache. Having runners on second or third with less than two outs and not getting that sac fly or not getting that timely base hit that would score that run.

After a 9-3 start, the Padres have gone 4-17 in their last 21 games, pushing them farther and farther out of the NL West and possibly making them sellers faster than anyone expected.

Prior to the start of the 2009 season, there were so many people talking about this Padres team losing 100 games or more but after a 9-3 start, the team was raising a lot of eyebrows. But, nothing has gone right for this team since then. Their pitching has struggled, their offense has been non existant at certain times and their bullpen has had trouble keeping teams off the scoreboard.

It's a trend that is quickly demolishing this team, a trend that will have this team losing more games than ever before in franchise history.

The two teams will be back at it tonight from Wrigley Field. The Padres will have 6'10" right hander Chris Young (2-1, 4.76) against Cubs' left hander Ted Lilly (4-2, 3.11).

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