Thursday, May 14, 2009

Padres-Cubs: Lightning Strikes, Literally, in Padre Loss

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. Well, for the San Diego Padres, they experienced the literal and figurative side of that statement last night as the Padres fell to the Cubs, 6-4.

The Padres jumped on top of the Cubs in very first inning and experienced a little deja vu. On Tuesday night, Adrian Gonzalez launched a two run home run against Cubs' starter Rich Harden, giving the Padres an early 2-0 lead. A lead that didn't hold up as the Cubs came back for a 6-2 win. One night later, and again in the first inning, Adrian hit his second home run of the series and again it was a two run shot to give San Diego a 2-0 lead.

That lead would vanish quicker than Alex Rodriguez in the playoffs. Padres' starter Chris Young served up back-to-back home runs to Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot on just three pitches, tying the game, 2-2. The lead would officially vanish when Giovany Soto singled to left, scoring former Padre Milton Bradley who had been walked earlier in the inning.

Soto would add a two run shot against Young in the third and then Theriot added his second of the game in the fourth inning to put the Cubs ahead, 6-2.

Young would throw 102 pitches in just four innings, giving up six runs on six hits, walking three and striking out three but gave up a career high four home runs.

In the sixth, it looked like the Padres were starting to gain a little life in their bats, starting with Adrian Gonzalez who hit his second home run of the game, his third of the series, to pull the Padres to within a 6-3 score.

In the eighth, Nick Hundley would draw a two out walk and would move to second on a wild pitch followed by a Brian Giles walk which brought up pinch hitter Jody Gerut. Gerut lined a single to left, scoring Nick Hundley but Giles tried to be greedy and take third but was tagged out to end the inning and a possible Padres rally.

That's the way the game would end as heavy rains would fall on Wrigley Field and with more threatening weather on the way, crew chief Tim Welke decided to call the game, a decision Padres' manager Bud Black didn't quite agree with.

"I respect Tim Welke immensely," Black told "I [simply] would like to see a baseball game played nine innings. As would he. But he felt, based on educated information, that it was the best thing to do."

Chris Young's performance wasn't what the Padres were hoping they would get out of their right hander. He was leaving pitches up in the zone and that's something you just can't do against a good Cubs' lineup, something Young himself admitted.

"Mechanically, I wasn't very good," Young told "Against a lineup like that it's hard to come out and not have your best stuff. It's a good lineup, and they punished some bad pitches."

The Padres have now dropped 18 of their last 22 games and though the team really doesn't need any more bad news, the Padres got just that in the seventh inning. Short stop Luis Rodriguez, after roping a single to left, rolled his left ankle as he rounded first and is likely headed to the disabled list. He'll join fellow short stop Everth Cabrera who went down with a broken hand last month and isn't expected back until late June.

Chris Burke and Edgar Gonzalez are expected to split time at that position unless Kevin Towers finds one via trade or free agency.

The Padres and Cubs will wrap up their three game set on Thursday with an afternoon affair from Wrigley Field, expected to get underway at 1:25pm CST.

The Padres will go with right hander Chad Gaudin (0-2, 4.08) against Cubs' right hander and former closer Ryan Dempster (2-2, 4.98). Gaudin will try to be the first Padres' starter to win a game since Peavy beat the Mets on April 16th, a streak of 11 straight losses by a starter.

No comments: