The Padres were finally getting things going, winners of four straight games and coming off a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants.
With the Rockies coming back to the pack in the division, the Padres found themselves just 5.5 games out of first place starting a four game set at Wrigley Field versus the lowly Cubs.
But things that have plagued the Padres all year long once again came back to bite them in this one. The Padres are ranked in the bottom third in all of MLB is runners left-on-base per game, and Monday night was no exception. They left 11 guys on the base paths and had a plethora of opportunities to drive in either game tying or go-ahead runs. They also struck out 14 times.
After a rare two out, two-run single in the 5th inning by Yonder Alonso to tie the game at three, the Padres found themselves down 5-3 in the top of the 7th inning. With the bases loaded and only one out, Alonso proceeded to strike out, followed up by a weak groundout by Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko had an outstanding spring, but has yet to find his groove during the first month of the season.
Then, in the 8th inning, the Padres had the tying run on second base after a quick 2-out rally. However, Chris Denorfia grounded out measly to the pitcher Kevin Gregg.
Another story line in this game was Cody Ransom. Released by the Padres just a couple weeks ago, Ransom seemed to take it personally, as he homered in the 2nd inning and had a big 2-out RBI single to put the Cubs ahead for good in the 6th inning. He also made a great play at third to save a run with 2 outs in the 7th inning on Gyorko’s slow grounder.
The Padres were gaining some momentum heading into May, but if they hope to stay competitive in the NL West, they can’t be losing series to teams like the Cubs. Luckily, they have three more cracks at Chicago this week and hopefully they can grab three of four.