Although Eric Stults only allowed two runs through 6.2 innings of work, San Diego’s hitters could not help him at the plate over the game’s first seven frames.
Chicago’s starter Travis Wood only allowed two hits over his first 7.0 innings, and he was mowing down his opposition with ease before the top of the 8th got underway.
At that point, the Friars were down 2-0 and it did not look like there was much hope for the team to rally for a comeback.
But then the “run manufacturing” began.
After Jesus Guzman and Kyle Blanks reached base to begin the inning, Guzman was only able to advance as far as third base after Jedd Gyorko flied out and Nick Hundley hit a sacrifice fly. With two outs and two on, the Padres needed a bit knock. Thankfully, Yonder Alonso came through as a pinch-hitter.
A lazy pop-fly hit by Alonso was misplayed in right field by Julio Borbon and Darwin Barney, and Guzman scored on the crucial mistake. Shawn Camp replaced Wood after Alonso’s at-bat, and then choked away the tying run with a wild pitch which plated Blanks who had advanced to third on Yonder’s “single.”
To be fair, the wild pitch wasn’t necessarily Camp’s fault though. Catcher Welington Castillo not only botched the catch, but he also did not hustle back to the backstop to retrieve it. Castillo’s loafing plus Blanks’ hustle equated to the game’s tying run. Un-freakin-believable!
Not to be outdone, Chris Denorfia then drew a walk in his at-bat to keep the inning alive. Camp was replaced by James Russell after he walked Denorfia, and then Everth Cabrera came to the plate. The speedy shortstop then made the offensive play of the game for San Diego as he hit a sharp ground ball through the middle to score Alonso from second base!
Chase Headley then added an insurance run with an odd dribbler of a ground-ball that was hit perfectly between Russell and Barney on the right-side of the infield. To his credit, Headley down the line, Barney misplayed the ball, and no play was made at first base. On that simple dirbbler, Denorfia scored to make the game 4-2! Although Guzman struck out to end the rally, the Padres had batted around in the top of the 8th and manufactured four runs without recording an extra base hit!
After the wackiness at the plate, Luke Gregerson and Huston Street allowed one hit apiece in the bottoms of the 8th and 9th to nail down the victory for the Friars!
The only way that I can describe the end of this game is that Cubs essentially said “no thank you” to the “W,” and the Padres took advantage of their opposition’s bone-headed mistakes.
While it certainly wasn’t pretty, San Diego’s hitters came through when it mattered this afternoon.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference