ROY candidateKris Bryant
of the Cubs. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Cubs Series Recap
All of the talk about Friday’s opener between the Cubs and Padres focused on was the call-up of third baseman and University of San Diego product Kris Bryant. His call-up was delayed primarily due to financial concerns. By waiting two weeks, they delay his arbitration clock by another full year. Would the wait live up to the hype?
Everything that happened Friday was overshadowed by Kris Bryant, who by the way went 0-4 with three strikeouts. Shields labored but made it through 6 and allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, and striking out 9 men. The pivotal play though was in the 7th inning with the Padres down 4-2 and CF Wil Myers at the plate with two men on, Cubs reliever Brian Schlitter thought he had strike 3 on a borderlin pitch. He was upset about it, Joe Maddon was upset about it, and the crowd starting booing loudly. So naturally the next pitch Myers deposited into the construction zone beyond centerfield to give the Padres the lead they would not relinquish. Thayer/Benoit/Kimbrel did their jobs and the Padres won 5-4 with Shields picking up his second Padres win in 3 starts.
The second game saw the Padres rally from 4 down to tie it in the 9th before losing in extra innings 7-6 with Craig Kimbrel losing his first game as a Padre. Last year the Padres NEVER scored 4 runs in the 9th – this year they have managed to do it twice already. Matt Kemp hit his first homer as a Padre but Miguel Montero for the Cubs hit 2 home runs – one off of Ross and the other off of Chris Rearick – to pace the Cubs offense. Bryant also contributed his first hit and RBI single to back the strong start by Kyle Hendricks. Kimbrel showed rare control struggles in the 11th, walking two before allowing 2 hits and the Starlin Castro walk-off single.
The finale was Sunday, with Andrew Cashner going against big free agent addition of the Cubs Jon Lester. Much has been made this year in particular of his fear or inability to throw to first base. He took this to another in a webgem that will be played on blooper shows for years to come. He fielded a grounder that got stuck in his glove. It could’ve been a double play, but he realized what happened, jogged a couple of steps towards first base and threw his mitt with the ball in it to first base. Ever alert at first base, Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo dropped his own glove in order to catch Lester’s with the ball still stuck to record the out. It was a funny sight to see.
Besides that, it wasn’t Lester’s best day as he allowed 3 ER in less than 6 innings of work. Former Cub Andrew Cashner pitched 6 strong only allowing 2 unearned runs after Yangervis Solarte dropped a routine throw to first base. So if you are keeping track, in one week Solarte led to 6 unearned Cashner runs. Hope he at least buys him a nice meal. To end the week on a good note, Maurer, Kelley, and Benoit all pitched innings of scoreless relief to finish off the week on a winning note for the Friars. Will Middlebrooks provided a powerful home run to left field to tie the game at 2 in the secondas well as Solarte hit his first homer of the season in the 7th to give the Padres some insurance runs and they won 5-2. Bud Black was also ejected quickly in the second for arguing balls and strikes. Umpires seemed testy around the league on Sunday with several quick hook ejections.
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