Cubs Couldn’t Throw Strikes, Padres Walk Away with a Win at Wrigley – Padres 8, Cubs 3

Game Ninety-Nine: Cubs 3, Padres 8

WP – Ian Kennedy (8-9) LP – Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1) Save – None

Tsuyoshi Wada set the tone for the night when he walked Chris Denorfia to start the game. Cubs pitching issued 11 walks Wednesday as the Padres walked over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Cubs pitching issued 11 walks and five of those free passes scored while the Cubs offense managed only three runs on four hits despite taking six free passes. The Cubs and Padres pitching staffs combined to walk 17 batters Wednesday night.

Tsuyoshi Wada really struggled with his command and was lifted before he could record an out in the fifth inning. Wada had trouble finishing his pitches, fell behind in the count and became rather predictable when he threw strikes. If Wada is going to stay in the rotation, he will have to make significant improvements.

Tsuyoshi Wada settled down somewhat after a rough first inning and kept the Padres off the board for three innings. After the Cubs tied the game in the fourth, Wada issued back-to-back walks to start the fifth before giving up a ground rule double to Tommy Medica.

PrintTsuyoshi Wada was charged with five runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Wada threw 87 pitches, 53 for strikes, in four-plus innings.

Brian Schlitter issued two walks in relief of Wada, with one of the free passes forcing in a run. Carlos Villanueva tossed two scoreless innings while allowing a hit, a walk and striking out three innings. But Justin Grimm could not find the strike zone. Grimm gave up three runs on two hits with three walks and no strikeouts in the seventh inning. James Russell issued the last free pass of the night in the eighth.

Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored) managed the Cubs only hit the first time through the lineup. The Cubs tied the game at three in the fourth after Rizzo and Chris Coghlan (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked. Luis Valbuena (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) hit his sixth longball of the season and tied the game.

The Cubs had a chance to tie the game again in the fifth after they loaded the bases with one out. But Anthony Rizzo struck out swinging and Starlin Castro (0-for-4) grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs offense managed only four hits and went 1-for-4 with RISP and left seven men on base.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 41-58 on the season.

Tsuyoshi Wada had a rough start in his Wrigley Field debut. Wada issued a four-pitch walk to Chris Denorfia to begin the game. Yangervis Solarte stepped in the box for his first at bat in a Padres uniform (acquired from the Yankees in the Chase Headley deal) and pulled a 0-1 pitch into the right field corner. Denorfia scored all the way from first on a triple by Solarte, 1-0 Padres. Carlos Quentin hit a fly ball to right, Solarte scored, 2-0 Padres. Wada retired Tommy Medica and Jeff Francoeur to end the first inning. Wada threw 16 pitches, 10 for strikes, in the first inning.

The Cubs managed an Anthony Rizzo single in the first inning, but that was all. Ian Kennedy threw 15 pitches, 11 for strikes, in the first inning.

After one complete, the Cubs trailed 2-0.

Tsuyoshi Wada kept the Padres off the board in the second and third innings while Ian Kennedy continued mesmerizing the Cubs offense. Kennedy threw only 37 pitches, 29 for strikes, in three innings.

Jeff Francoeur led off the fourth with a bloop single to right on a 1-2 pitch. Chris Nelson doubled to right center, Francoeur scored and the Padres took a 3-0 lead. Wada retired Rivera on a pop foul behind the plate to Castillo for the first out. Alexi Amarista grounded a 0-2 pitch toward short. Castro fielded the ball and threw to third. Nelson dove in headfirst and was safe. With runners on the corners and one out, Ian Kennedy bunted back to the mound. Nelson took off for the plate, Wada fielded the ball and flipped to Castillo (glove to glove), and Castillo applied the tag for the out. Wada struck out Denorfia swinging to end the inning. Wada threw 72 pitches, 48 for strikes, in four innings.

Arismendy Alcantara led off the fourth and tapped back to the mound. Anthony Rizzo walked (3-1 pitch). After Castro popped out to second, Rizzo advanced to second on a wild pitch with Coghlan at the plate. Chris Coghlan walked. With runners on first and second with two down, Ian Kennedy hung a 0-1 breaking ball to Valbuena and Luis Valbuena deposited the mistake into the bleachers in right field. Valbuena’s three run shot tied the game at three. Schierholtz struck out swinging to end the inning.

At the end of four innings, the game was tied at three.

Tsuyoshi Wada started the fifth inning by issuing a free pass to Solarte … and Carlos Quentin. With runners on first and second with no outs, Tommy Medica pulled a 2-2 pitch to deep left center. The ball hit in the ivy and stayed there. The ground rule double plated Solarte and gave the Padres a 4-3 lead. Rick Renteria decided that was enough for Wada and went to his pen for Brian Schlitter.

With runners on second and third with no outs, Schlitter walked the free-swinging Jeff Francoeur and loaded the bases. Chris Nelson tapped a 1-2 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Schlitter made an excellent play to get the out at home. Schlitter picked the ball up and threw to the plate in one motion to get the out. With the bases loaded and one down, Schlitter walked Rivera and forced in Medica, 5-3 Padres. Amarista rolled into a 6-4-3 double play to finally end the inning.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Welington Castillo led off with a double, Ryan Sweeney hit for Schlitter and walked. Bonifacio wasted an out when he tried to bunt his way on. Both runners advanced as Kennedy threw out Bonifacio at first. Alcantara walked and loaded the bases with one down. But Anthony Rizzo struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) and Starlin Castro grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs trailed 5-3 after five innings.

Justin Grimm replaced Carlos Villanueva in the eighth with the Cubs still trailing 5-3. Grimm issued back-to-back walks to Amarista and Yasmani Grandal to start the inning. Amarista advanced to second on a wild pitch with Grandal at the plate and stole third before Grimm issued the walk. Seth Smith hit for Chris Denorfia and singled to center. Amarista scored, 6-3 Padres. Grandal went to third on the play. Smith advanced to second when Solarte tapped back to the mound. Grimm intentionally walked Will Venable to load the bases with one out. Tommy Medica singled to left, Grandal scored and the Padres took a 7-3 lead. Jeff Francoeur followed with a sac fly, Smith scored and the Padres went ahead by five runs, 8-3. Nelson grounded out to Bonifacio to finally end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the eighth and after eight innings, the Cubs were well behind the Padres by an 8-3 score. And that is the way the game ended as the Cubs did nothing again in the ninth.

Edwin Jackson faces Tyson Ross in the last game of the season against the Padres on Thursday night (7:05pm CDT).

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