Game Forty-Three – Cubs 1 Padres 5
WP – Jake Peavy (6-1) LP – Rich Hill (4-4) Save – Trevor Hoffman (12)
Rich Hill was not able to put his recent struggles behind him and after walking the first two batters he faced on the night, he started throwing strikes but unfortunately the Padres started hitting them over the fence. Mike Cameron and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back home runs in the 3rd inning and Cameron added a solo shot in the 5th for his second home run on the night off of Rich Hill. Hill surrendered just 6 hits on the night while striking out 8 but 5 of the 6 hits were for extra bases, including 4 home runs.
Jake Peavy demonstrated why he is mentioned among the elite pitchers of the game. The Cubs managed just a single run on 4 hits against the Padres ace. After Peavy’s departure in the 6th, the Cubs’ offense left runners in scoring position in their last three at bats but were unable to mount a comeback against one of the top bullpens in the league. Rich Hill showed flashes of what made him successful early in the year but continues to have problems with runners on base. On Tuesday night Hill appeared to lose his confidence early and was not able to get into a rhythm.
Hill walked Marcus Giles to start the game, he stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a passed ball by Michael Barrett on ball four to Jose Cruz, Jr. Hill struck out Mike Cameron but Adrian Gonzalez singled to right center to score Giles from 3rd. Khalil Greene flied out to deep center and Josh Bard struck out to end the inning. Kevin Kouzmanoff led off the 2nd inning with his second home run of the season (his first came on April 14th against Jason Schmidt) but Hill recovered; he struck out Terrmel Sledge and retired Jake Peavy on a fly out to left. Marcus Giles doubled to right and Cruz grounded out to 3rd to end the inning.
Mike Cameron led off the 3rd inning with his second home run of the season to left and Adrian Gonzalez followed with one to right. It appeared Piniella might have to go to his “revamped” bullpen rather early but Hill settled down and retired the next three batters he faced on two ground outs and a fly out to Jacque Jones in center. Hill retired the Padres in order in the 4th but after striking out Cruz, Jr. to lead off the 5th, Mike Cameron took him deep for the second time in the game. Again, Hill settled down and retired the next two batters he faced to end the inning and struck out the side in the 6th. Hill threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes. Typically a 6-hit, 6-inning performance is not rewarded with a loss but on Tuesday night it was.
Angel Guzman pitched the 7th and to two batters in the 8th….he was very sharp in his newly appointed role out of the pen. He retired the Padres in order in the 7th on just 12 pitches, 9 for strikes. Guzman struck out 2 and did not allow a hit in his 1 2/3 innings of work. Ryan Dempster retired Greene on a ground out to Ramirez to end the inning.
Alfonso Soriano lead off the game with a walk after a very good at bat, he made Jake Peavy work and ran the count to 3-2 before taking the free pass (Soriano walked 3 times on the night against Padres pitching). Peavy struck out Theriot and Lee but Aramis Ramirez came through with a 2-out single to center with Soriano running. Cliff Floyd followed with a single to center for the only Cubs’ run on the night.
Peavy retired 6 of the next 7 he faced before Cliff Floyd led off the 4th with a double. Michael Barrett grounded out, Jacque Jones flied out and Cesar Izturis lined out to end the inning and Floyd did not advance past 2nd base. Khalil Greene robbed Theriot of a single in the 5th when he made a great acrobatic play behind the bag at 2nd to throw him out.
The Cubs were held off the bases until 2-outs in the 7th when Izturis singled to left. Matt Murton pinch hit for Rich Hill and singled to right. Soriano worked a walk to load the bases but Ryan Theriot grounded out to short to end the inning. In the 8th, Derrek Lee reached on an error by Marcus Giles to lead off the inning. Aramis Ramirez singled to center but Floyd struck out, Barrett hit into a force and Jones grounded out to short to end the inning.
Cesar Izturis led off the 9th with a single to center and 1-out later Soriano walked. Bud Black called in Trevor Hoffman and he retired Theriot and Lee on fly outs to end the game.
The Cubs had the tough task of starting the road trip with a victory against Jake Peavy but with him out of the way, Lou Piniella must figure out a way to put a win on the board against David Wells on Wednesday night. Sean Marshall is scheduled to make his first start of the year with his team in need of a win….