Game Nine – Cubs 4, Padres 5
WP – James Shields (2-0) LP – Brian Schlitter (0-1, BS 1) Save – Craig Kimbrel (4)
The Cubs led 4-2 in the seventh inning but a second bad call by homeplate umpire Sam Holbrook and a poor pitch from Brian Schlitter turned the game around in favor of the Padres. Schlitter did not get the call on a 0-2 pitch and Wil Myers took advantage of the extra opportunity. Myers cranked Schlitter’s 1-2 offering over the center field wall for a three-run homer and the Cubs lost game one to the Padres on Friday afternoon.
The Padres scored all five runs on two swings of the bat following two missed calls by the homeplate umpire. But as Joe Maddon said after the game, the Cubs failed to execute and that was the reason they lost the game.
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead and took advantage of two mistakes by James Shields. Following a Jason Hammel (1-for-3 with a double) to lead off the third, Jonathan Herrera (1-for-2 with a sac bunt and two runs scored) bunted a 3-2 pitch to the first base side of the mound. James Shields picked up the ball and lobbed it over Yonder Alonso’s head at first base. Hammel scored and Herrera ended up at second. Dexter Fowler (3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored) moved Herrera to third with a grounder to first. Herrera got in Shields’ head dancing down the line with the Padres in the shift for Anthony Rizzo. Herrera scored a wild pitch and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Will Middlebrooks tied the game at two in the top of the fourth on a two-run homer to right after Jason Hammel appeared to catch him looking at a 0-2 pitch. Middlebrooks drove Hammel’s next pitch into the right field construction zone.
Jason Hammel turned the game over to the pen with one out in the seventh with two on and the Cubs up 4-2. Hammel pitched a lot better than his final line indicates. Hammel was charged with two more runs after he left the game when Wil Myers took Schlitter out to center.
Jason Hammel was charged with four runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Hammel threw 94 pitches, 64 for strikes in 6 1/3 innings.
The Cubs offense did enough, especially at home, against a pitcher the caliber of James Shields to win a ballgame.
Jorge Soler (1-for-5 with a RBI) gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a single to center. And Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with a double, a RBI and two walks) doubled in Dexter Fowler with the Cubs’ fourth run of the game following the Soler single.
Kris Bryant (0-for-4 with three strikeouts and five men left on base) had a rough afternoon. Bryant struck out swinging following the Rizzo double with one out and men on second and third. Kris Bryant, Chris Coghlan (0-for-3 with a walk) and Starlin Castro were a combined 0-for-11 with six strikeouts, one walk and eight men left on base Friday afternoon.
Joe Maddon was ejected in the seventh inning following Wil Myers’ three-run homer for arguing balls and strikes. Maddon had every right to be upset and get ejected for the first time this season. Maddon had to stick up for his staff and he did.
Needless to say it wasn’t a happy ending to Kris Bryant Day for the Chicago Cubs.
Jason Hammel led off the third inning with a double to left center on a 0-1 pitch, the Cubs first hit of the game. Jonathan Herrera failed to get down a bunt on the first two pitches. Herrera worked a full count before bunting to the first base side of the mound. James Shields fielded the ball but airmailed a lobbed throw to first. The ball ended up in the bullpen area, Hammel scored and Herrera ended up at second, 1-0 Cubs. Dexter Fowler grounded out to first. Fowler’s productive out allowed Herrera to advance to third with one out.
With the infield in, Jorge Soler struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.
Bud Black had his infield shift with Herrera at third and Rizzo at the plate. Herrera started dancing off third. Herrera went far enough down the line that Shields stepped off and ran him back to the bag. Herrera did not let up and really got in Shields head. After stepping off again, Shields finally threw to the plate. The ball skipped through Derek Norris’ five-hole. Herrera scampered in and scored, 2-0 Cubs. Anthony Rizzo was called out on strikes (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cubs 2-0 lead didn’t last long.
Jason Hammel retired Matt Kemp on a flyout to right and caught Justin Upton looking. Hammel missed with a 3-2 offering to Yonder Alonso and walked him. Two out walks are never good. Hammel didn’t get the call on a 0-2 pitch to Will Middlebrooks. And Middlebrooks drove Hammel’s next pitch (1-2 count) to deep right. The ball carried over the wall into the construction zone, game tied at two. Jedd Gyorko grounded out to Bryant for the third out. Hammel threw 64 pitches, 44 for strikes, in the first four innings.
The Cubs managed a Chris Coghlan walk with one out in the fourth, but that was all. At the end of four, the game was tied at two.
The top of the fifth ended with a spectacular diving catch toward the third baseline by Kris Bryant. Hammel needed 72 pitches (51 strikes) to complete five innings. Bryant was very good in the field on Friday afternoon.
After Hammel flied out to left center to start the Cubs’ fifth, Jonathan Herrera singled to right on a 0-2 pitch. Dexter Fowler followed with a single to center. And Soler stepped in with runners on first and second with one down.
Jorge Soler smoked a 1-0 pitch back up the middle and into center. Herrera scored, 3-2 Cubs. Fowler went to third on the play. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 1-0 pitch down the first baseline. The ball hit the bag, hopped up in the air and ended up in right field. Fowler scored, 4-2 Cubs. Soler stopped at third on a double from Rizzo. Bryant struck out swinging (1-2) for the second out. And Coghlan struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs led 4-2 after five innings.
Jason Hammel took the mound for the seventh inning with the Cubs still up 4-2. Will Middlebrooks grounded out to Bryant for the first out. Jedd Gyorko singled to center and moved to second on a single to right by Alexi Amarista. With runners on first and second with one down, Bud Black went to his bench for Yangervis Solarte. As soon as Solarte was announced, Maddon popped out and went to his pen for Zac Rosscup.
Maddon turned Solarte around and Rosscup got him to fly out to right on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Maddon went back to his pen for Brian Schlitter with Wil Myers due up.
Brian Schlitter appeared to catch Myers looking at a 0-2 pitch. Everyone in the park, watching and calling the game thought Schlitter’s third pitch was a strike, except homeplate umpire Sam Holbrook. Myers was given a new life and Schlitter made a bad pitch. Myers drove the 95 mph fastball right down the middle of the plate over the wall in center … and just like that the Padres took a 5-4 lead.
Joe Maddon went to the mound to talk to Schlitter, but instead he had some few choice words for Holbrook and was ejected.
Schlitter retired Norris on a pop out to second base to finally end the inning.
Dexter Fowler doubled to left center off Myers glove with one out in the seventh. The ball stuck in the vines and after much discussion and even a replay the umps made the correct call. Even though the ball could be seen, it was the correct call on the ground rule double. Dale Thayer struck out Soler for the second out. Black had Thayer intentionally walk Rizzo. With runners on first and second with two down, Bryant rolled a 1-1 pitch toward third. Middlebrooks fielded the ball cleanly and took it to the bag to end the inning.
After seven innings, the Cubs trailed 5-4.
Dexter Fowler singled with two outs in the ninth and stole second. But Jorge Soler grounded out to third to end the game.
Kyle Hendricks faces Tyson Ross on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).