Rapid Reaction: Padres 2, Cubs 0
After a 2-0 defeat to the San Diego Padres on Monday, the Cubs fell to 0-4 on the road trip and are now winless away from home against NL West teams this season.
How it happened: Cubs rookie Brett Jackson made his debut in the leadoff spot and struck out four times. Fellow rookie Josh Vitters made an impressive diving stop and throw on a grounder along the third-base line, but he also went 0-for-4 at the plate and struck out to end the game. Travis Wood pitched well over six innings, but was tagged for four consecutive hits and two runs in the fourth inning.
What it means: There are no doubt going to be some growing pains associated with Jackson, especially when it comes to strikeouts. Going back to Sunday’s game at Los Angeles, Jackson actually struck out in five consecutive trips to the plate. At Triple-A Iowa, Jackson struck out an improbable 158 times. Heading into play Monday, the next closest in strikeouts in the Pacific Coast League had 117.
Outside the box: Maybe it’s something about San Diego as Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-4 on Monday in his return to Petco Park. As a member of the Padres last season, Rizzo batted .141 with 48 strikeouts in 128 at-bats and batted .173 at Petco. Much has been made of the Cubs’ youth movement in recent days, but Rizzo, Jackson and Vitters combined to go 0-for-12 on Monday with seven strikeouts.
Off beat: So much for that offensive surge Starlin Castro had on the last homestand. His struggles have returned on the West Coast road trip as he has now gone 0-for-15 in four games against the Dodgers and Padres. His current .275 batting average is the lowest it’s been since it was at .261 after the sixth game of the season.
Up next: The Cubs will send left-hander Brooks Raley to the mound Tuesday to make his major league debut. The Padres will counter with right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (3-2, 6.27 ERA) in the 9:05 p.m. CST start from Petco Park.