Monday, April 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Padres 3
By Jesse Rogers
Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday at Wrigley Field.
How it happened: Bottom of the order guys Cody Ransom and Darwin Barney had back-to-back two-out hits in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie after both contributed with RBIs earlier in the game. Ransom hit his second home run of the season in the second inning; it was preceded by a Scott Hairston blast for back-to-back jacks. Barney doubled home a run with two outs in the fourth before doing the same in the sixth. Both Barney and Ransom flashed their gloves at third and second with key defensive plays in the seventh to keep the Padres off the board. Jeff Samardzija lasted only five innings, giving up all three Padres runs while throwing 101 pitches. He walked four and struck out eight. Kevin Gregg earned his fourth save for the Cubs.
What it means: Samardzija’s pitch counts continue to be an issue. He’s thrown 619 pitches in six starts, that’s fifth most in the league. It prevented him from going deep into this game. He hung around without his best stuff but, staked to a 3-1 lead, he could have been better in the fateful fifth. He nibbled too much, walking two that inning and four overall in his outing. ... Good news for the bottom of the order as hitters 6-8 had five hits and all five runs batted in. That will take the pressure off the main guys if it can continue. Barney has been solid on defense while his at-bats have been getting better and better. Gregg is the new closer. He’s come out of nowhere to nail down the job, going 1.1 innings for the save. He struck out two in the ninth for his third 1-2-3 save.
Outside the box: All 25 games the Cubs have played this season have been decided by four runs or less. That’s the second longest streak in baseball history to start a season behind the Detroit Tigers' 33 in a row in 1914. ... The Cubs won for the first time this season when their starting pitcher did not throw a quality start.
What’s next: The 10-15 Cubs take on the Padres in Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night when Edwin Jackson (0-3, 4.76 ERA) faces Edinson Volquez (1-3, 6.39) in a 7:10 CT start.