Padres 6 @ Cubs 8

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

The Cubs recorded their first three-game winning streak AND series sweep of 2012. They had not swept a three-game series since last July in Houston (it was one of two series’ that they swept during the entire 2011 season).

2-Out RBIs: Every single RBI for the Cubs came with 2 outs today. EIGHT! EIGHT 2-out RBIs.

Andrew Cashner: The turning point of this game, with the Padres leading 6-5 in the 8th inning, Padres manager Bud Black handed the ball to former Cub Andrew Cashner. After retiring two of the deadliest Cubs (at least on this day) in Barney and Clevenger, Cashner surrendered a seemingly harmless single to pinch-hitter Reed Johnson…

Tony Campana: Pinch-running for Reed Johnson was birthday boy Campana. First pitch was a pitchout, Campana stole second. Second pitch was ball two, Campana stole third without a throw. Cashner’s focus was gone; he might have been terrified that Campana would swipe home while he was at it. Instead, David DeJesus wound up earning a walk while Fast Tony caused carnage on the basepaths…

Starlin Castro: Following DeJesus’ walk, Castro was poised to put his stamp on this game. In a 2-2 count, Castro bounced a slow, but high-hopper to third base. Foolish but ambitiously sliding into first base, Castro beat the throw allowing Campana to tie the game. What was left of the allegedly near-capacity crowd at Wrigley went nuts…

Darwin Barney: James Russell had slammed the door on the Padres in the 9th, and Barney was faced with a 1-2 count and LaHair on first with two outs. After fighting off two foul balls, Barney smoked a line drive into the LF seats. He would say after the game that he’d never hit a walk-off homer at any level, to the surprise of no one. Cubs Win!

Patience & Walks:

  • Five different players saw at least 24 pitches each for the Cubs today. The Padres were forced to throw 180 pitches total – 46 in the final two innings.
  • The 5th inning was an object lesson in patience. 7, 5, 3, 2, 4, 5, 5, 4. Single, Walk, Flyout, Lineout, Walk, Walk, Walk, Groundout. The digits are the number of pitches seen by each batter in the inning, and the next sentence is the result of their at-bat. The first 6 batters of the inning all saw the same pitcher, starter Anthony Bass, who was clearly losing steam – those who were patient were rewarded, those who weren’t helped prolong his outing. When Castro AND Soriano can each take a walk in an inning against a pitcher, you wouldn’t expect Mather and LaHair to be TOO anxious – but that’s exactly what happened in the bottom of the 5th today.
  • I should repeat that – Castro and Soriano walked in the same inning against the same pitcher. Why was anyone else swinging against him in the 5th!?!?!
  • Soriano walked twice in the game! This isn’t as rare as you might think – he’s drawn at least two walks in a game, 50 times over his career; 26 times for the Cubs. But only 8 times since the start of 2010, and this was the first such occasion this year.
  • In fact, Soriano, Stewart, and Barney drew back-to-back-to-back walks that ‘drove in’ two runs. Don’t bet on it ever happening again with those three.
  • The 7 walks drawn by the Cubs tied a team high for the season (May 11th, against the Brewers). They have only accomplished that feat 7 times since the beginning of 2010. For comparison, they drew at least 7 walks 31 different times between the 2008 & 2009 seasons. It happened 3 times under Mike Quade, already twice under Dale Sveum.

Other Notes:

  • Barney & Clevenger made the Padres pay today. Combined they had 4 hits, 5 RBIs, scored 4 runs, and walked twice.
  • Over the 12-game losing streak the Cubs scored a total of 33 runs – only 18 runs in the final 9 games of that streak.  One 3-game sweep of the Padres and Cubs put up 24 runs.
  • Lost in the offensive outburst by the Cubs was another mediocre outing from Ryan Dempster – with the wind blowing IN this time.  The bullpen really bailed him out today.  Three of Dempster’s last four outings have been very mediocre.  The time to trade him is now.
  • Carlos Quentin was a beast today, only the wind kept him from having a 3 HR/4-for-4 day.  He couldn’t have picked a better team against which to make his 2012 debut.  We won’t see him, or the Padres, again until August – bittersweet.
  • Carlos Marmol threw one inning today; it was just like old times.  17 pitches, only 8 strikes, two walks but no damage.
  • Jeff Baker is a joke, but I’m still waiting for the punchline.
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