Five Good Things: Splitting in Chicago
Happy Thursday everybody, the weekend is almost here. The Padres finished their brief road trip in Chicago today, evening the series with the Cubs at two games. While such a feat is not as mouth-watering delicious as a sweep of the hated Giants, there were many high points of this series.
Here are five good things I saw:
5. Jedd Gyorko’s big fly.
The Padres rookie second baseman wrapped up his first month in the bigs leading all rookies in hits with 23. But the much talked about power he’d bring to the lineup had not shown. That all changed in the bottom of the ninth when lifted a deep drive off starter Scott Feldman into the front row in left center for his first big-league home run. In perfect Wrigleyville bleacher bum fashion, the fan tossed the ball back, giving Jedd a nice souvenir with the hassle of bartering.
4. Tuesday’s top of the fifth
Their five runs was second best offensive inning of the Padres season so far, but a big part of their season high 13 run game. Everth Cabrera began the onslaught with a leadoff triple and ended it with a groundout to first. The Padres poured on five runs in between to blow the game open to an 8-0 lead; the last run coming from a two-out RBI single by Edinson Volquez; scoring Mark Kotsay. It was a good thing too because Edi decided to give up four runs the next half inning.
The other runs were scored on consecutive doubles by Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin followed by a two run homer by Yonder Alonso.
3. Padres Power Production
The series saw the continued power production by the Padres new batting order. Though the Padres did not clear the fences in game one, game two saw homer runs by Alonso, Quentin and Nick Hundley followed by Gyorko and Headley in game three. Home runs accounted for seven of the 20 runs they scored during the four game stretch.
2. Eric Stults
Stults turned in the best performance by all Padres starters this series, throwing six full innings of shutout ball before surrendering a single and then a homerun to Wellington Castillo and Scott Hairston respectively. Though he struck out four and walked only two he was in line for the loss until….
1. Thursday’s miracle eighth inning
Travis Wood dominated the Padres all game, having not allowed a Padre to reach second until he gave up a single and a walk to Jesus Guzman and Kyle Blanks to lead off the eighth. Gyorko then flew out to left before Nick Hundley popped out in foul territory in right field to Julio Borbon, who slipped on the bullpen mound allowing Guzman to tag and reach third on the second out.
Alonso, pinch-hitting for Joe Thatcher, then looped a bloop single to right field just under the glove of Borbon as he nearly collided with Darwin Barney, allowing Guzman to score and Blanks to advance to third. Wellington Castillo then allowed a passed ball, scoring Blanks and advancing Alonso to third. Chris Denorfia then walked before Everth Cabrera singled in Alonso to make it 3-2 with the Norf on third. Chase Headley’s swinging bunt to third went under the bare hand of a charging Barney to complete the Padres scoring in their improbable 4-2 win.
So even though the Padres were looked as though they were about to drop three of four, they instead rallied back for a happy flight back to San Diego to face the reeling Arizona Diamondbacks.
I hope you all enjoyed the series and let’s hope this weekend’s is even better. Go Padres!