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SD 5, CHC 4: Shields K's 9, Myers and Middlebro go deep

After a day of chillaxing relaxing all cool the Padres are ready to start the series against the Cubs. Top prospect Kris Bryant gets called up and experiences what the big leagues are like first hand.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The hubbub started early in Chicago. With gaudy construction occupying the bleachers of Wrigley the Padres were ready to begin their seven-game road trip starting against the Cubbies. Well before the game it was announced that the Cubs would be calling up Kris Bryant, their big-name prospect hailing from USD. But he'd get a tough introduction to the major leagues, as the first pitcher he'd face is James Shields.


Two of Bryant's three strikeouts against Shields. Just let the gif loop a few times and you'll get a sense of his plate presence against Big Game James.

James also entered the game pitching against a team managed by his former manager, Joe Maddon. The Cubs for the moment are sitting wobbly at the top of the NL Central. Jason Hammel had the ball against the Friars, and he started the first three innings keeping the hot San Diego bats at bay.

On the flip side, Shields conceded a double to Hammel leading things off, and an overthrow from James on a Jonathan Herrera bunt would score the run. Unearned, technically, but 2-0 nonetheless. Some flirting with Herrera leading off at third led to a wild pitch and the Cubs would be up 2-0.

Oh no! A two run deficit! What do we do?! With the 3-4-5 spots up, I have some ideas. A Kemp pop-up, an Upton strikeout, and an Alonso walk would give Will Middlebrooks one of those two-out opportunities the Padres have seemed to love. Middlebro Carpe Diem'd the hell out of a ball and launched a souring two-run home run into the empty wooden right field bleachers. Tie ballgame 2-2.


Middlebrooks fooled every broadcaster on this shot with a lifted up-and-out 2-run HR that just kept carrying into whatever the hell is going on in right field.

The following inning would end up being a LOB fizzle-out for the Padres, followed up by another very rough inning from James Shields. A pair of hard hit balls up the middle and into the first base bag would drive home two runs for the Cubs. A quick talk from the Balsley would help tighten up Shields' stuff and he'd get out of the inning by striking out the next two batters, Bryant for a third straight time.

Some hard-hit outs from the Padres put things into the bottom of the 6th. Middlebrooks one-upped Bryant's early diving play with one of his own, Alexi Amarista had a rare air-mail on a routine ground ball that turned into an easy out at second thanks to a slow-moving Welington Castillo, then followed by another routine grounder from Ninja.

The top of the next inning would feature Jedd Gyorko's first hit of the day! Followed by an Alexi dribbler into right field, a pinch hit of Yangervis Solarte would incite a pitching change. Shields ends his day with 7 innings pitched, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, and a solid 9 strikeouts. Solarte popped out harmlessly into right and the Cubs would reach further into their bullpen bag.

And on two strikes, and a very generous (should have been a strike) ball, Myers goes DEEP. Padres 5-4.

On a one ball three strike count, Myers blasts his first home run as a Padre into deep, deep center field.

That would end up setting Maddon off, and rightfully so, getting him ejected. Two more innings of solid relief from the bullpen and Craig Kimbrel's fourth save of the season.

Put in a pin in the first game on the road trip. Friars who went hitless for today: Derek Norris, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton (first time in 10 games), Yangervis Solarte (pinch hit.)

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Tons of recs today, but abara takes the cake. The chatty Cathy award goes to Faith Keeper.