The Cubs are good. I know, it’s weird, but it’s true. They’re good and Jake Arrieta is good and the Padres are most definitely bad. So It wasn’t super surprising to see the reigning NL Cy Young winner blank the Friars for eight innings. It wasn’t even that odd that he only saw the minimum number of batters in the first seven. What was odd was that Joe Maddon pulled him after eight and almost let his bullpen screw it up.
Christian Friedrich started out okay, but USD alum Kris Bryant took him deep to left field in the third to start the scoring. But it was just a solo shot, and that’s not too bad. The fifth inning? That was bad. Bryant drew a leadoff walk, then Ben Zobrist followed up with a double to drive him in. And then Addison Russell went yard. The Cubs got one more run in the sixth that was officially scored as earned, but probably shouldn’t have been. Patrick Kivlehan dropped a fly ball in the right field corner (hit by Arrieta, no less), letting a runner on third with one out. Brandon Morrow came in to finish the inning. He didn’t allow any more baserunners, but he did give up a sacrifice fly that scored Arrieta.
The Padres got a late offensive surge once the Cy Young winner got pulled. Félix Peña walked Luis Sardiñas to start the inning, then gave up a single to Adam Rosales. Wil Myers hit a screaming grounder between first and second with one out, and Sardiñas hustled his way to home. Umpire Nic Lentz was positioned terribly and called him out, even though Contreras never tagged him. It was so obvious that the New York replay office overturned it almost immediately. That brought Aroldis Chapman to the mound, who promptly allowed a run on a sacrifice fly and then a wild pitch. The Chicago closer pulled himself together after that, wrapping up a series victory for the Cubs.
Paul Clemens will try to avoid the sweep at 12:40 tomorrow.