In a series that featured a lot of rain and overall bad weather, the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs faced off for the first time this season. The Padres may have been seeking revenge against the Cubs, after the Cubs essentially derailed the Padres’ season by taking three out of four games in San Diego during the last week of the season, which eliminated any hope the Padres had for the playoffs. However, the Padres never really showed any animosity towards the Cubs as the north siders came up victorious in two out of three games.
Game 1–Zambrano Spins a Gem, but Colvin leads the way in Extras
- Carlos Zambrano was magnificent on the mound as he threw 8 shutout innings while only allowing three hits and striking out 10. However, the Cubs also had their fair share of offensive problems as both teams failed to score a run during the first nine innings of the game. It was not until the 10th inning when Tyler Colvin hit a walk-off double that scored Geovany Soto and gave the Cubs the 1-o victory.
Game 2–Garza regains top form, as Cubs succeed with Reed
- In a game that was supposed to be played on Tuesday but was moved to Wednesday as part of a day-night doubleheader, Matt Garza had his best performance of the season. While Garza did allow 6 hits and 3 walks, he did not allow any runs to score while striking out 9. Like Monday night the Cubs’ offense was MIA until Reed Johnson hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning.
Game 3–Russell struggles again as Cubs drop finale 5-4
- In a game that really was not as close as the scoreboard indicated, James Russell may have proven that he is not ready to be a starting pitcher. Russell only last 4 1/3 innings before being pulled after allowing 4 runs on 7 hits (3 home runs) and 1 walk. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run home, giving him 6 on the season.
Despite that this was a boring series for the Cubs and Padres, there was one thing that impressed me out of the Cubs this series. That is that they never gave up. In game 1 and game 2, the Cubs continued to battle with the Padres into extra innings before they eventually broke through with a couple of walk-off hits. In the last game of the series, it was encouraging to see that the Cubs continued to fight despite the early lead the Padres were given.
Things To Take From The Series
- James Russell probably will not get another chance in the starting rotation. Randy Wells is still two weeks away, so the fifth starter’s spot will likely come around at least one more time. Right now the two options for that spot could be Ramon Ortiz, who is currently in Iowa, or Jeff Samardzija. Once Wells returns, Casey Coleman will slide into the fifth spot of the rotation until Andrew Cashner returns.
- The Cubs have been the ultimate .500 team this season. After their series against the Padres, the Cubs had a record of 9-9. The Cubs have successfully gone 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, and 9-9 on the season. That is right about where I thought they would be despite the unusual way of getting there. From what I have seen so far, the Cubs are no better than a .500 team, so I would expect the current trend to keep up.
There was no really impressive performances this series for anyone on the Cubs’ roster. However, both Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza looked really strong in their respective starts. With Wells and Cashner still out, that is something the Cubs need out of Zambrano, Garza, and Ryan Dempster. Those three are the leaders of the rotation, and they have to prove it each time they go out to the mound.
On the down-side, Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd both continued their struggles this season. Pena was 0 for 6 with 4 strikeouts during Wednesday’s doubleheader. Meanwhile, Byrd is in a current 2 for 29 slump on offense. If the Cubs offense is going to be successful then both Byrd and Pena need to get it going. If these two can not get it going, then changes have to be made. The changes can be more drastic for Byrd, who’s time with the Cubs could be coming to an end once Brett Jackson proves that he is ready for major leagues.
The Cubs are set to open a three game series at Wrigley against the Los Angeles Dodgers today.