The Cubs battled the Padres on another cool night at Wrigley Field on Wednesday that keep offense at a premium. Chicago rallied back to take a lead in the middle innings before a San Diego star led his side to a victory.
Both starting pitchers, Michael Wacha and Drew Smyly, were strong early and neither team scored through three innings. San Diego staged a two-out rally in the 4th with two singles followed by a triple from Jake Cronenworth to put the road squad ahead 2-0.
Chicago answered back immediately when Trey Mancini blasted a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the frame. Nico Hoerner singled home Patrick Wisdom to give the Cubs the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 5th.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 27, 2023
Fernando Tatis Jr. was the deciding factor for the Padres in this one. The big right fielder put his team up with a two-run single off of lefty reliever Brandon Hughes in the 7th inning and then plated an insurance tally with a knock in the 9th. The Cubs got the winning run to bat in the bottom half but closer Josh Hader slammed the door and San Diego sealed the win. (Box score)
Hughes came on in the 7th with a man on first and nobody out. He proceeded to walk the left-handed Trent Grisham, who would eventually score the winning run later in the inning.
Why the Cubs Lost
The offense could not build on a one-run lead and the bullpen just wasn’t able to preserve it.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly had one bad stretch of three hitters and the grinding Padres got him out early: 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
- Mancini had two more hits and is starting to return to form.
- Nelson Velázquez doubled and walked after an impressive at-bat against Hader.
That was a tough loss against a very good team and a couple of minor mistakes came back to hurt the Cubs. If Chicago remains in contention throughout the season they probably will need to upgrade their bullpen.